RFID - Angelfire

guineanscarletElectronics - Devices

Nov 27, 2013 (4 years and 6 months ago)



Radio Frequency Identification

What is RFID?

Radio Frequency Identification is an identification
system used for retail and wholesale, security,
veterinary, and military purposes. The RFID
technology sector is growing rapidly as new uses for
it are found.

RFID systems can be either active or passive.

You may be surprised to find that you have been
using RFID technology for years without knowing it.

Some large companies, such as Wal
Mart and
Microsoft, are mandating that their suppliers begin
using RFID so that they can cut warehousing costs
and other related expenses.

Common RFID devices

EAS Tags, or Electronic Article Surveillance
Tags, are seen in many forms in virtually all
retail stores these days:

EAS tag antenna, soft item tags, and hard item tags

Common RFID devices

Lojack is a popular vehicle theft recovery
system that uses active RFID technology:

Shown is a common type of self
RF tower and a Lojack equipped vehicle
being recovered by the police

Common RFID devices

Microchip devices are now commonly
used by veterinarians:

Microchip identification

for dogs, cats, and


held scanner and passive RFID “microchip”

Common RFID devices

Another device that you may be familiar with
is the Speedpass:

Speedpass device on a keychain, in the store, and at the gas pump

How does RFID work?

RFID uses specially coded active or passive
radio frequency tags and antennas.

Active RFID

Active RFID devices are RF tags with an
attached power supply. These tags emit a
signal whether or not there is an antenna in
the vicinity to receive the data.

Lojack is an example of active RFID. When
the vehicle is reported stolen, the RF device
is remotely activated by the Lojack
computers, and it begins sending out a radio
signal that is coded to the vehicle’s unique
identification number. Authorities can then
track the location of the signal and recover
the vehicle.

Passive RFID

Passive RFID devices are RF tags that do not
have an attached power supply. The passive
RF tags receive their power when it is emitted
from active antennas in close proximity.

Examples of passive RF devices are
Speedpass, pet microchips, and EAS tags.
Warehouses will use passive RF to track box
contents and item counts. Passive RF is
cheaper and simpler to utilize than the Active
RF systems.

Who invented RFID?

Like most technologies in use today, RFID
got its start in WWII. The parent technology of
RFID is the transponder.

Transponders are radio devices that can
transmit and receive signals. They are found
on virtually all aircraft and watercraft today.

In WWII, transponders were first used as IFF,
or “Identify Friend or Foe,” systems to
distinguish Allied aircraft from enemy aircraft.

RFID’s move to the civilian sector

Mario Cardullo got the idea for the passive RFID tag
in 1969.

In 1971, Cardullo contacted the NY Port Authority
(NYPA) about testing the RFID system as an
automatic toll device.

The NYPA balked, saying that nobody in their right
mind would install it on their vehicle; much to the
NYPA’s surprise, the RFID system was a hit.

The patent was issued in January 1973, and the
applications for RFID have been multiplying since

What does the future hold?

Large corporations such as Wal
Mart and Microsoft
have mandated that their suppliers and
manufacturing departments implement RFID systems
by 2005.

The military is also moving toward RFID
implementation by 2005.

Expect to see more RFID tags in stores in the next
few years.

Apparel manufacturers, like Prada, will soon begin
inserting RFID devices into clothing tags, shoes, and
accessories for inventory and security purposes.

“…the DoD will be an early adopter of
innovative RFID technology that leverages
Electronic Product Code


compatible RFID tags. Our policy will
require suppliers to put passive RFID tags
on lowest possible piece part/case/pallet
packaging by January 2005.”

U.S. Department of Defense

Mike Wynne

Under Secretary of Defense for
Acquisition, Technology and Logistics

This slide courtesy of the Uniform Code Council, copyright 2003.

RFID security issues

It may be possible for criminals with the right
equipment to decode information like credit
card numbers and other financial information.

Any information shared via the Internet is
vulnerable (stock levels, corporate buying
accounts, military supply orders).

Fraud and counterfeit RFID devices may
someday be an issue that retailers and
manufacturers have to address.

RFID social issues

Believe it or not, there are people who believe that
bar codes are the mark of the devil because of the
way the numbering system looks (666). These people
tend to believe that RFID is also evil. There are,
however, some valid concerns about privacy:

It may be possible to scan consumers to find out
what brand of clothing or shoes they wear, what
credit cards they carry, what electronic devices they
have, and so on.

If the US decides to implement anti
measures using RFID, it may be possible to scan a
person to find out how much money they are

RFID…a quick review

RFID was first developed as a transponder/IFF
system in WWII. The military still uses RFID/IFF.

RFID got its modern form in the early seventies when
Cardullo patented the first passive RFID tag.

RFID is becoming more prevalent as large corporate
entities begin using the technology for inventory
control and security. The military is implementing
RFID in their supply chain.

RFID is becoming more popular with retailers as a
point of sale device.

RFID is used for vehicle and equipment recovery,
and for the identification of livestock and pets.

Many people fear that RFID technology is intrusive
and unconstitutional. Some even believe that the
technology is evil.

Presentation photo credits

Slide 3: EAS devices. Labels. Youralarmstore.com. 8 February 2004.


Hang tags. Youralarmstore.com. 8 February 2004.


Youralarmstore.com. 8 February 2004.


Slide 4: Lojack slide. Vehicle recovery and Lojack logo. Affordable Classics. 2003. 8 February 2004.


Tower. Glen Martin Engineering. 22 September 2003. 8 February 2004.

Slide 5: Pet Microchip and Scanner. AVID Technology. 1996
2000. 8 February 2004.


Slide 6: Speedpass slide. Speedpass. 8 February 2004. Keychain.

Pump. 8 February 2004.

Counter. 8 February 2004.

Presentation works consulted

Acsis, Inc. (RFID White Paper.) “Lessons from the Front Line: RFID Integration.” Ed. Dave Harty, Dir. Research and Developmen
Acsis, Inc. 28 January 2004.

AIM Global. “The Association for Automatic Identification and Data Capture Technologies: RFID.” 18 July 2002. 28 January 2004

AVID Microchip Identification Systems, Inc. AVID I.D. 2000
2001. 8 February 2004.

Baard, Mark. “RFID Will Stop Terrorists.”
Wired Magazine
. 8 August 2003. 8 February 2004.

Bonsor, Kevin. “How E
ZPass Works.” 1998
2004. 8 February 2004.

. “How Smart Labels Will Work.”
HowStuffWorks, Inc
. 1998
2004. 8 February 2004.

HowStuffWorks. “How Anti
Shoplifting Works.”
HowStuffWorks, Inc
. 1998
2004. 8 February 2004.

. “What Are Those Microchips That People Put In Their Dogs?” 1998
2004. 8 February 2004.

Intermec Technologies Corporation. “The Write Stuff: Understanding the Value of Read/Write RFID Functionality.” 2003. 28 Janu


Lojack. “What is Lojack?” 2003. 8 February 2004.

Maddocks, Ralph. “RFID: Receiving You Loud and Clear.”
Le Quebecois Libre
. 16 August 2003. 14 February 2004.

Nice, Karim. “How Baggage Handling Devices Work.”
HowStuffWorks, Inc
. 1998
2004. 8 February 2004.

RFID Journal Inc. “Genesis of the Versatile RFID Tag.”
RFID Journal
. 14 February 2004.

Transponder News. “What are Transponders.” 14 February 2004.

Uniform Code Council. “EPCglobal: Supporting Industry Adoption of RFID.” Sue Hutchinson. Presentation, slide 4. 2 December 20

21 February 2004.