Discovery Guides Areas


The ABCs of RFID
(Released June 2007)

  by Marianne Stanczak  


Key Citations



Key Citations Short Format Full Format
  1. Demand expected to jump for RFID tags


    Military and Aerospace Electronics, Vol. 17, No. 7, July 2006, pp. 38.

    Manufacturers built more than 1.3 billion radio-frequency-identification (RFID) tags in 2005, and by 2010, that figure will soar to 33 billion, reports market researcher In-Stat in Scottsdale, Ariz. "By far the biggest RFID segment in coming years will be supply-chain management." says Allen Nogee, In-Stat analyst. "This segment will account for the largest number of tags/labels from 2005 through 2010. Wal-Mart, the world's largest retailer, has spurred this projected growth by mandating that its top 100 (and, later its top 300) suppliers begin to use RFID:' The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) also is expected to help drive RFID production over the next four years.

  2. Enabling RFID in retail

    G. Roussos.

    Computer, Vol. 39, No. 3, Mar. 2006, pp. 25-30.

    The past two years have witnessed an explosion of interest in radio-frequency identification and supporting technologies, due primarily to their rapidly expanding use in tracking grocery products through the supply chain. Currently such applications monitor store-keeping units (SKUs) rather than individual goods, as the relatively high cost of RFID deployment and the very low profit margin of supermarket products make item-level tagging impractical. Yet, economic and technical concerns aside, it is easy to envision a supermarket in which each item is tagged with an RFID label and all shopping carts feature RFID readers. The carts could potentially include onboard computers that recognize products placed inside and that display information and promotions retrieved wirelessly from the system back end. RFID-enabled smart phones, which are commercially available today and becoming increasingly popular, could carry out the same function. Item-level deployment of RFID technology would also allow for quick checkout aisles that scan all products at once and thus eliminate queues, which are consistently reported as one of the most negative aspects of supermarket shopping. A simple extension of this system would be to embed RFID devices in consumers' loyalty or frequent-shopper cards to identify individuals. This could expedite system login and charge the shopping cost directly to the customer's account at the point of sale-unless removed at the POS, item-level tags will inevitably follow the consumer home. This scenario undoubtedly raises numerous privacy concerns.

  3. Ethical considerations and proposed guidelines for the use of radio frequency identification: especially concerning its use for promoting public safety and national security

    Amber McKee Anderson* and Vladimir Labay.

    Science and engineering ethics, Vol. 12, No. 2, Jan 2006, pp. 265-272.

    Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) is quickly growing in its applications. A variety of uses for the technology are beginning to be developed, including chips which can be used in identification cards, in individual items, and for human applications, allowing a chip to be embedded under the skin. Such chips could provide numerous benefits ranging from day-to-day convenience to the increased ability of the federal government to adequately ensure the safety of its citizens. However, there are also valid concerns about the potential of this technology to infringe on privacy, creating fears of a surveillance society. These are concerns that must be addressed quickly, with sensitivity to individual interests and societal welfare, allowing humanity to reap the benefits of convenience and safety without paying an unacceptable price in the loss of privacy. (Author abstract)

  4. Increasing security in the supply chain with electronic security markers

    J. Pearson.

    Prod.Image Secur., Vol. 10, No. 6, Nov.-Dec. 2006

    As counterfeiting increases, smart electronic security markers using radio frequency identification technology (RFID) is emerging as a valuable weapon. DNA Technologies, USA, has estimated that counterfeiting has cost the US economy 750,000 jobs and US industry USD200bn in lost revenues. Counterfeiting occurs at all levels of the supply chain but is most prolific at the product stage. Brand name clothing, pharmaceuticals and electronics are the most commonly counterfeited items. Existing anti counterfeiting technologies are either overt which are visible to the naked eye or covert which are invisible. Overt technologies include optical variable inks and tamper proof packaging. Covert technologies include UV or infrared (IR) components and nanotexts. RFID based anti-counterfeiting markers are inserted into a product and can be tracked at all levels of the supply chain. Each marker is specific to an individual product and cannot be modified. Product authentication can be carried out either on or off a network. EPCglobal Inc. is developing an item level on network authentication system called Electronic Product Code (EPC). Off network authentication systems rely on using public key infrastructure (PKI) technology to programme a unique electronic signature onto an RFID, which can then be read and authenticated. (1 fig, 5 ref)

  5. Initial clinical evaluation of a handheld device for detecting retained surgical gauze sponges using radiofrequency identification technology

    Alex Macario, Dean Morris and Sharon Morris.

    Archives of surgery (Chicago, Ill.: 1960), Vol. 141, No. 7, Jul 2006, pp. 659-662.

    HYPOTHESIS: A handheld wand-scanning device (1.5 lb, battery powered, 10 x 10 x 1.5 in) has been developed to detect commonly used surgical gauze sponges, which have been tagged with a radiofrequency identification (RFID) chip. We tested the hypothesis that this wand device has a successful detection rate of 100%, with 100% specificity and 100% sensitivity. DESIGN: Prospective, blinded, experimental clinical trial. SETTING: Stanford University Medical Center, Stanford, Calif. PATIENTS: Eight patients undergoing abdominal or pelvic surgery. INTERVENTIONS: Eight untagged sponges (1 control per patient) and 28 RFID sponges were placed in the patients. Just before closure, the first surgeon placed 1 RFID sponge (adult laparotomy tape; 18 x 18 in, 4-ply) in the surgical site, while the second surgeon looked away so as to be blinded to sponge placement. The edges of the wound were pulled together so that the inside of the cavity was not exposed during the detection experiments. The second (blinded) surgeon used the wand-scanning device to try to detect the RFID sponge. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: A successful detection was defined as detection of an RFID sponge within 1 minute. We also administered a questionnaire to the surgeon and nurse involved in the detections to assess ease of use. RESULTS: The RFID wand device detected all sponges correctly, in less than 3 seconds on average. There were no false-positive or false-negative results. CONCLUSIONS: We found a detection accuracy of 100% for the RFID wand device. Despite this engineering success, the possibility of human error and retained sponges remains because handheld scanning can be performed incorrectly.

  6. Item level RFID market sizes and growth report: item level tagging is happening faster than many realise


    USINGRFID, 17 July 2006, Vol. , No. , 2pp 2006

    200m item level tags are being used in 2006, mainly for clothing, books and drugs, according to IDTechEx, which predicts a 2007 market value of USD11bn rising to USD26bn in 2016. Anticipated sales of item level radio frequency identification (RFID) applications and markets in 2006 are drugs with 20m, library, laundry and apparel with 65m, pallets and cases with 500m, cards with 285m, tickets and secure documents with 56m, air baggage with 85m, livestock with 50m, car clickers with 46m, passports with 24m, and manufacture health, vehicles and miscellaneous with 159m. RFID increases clothing sales by ensuring shelves are not left empty. Clothing retailer Marks and Spencer will be tagging parts of suits separately to ensure mix and match sizes can be replenished in good time. Essex County Council will use RFID tags in all its libraries. A BGN book store in the Netherlands has tagged every item and Pfizer is tagging every unit of a popular drugs sold in the USA. Average item level tag price in 2006 is USD0.40, compared with USD0.18 for tags for pallets and cases. HF is the preferred frequency for item level tagging, other possibilities include near field UHF tags, printed thin film transistor circuits, printed electronics and surface acoustic wave devices. (

  7. New Tech Takes a 'Toll'

    Bill Zalud.

    Security, Vol. 43, No. 12, Dec. 2006, pp. 54-55.

    There's a shift in the way enterprises view access controls, security management and life safety. While cards and readers continue to pull heavy duty, more often chief security officers center on the power of databases, security video and analytics. Another business trend: the convergence of physical access control with financial and transaction processes that support business bottom lines. And nowhere are these changes more visible than in operations that involve vehicles. Tollways in many states now offer long-range radio frequency identification (RFID) "tags" for vehicles so that cars and commercial vehicles can access the tollway without stopping while also paying for the privilege. Less sophisticated RFID systems act as the access control into office building garages and gate-guarded communities. Some healthcare and government buildings now use security video connected to license plate recognition to permit access.

  8. Prairie Trails deploys wireless RFID system


    Advanced Technology Libraries, vol.35, no.5, pp.8-9, Vol. , No. , May 2006, pp. .

    Checkpoint Systems, Inc. has announced the successful installation of its radio frequency identification (RFID) based Intelligent Library System (ILS) at the Prairie Trails Public Library, Illinois; the first known totally wireless RFID system in a US library. The wireless network was developed by Checkpoint, in association with a specialist in wireless technology, to design a system that has worked flawlessly since its installation. The wireless system provides the library with the flexibility of moving its self-check units to the most convenient areas of the building, even if those locations change over time. DiscMate, Checkpoint's system for securing and circulating CDs and DVDs, is seamlessly integrated into its RFID-based integrated library system (ILS). (Quotes from original text)

  9. Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) Performance: The Effect o f Tag Orientation and Package Contents

    Robert H. Clarke, Diana Twede, Jeffrey R. Tazelaarl and Kenneth K. Boyer.

    Packaging Technology & Science.Vol.19, Vol. , No. , pp. 45-54. Jan.-Feb. 2006, no. 1.

    The objective of this research was to determine the relationship between different product types and tag orientations on the readability of RFID tags on shipping containers in a palletload that is driven through a portal type reader. This research finds that the content of packages can dramatically reduce the read rate. Only 25% of the tags on shipping containers containing water filled bottles could be read. Rice filled jars had a higher read rate (80.6%). Even empty boxes did not have a 100% read rate. For the variables without appreciable package contents, only 74-79% of loads had all of their tags read. The orientation of the tag does make a difference, especially when coupled with a filled package between it and the reader antennae. Tags facing outwards, towards the reader antennae, had the highest likelihood of a successful read. When tags for the boxes of water filled bottles were all facing downwards, no tags were read. Supply chain managers need to understand these limitations of the technology and find ways to overcome them before RFID can be successfully implemented in supply chains.

  10. RFID and printed electronics: industry analysts forecast the continuing growth of RFID to be USD10bn in a decade

    D. Savastano.

    Ink World, Vol. 12, No. 5, May 2006, pp. .

    Radio frequency identification (RFID) and printed electronics technology is forecast to grow to USD10bn in the next 10y and it is already used in road toll tags and exhibition security tickets. Wal-Mart, USA, and other major retailers are requiring the RFID tagging of pallets, and this is regarded as a step towards ultimate item-level tagging. Such systems are being trialled in Germany and Dubai. Further developments include refrigerators that recognise expired foods and automatically reorder produce and washing machines that recognise clothing characteristics. A major obstacle is the unit cost of tags. An adhesive tag currently costs 7-10c, which is acceptable for a pallet but excessive for an individual pack. Ink manufacturers are expected to help bring unit costs down, particularly by supplying silver ink used to print antennas. Visa, MasterCard and American Express are expected to require more than 4.5bn RFID cards. China has a forecast requirement for 1bn national ID cards. Item labels are expected to be worth USD10.85bn by 2016 while item tags are expected to be worth USD5.5bn. Sun Chemical, USA, has worked with companies, including formulators and OEMs, to overcome barriers to growth. Markem has developed RFID solutions that are purpose built for production lines and the distribution centres. Other players include Poly IC, Paralec, XINK, OrganicID and InkSure Technologies.

  11. RFID technical tutorial

    Dale R. Thompson.

    Journal of Computing Sciences in Colleges, Vol. 21, No. 5, May 2006, pp. 8-9.

    Radio frequency identification (RFID) uses radio frequency signals to automatically identify objects. RFID is used to pay for gas without going into the store, in automobile immobilizer systems to prevent theft, in toll road systems to automatically pay tolls without stopping, in animal identification, in secure entry cards, and in the supply chain to manage the flow of pallets, cases, and items. Most media accounts of RFID are actually about one form of RFID the electronic product code (EPC) system used by retailers to manage the supply chain. EPC has standardized chip designs and protocols that have enabled the mass production of low-cost passive RFID tags. EPC provides identification of the product to which the EPC tag is attached like a barcode, except that it can be read at a distance and does not require line-of-sight aiming.

  12. RFID Technology and Applications

    B. Nath, F. Reynolds and R. Want.

    IEEE Pervasive Computing, Vol. 5, No. 1, Jan.-Mar. 2006, pp. 22-24.

    Radio frequency identification is a wireless communication technology that lets computers read the identity of inexpensive electronic tags from a distance without requiring a battery in the tags. As RFID technology matures, it will likely unleash a new wave of applications that will exploit inexpensive and highly available automatic identification.

  13. U.S. to issue passports embedded with a chip: new US security passports to be introduced

    S. A. Anderson.

    Wall St.J., Vol. XXIV, No. 134, 10 Aug. 2006, pp. .

    From Monday, 14 August 2006, the USA will begin to issue e-passports, which contain an embedded radio frequency identification (RFID) chip. The chip, mounted inside the back cover of the passport, contains the holder's personal details with a digitised photograph and includes an electronic seal issued by the government to prove authenticity. The State Department has adopted the chip technology to reduce passport forgeries and increase border security. Countries in the U.S. visa waiver program will be required to implement the same technology by October 2006. Customs officials will have special e-passport reader machines to view the encrypted data. Concerns about privacy and data theft are unfounded. Metal fibres built into the document covers prevent the RFID data from being read when the passport is closed. (Short article)

  14. Wandering children


    Computing & Control Engineering Journal, Vol. 17, No. 5, Oct.-Nov. 2006, pp. 2.

    The Brampton Civic Hospital in Ontario, due to open in the autumn of 2007, has ordered a $750,000 RFID system for child 'wander protection'. The system, provided by VeriChip, will enable staff to receive notification remotely of children leaving designated areas via any text-enabled device, including PDAs and wireless phones. Kevin McLaughlin, Chief Executive Officer of VeriChip said, "VeriChip has the potential to play a significant role in providing RFID solutions for people. Our experience in delivering RF locating applications in areas such as infant protection, wander prevention, etc, has enabled us to develop an advanced platform supporting implementation on an enterprise basis:"

  15. Apparel Maker Tags RFID For Kids' Pajamas

    Laurie Sullivan.

    Information Week, No. 1048, 18 July 2005, pp. 26.

    Children's sleepwear with radio-frequency identification tags sewn into the seams is expected to hit stores in early 2006. Made by Lauren Scott California, the nightgowns and pajamas will be one of the first commercial RFID-tagged clothing lines sold in the United States. The PJs are designed to keep kids safe from abductions, says proprietor Lauren Scott, who licensed the RFID technology from SmartWear Technologies Tine a maker of personal-security systems. "You look at these kids and think, 'I would do everything to protect them, '" Scott says. Readers positioned in doorways and windows throughout a house will be able to scan the tags within a 30-foot radius, and an alarm will be triggered when boundaries are breached.

  16. Design considerations and tradeoffs for passive RFID tags

    Faisal A. Hussien, Didem Z. Turker, Rangakrishnan Srinivasan, Mohamed S. Mobarak, Fernando P. Cortes and Edgar Sanchez-Sinencio.

    Proc.SPIE, Vol. SPIE-5837, No. , 2005, pp. 559-570.

    Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) systems are widely used in a variety of tracking, security and tagging applications. Their operation in non line-of- sight environments makes them superior over similar devices such as barcode and infrared tags. RFID systems span a wide range of applications: medical history storage, dental prosthesis tracking, oil drilling pipe and concrete stress monitoring, toll ways services, animal tracking applications, etc. Passive RFID tags generate their power from the incoming signal; therefore, they do not require a power source. Accordingly, minimizing the power consumption and the implementation area are usually the main design considerations. This paper presents a complete analysis on designing a passive RFID tag. A system design methodology is introduced including the main issues and tradeoffs between different design parameters. The uplink modulation techniques used (ASK, PSK, FSK, and PWM) are illustrated showing how to choose the appropriate signaling scheme for a specific data rate, a certain distance of operation and a limited power consumption budget. An antenna system (transmitter and receiver) is proposed providing the maximum distance of operation with the transmitted power stated by FCC regulations. The backscatter modulation scheme used in the downlink is shown whether to be ASK-BM or PSK-BM and the differences between them are discussed. The key building blocks such as the charge pump, voltage reference, and the regulator used to generate the DC supply voltage from the incoming RF signal are discussed along with their design tradeoffs. A complete architecture for a passive RFID tag is provided as an example to illustrate the proposed RFID tag design methodology.

  17. Development of automatic system for monitoring fishing effort in conger-eel tube fishery using radio frequency identification and global positioning system

    Keiichi Uchida, Nobuaki Arai, Kazuyuki Moriya, Yoshinori Miyamoto, Toshiharu Kakihara and Tadashi Tokai.

    Fisheries Science, Vol.71, No.5, pp. 992-1002. Oct 2005

  18. Dhl Plans Rfid Tags for Every Package it Ships

    Laurie Sullivan.

    Information Week, No. 1043, 13 June 2005, pp. 34.

    DHL INTERNATIONAL GMBH THIS MONTH starts developing a global IT infrastructure that will let it affix a radio-frequency identification tag on every package it ships by 2015. The goal: gain tighter control of shipments, cut costs, and improve operating performance by reducing paperwork and data collection. DHL's plan to tag every package it handles is a lofty one since the transportation and logistics arm of Deutsche Post World Net ships more than a billion packages a year. This week at DHL's Brussels facility, rep resentatives from the company's 8,000 employee IT-services division plan to join marketing, purchasing, and operations staff to discuss how the company needs to change its global IT infrastructure to support

  19. Effects of metallic plate size on the performance of microstrip patch-type tag antennas for passive RFID

    L. Ukkonen, L. Sydanheimo and M. Kivikoski.

    IEEE Antennas and Wireless Propagation Letters, Vol. 4, 2005, pp. 410-413.

    Metallic objects are challenging for passive ultra high frequency (UHF) spectrum radio frequency identification (RFID) systems due to the effects of conductive materials on tag antenna performance. In this letter, we analyze the effects of metallic plate size on the performance of microstrip patch-type tag antennas. Microstrip patch antennas with regular ground plane and electromagnetic band gap (EBG) ground plane are studied attached to two differently sized metallic plates. Analysis is based on finite element method (FEM) simulations and practical read-range measurements.

  20. Electronic tags for eggs, sperm and embryos

    Shaoni Bhattacharya.

    New Scientist; 186 (2493) 2 Apr 2005, Vol. 186, No. 2493, pp.23

    In a bid to prevent some of the mistakes that have taken place in the course of in vitro fertilization (IVF) treatment, the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) is considering labelling all the containers of embryos, eggs and sperm with bar codes or radio frequency identification (RFID) tags. The idea is that an alarm will sound if containers with the wrong eggs and sperm are brought close to one another or if a doctor attempts to collect the wrong embryo to implant into a recipient. (Quotes from original text)

  21. An Ethical Exploration of Privacy and Radio Frequency Identification

    Alan R. Peslak.

    Journal of Business Ethics, Vol. 59, No. 4, July 2005, pp. 327-345.

    This manuscript reviews the background of radio frequency identification (RFID) as well as the ethical foundations of individual privacy. This includes a historical perspective on personal privacy, a review of the United States Constitutional privacy interpretations, the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights, European Union regulations, as well as the positions of industry and advocacy groups. A brief review of the information technology ethics literature is also included. The RFID privacy concerns are three-fold: presales activities, sales transaction activities, and postsales uses. A proposal to address these privacy concerns is detailed, generally based on past philosophical frameworks and specifically on the Fair Information Practices that the Federal Trade Commission has outlined for the electronic marketplace. (edited)

  22. The hidden secret of the 5-cent RFID tag: the falling cost of smart labels

    M. Palmer.

    Prod.Image Secur., Vol. 8, No. 7, Jan.-Feb. 2005

    The effective cost of an RFID tag needs to be evaluated in the context of overall business processes and benefits as well as tag costs. Although production costs are expected to decline as the technology is taken up more widely, some industry experts predict that even simple tags will never fall to USD0.05. Tags may be passive, active or semi-active. Passive tags have no internal power source and rely on the radio frequency energy from the reader to activate the transmission of their identity. Some passive tags are encoded once only but others can be recoded for reuse. Active tags have more complexity, contain their own power source and can transmit signals over greater distances. Passive tags with a 12 byte tag code, such as those mandated by Wal-Mart, currently cost about USD0.22 in quantities of 100,000. Active tags range from a few USD to a few hundred USD each. Data can be rewritten dynamically on the more sophisticated, active tags which enables them to be reused many times. Even simple, passive tags can be recycled. When reuse is taken into the equation, the effective cost/tag falls dramatically. RFID use is enabling some companies to make large cost savings. (2 fig)

  23. Homeland Security to Test Rfid at Borders

    Eric Chabrow.

    Information Week, No. 1024, 31 Jan. 2005, pp. 26.

    THE DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY is experimenting with radio-frequency identification technology to track foreigners as they enter and leave the country. The agency hopes the technology will improve border management without delaying travelers. RFID tags will be tested at a simulated port this spring, then at border crossings in Arizona, New York, and Washington state from July through spring 2006. "Through the use of radio-frequency technology, we see the potential to not only improve the security of our country, but also to make the most important infrastructure enhancements to the U.S. land borders in more than 50 years," said Asa Hutchinson, Homeland Security's undersecretary for border and transportation security, in a statement last week.

  24. On ID Tech FYI on RFID

    John Menzel.

    Security, Vol. 42, No. 9, Sept. 2005, pp. 34,36.

    Radio frequency identification (RFID) devices cover a wide range of frequencies and applications. By definition, RFID is a technology that incorporates the use of electromagnetic or electrostatic coupling in the radio frequency portion of the electromagnetic spectrum to uniquely identify an object, animal or person. It is increasingly used in many industries as an alternative to barcode and magnetic stripe technologies. The advantage of RFID is that it does not require direct contact or line-of-sight scanning. An RFID system consists of three main components: antenna, transceiver (usually combined into one reader) and a transponder (tag). The antenna employs RF waves to transmit a signal that activates the transponder. When activated, the tag sends data back to the antenna. The data is used to notify a programmable logic controller that some form of action should occur. This action could be as simple as opening an access point, such as a door or gate, or as complicated as interfacing with a database to carry out a payment transaction.

  25. Radio-frequency identification: its potential in healthcare


    Health devices, Vol. 34, No. 5, May 2005, pp. 149-160.

    Radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology is just starting to make inroads into healthcare. RFID uses radio-frequency tags attached to people or objects to provide identification, tracking, security, and other functions that fall under the general heading of automatic identification and data capture (AIDC). In the retail supply chain, RFID is already well established as a way to reduce theft and track objects from manufacture through shipment to delivery. In healthcare, basic RFID is already being used to track patients for anti-elopement and anti-abduction programs. As more sophisticated systems move into hospitals, RFID is also beginning to see use to provide more extensive patient identification than traditional bar coding can, and to track and locate capital equipment within the hospital. In years to come, RFID could be used for a variety of applications, including tracking and matching blood for transfusions, tracking pharmaceuticals, and combating the counterfeiting of medical products. RFID may ultimately be used for many of the functions currently carried out using bar coding--but not until the cost of RFID comes down. For the foreseeable future, the two technologies are likely to be used in tandem in many hospitals. In this article, we describe the components and operation of RFID systems and detail the different ways in which these systems are being used, and could be used, in hospitals.

  26. Researchers try to build a better RFID reader

    Ben Ames.

    Military and Aerospace Electronics, Vol. 16, No. 1, Jan. 2005, pp. 1, 10.

    OAK RIDGE, TENN. - The new year marks the dawn of new technology in military logistics. Pentagon leaders are requiring radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags for most materials delivered to the U.S. Department of Defense after Jan. 1, 2005. That order today applies only to food, clothing, repair parts, and weapons components, but will grow to include everything else by Jan. 1, 2007. RFID tags come in two flavors - active and passive. Passive tags are inexpensive and have no batteries, so users must hold a tag reader within three meters of the target. In contrast, active tags cost more but use onboard batteries to beam data to distant data readers up to 100 meters away. Today, cost-conscious shippers use passive tags for everything but 40-foot shipping containers and valuable items like battlefield vehicles.

  27. RFID Tags Signal A Growing Market

    Steve Gold.

    CircuiTree, Vol. 18, No. 10, Oct. 2005, pp. 39, 40, 42.

    If you haven't heard of RFID tags yet, you probably haven't heard of Wal-Mart, either. Simply put, radio frequency identification (RFID) is a generic term for technologies that use radio waves to automatically identify products. There are several methods of identification, but the most common is to store a serial number that identifies the product, and perhaps other information, on a PCB attached to an antenna (the small circuit board and antenna together are called an RFID transponder, or an RFID tag). The antenna enables the PCB to transmit the identification information to a reader. The reader then converts the radio waves reflected back from the RFID tag into digital information that can be passed on to computers to make use of it.

  28. Silver Antennas Keep 'Smart Tags' In Touch

    Samuel Etris.

    Silver News, Third Quarter 2005, pp. 3.

    From grocery items to pre-paid toll gizmos, Radio Frequency Identification or RFID devices are coming on in a big way. Not only are these tiny 'smart tags' fast replacing bar codes at the checkout counter, but they're being used to prevent shoplifting, trigger warehouse inventory counts and will soon make an appearance imbedded in credit cards and passports. RFID devices are usually passive - there's no battery power - and are energized by radio signals from a transmitter generally located a few feet away. The tag responds to the signal by sending its own information identifying the product. At the heart of the device is a computer-type chip, but it relies on a flat, silver antenna to send and receive data.

  29. Technology Primer: Radio Frequency Identification

    National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Ctr (NLECTC), 2277 Research Boulevard, Mail Stop 8J, Rockville, MD 20850.


    This article explains the technology and current and potential criminal justice and homeland security uses of radio frequency identification (RFID)--a wireless communications technology that enables users to authenticate, locate, and track objects or people tagged with a unique identifier. An RFID system has three basic components: tags, which contain tiny semiconductor chips and miniaturized antennas inside some form of packaging; readers, which are composed of an antenna that communicates with the RFID tags and an electronics module networked to the host computer; and a host computer, which processes the data readers collect from the tags. Correctional facilities in California, Michigan, Illinois, and Ohio are already using an RFID tracking system. Transmitters worn by inmates and officers send unique radio signals every 2 seconds, enabling the system to pinpoint the wearer's location and track and record inmate and staff movements in the facility. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security uses RFID technology to improve security at U.S. borders and ports of entry. RFID technology can locate, track, and authenticate the movements of people and objects as they enter and depart the United States. Under the Container Security Initiative announced in 2002, gamma or X-ray imaging and radiation detection equipment is being used to examine cargo containers before they are shipped to the United States. Although law enforcement agencies have not made extensive use of RFID technology because of privacy concerns, applications have been in three main areas: evidence handling and property control, tracking stolen vehicles, and enhancing officer safety by tracking officers' locations throughout their shifts. Privacy concerns have focused on secret and intrusive uses of RFID that jeopardize individual privacy, reduce or eliminate consumer anonymity, and threaten civil liberties. These issues are being addressed by legislators.

  30. Tuning into RFID

    David A. Kelly.

    Oracle Magazine, Vol. 19, No. 3, May-June 2005, pp. 34-39.

    RFID, or radio frequency identification, is a system for tracking and identifying items through a combination of tags placed on the items to be tracked and readers that interrogate those tags (via radio waves) at appropriate points in a business process. RFID tags contain tiny integrated circuits that have small antennae for communicating with the RFID readers as well as the ability to store identification information. Although many companies are investing in RFID as a replacement or extension of traditional bar coding processes, there are many differences: RFID-tagged items hold more information. can be read in bulk (for example, a pallet of items can be read all at once), and do not require direct line of sight with the RFID reader to transfer information (because it's sent via radio waves).

  31. Casinos lead the chip revolution

    Jeff Hecht.

    New Scientist, Vol. 181, No. 2429, 10 Jan 2004, pp. 21.

    A new generation of casino chips with built-in radio frequency identification (RFID) tags is providing insight into the way banks and shops could keep track of real money if it were tagged in the way that the European Central Bank is rumoured to be considering. The RFID-tagged chips will be launched in 2004 and will allow casino operators to spot counterfeits and thefts and also to monitor the behaviour of gamblers. (Quotes from original text)

  32. Implantable Radio-Frequency Identification Device Shows Promise for; Health Care Uses


    Internet Medicine, Vol. 9, No. 2, 3, February, 2004 2004, pp. 1.

    Verichip, the world's first subdermal radio frequency identification (RFID) device, has many potential applications for healthcare and other fields. The technology is similar to the instruments used for many years to identify animals. The device is a chip the size of a grain of rice, which is implanted, usually in the triceps between the elbow and shoulder in an outpatient procedure under local anesthesia. Once inserted, it is invisible to the naked eye. A material called Biobind prevents the chip from migrating. Each Verichip has a unique verification number, which is read by passing a scanner over the implantation site. The Verichip emits a radio frequency signal that transmits the verification number. The number is displayed on the scanner and is transmitted to a secure data storage site by telephone or via the Internet. The information stored in the database is under the patient's control--the patient chooses what personal information will be included. Verichip applications include medical identification; emergency access to patient-supplied health information; portable medical records; in-hospital patient identification; patient/therapy integration; inter-facility patient identification; and disease/treatment management of at-risk populations. There are three main applications of this microchip technology: Verimed, the application that accesses patient medical history; Veripay, a secondary means of identification to help in preventing identity theft; and VeriGuard, a security application. The VeriMed application is awaiting Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval, but VeriGuard and Veripay are available in the marketplace. The healthcare-related applications of Verichip are already being promoted in countries such as Mexico, where regulatory requirements are not as stringent as in the U.S.

  33. Radio-frequency-identification for security and media circulation in libraries

    Christian Kern.

    Electronic Library, Vol. 22, No. 4, 2004, pp. 317-324.

    Radio frequency identification (RFID) systems have been in use in libraries for five years for book identification, for self-checkout, for anti-theft control, for inventory control, and for sorting and conveying of library books and AV materials. These applications can lead to significant savings in labour costs, enhance customer service, and lower book theft and can provide a constant record update of media collections. In this paper the components and technical features of a modern RFID library system are described to provide a guideline for the evaluation of different systems. A short report of three installations in Europe (one university library and two public libraries) is also provided. It is noted that an important point is that non-proprietary systems can be used for libraries today since the new generation of RFID-chips with the ISO standard 15693 are available. With this technology libraries are not dependent on one company for their lifeline. (Original abstract)

  34. RFID Tags: Big Brother in a Small Device

    Douglas Page.

    August 2004, Law Enforcement Technology, vol. 31, no. 8, pp. 130 - 133

    This article envisions how RFID (radio frequency identification) tags, which emit unique identifying codes when read by special scanners, might be used in criminal justice contexts, as well as by private entities; related privacy issues are discussed. RFID is an emerging technology that is packaged in tiny tags or devices that can be as small as a grain of rice. Distinctive information can be written to RFID devices and retrieved by RFID scanners. In corrections, RFID wristbands could be used to track inmates and debit inmate accounts each time a purchase is made from the commissary. In the public safety arena, RFID tags could be used to automate vehicle registration compliance, trace and track contraband, detect counterfeit, and locate missing children. Privacy groups are concerned, however, that RFID devices could be used by private organizations as well as government agencies to track individuals without their knowledge. When placed by manufacturers or retailers in their products, it enables them to trace consumers by matching a surreptitious scan of a product after it has been purchased to purchase records, thus obtaining consumer contact information. Police might use a drive-by scan of houses to detect RFID information hidden in certain products that might be related to criminal activity, such as guns and ingredients for making bombs and methamphetamine. Federal law may be needed in order to regulate the use of RFID devices in various contexts.

  35. RFID technology using active or passive tags - a very hot issue

    Adrian Hawley.

    Traffic Engineering + Control, Vol. 45, No. 9, Oct. 2004, pp. 324-326.

    The use of RFID (radio frequency identification) technology will be familiar to anyone who drives regularly on the continent or who has used the new M6 toll road. This article discusses a new development in electronic tagging, the electronic number plate or e-Plate), which could be used to replace or complement conventional ANPR (automatic number plate recognition) deployments. This active broadcast tag is embedded in the number plate and has a range of over 100 metres and a wide field of view. It is self-powered with its own built-in battery, with a life of up to 10 years, and can be programmed with any suitable identifier.

  36. RFID gives impulse to screen printing: a simple and effective way of producing radio frequency identification labels

    W. Zoomer.

    Silk Screen, Vol. 51, no. 4, pp 29-32 2002, pp. .

    Within the foreseeable future, all products bought in a supermarket will be scanned in the trolley at the exit, by means of a radio frequency identification signal and the product data will be sent to a computer which will generate a receipt. RFID makes it possible to send information contact free over a small distance. Applications will include automatic entry supervision for buildings and parking, registration and checking of progress of postal packages, central car door locking, anti-theft systems, registration and administration of library loans, luggage handling at airports, protection of products against theft. RFID is based on the closed loop principle. The system consists of apparatus with an aerial, sensitive to the particular radio signal and a sender/receiver with decoder. The RFID label, attached to the product, is approximately the size of a credit card. A coiled aerial is placed on the transponder, connected to a chip, containing the unique information on the product. Combined with a sender/receiver it is called reader and can send radio waves in ranges from centimetres to several hundred metres. RFID tags can be active or passive. Active tags contain a ultra thin battery, giving a reading distance of many metres. The chip is a read/write type. One application is the toll booth on motorways. Passive RFID tags have no battery or chip, with lower reading distance and long life. They are read only. Three frequencies for RFID are permitted in Europe. Active systems operate on 125kHz and 2.45GHz and passive systems mostly with 13.56MHz. The aerial is made of metal, generally copper, with minimum electrical resistance. It can be made from copper or aluminium foil, laminated onto polyester film and etched out. This is an expensive process. The magnetic field sent by the reader creates a low voltage in the aerial. The chip responds, or the tag responds by means of a resonance signal. RFID aerials can be made by screen printing. Aerials are very flexible, and can be bent over 180deg without loss of function. It can be applied onto polyester, PVC or paper. It needs inks with good conduction, for example silver or graphite inks. Developments in the area of screen printable conducting polymers use Polymer Thick Film (PTF) inks. Silver inks have the lowest resistance and copper is not suitable because of oxidation.(4 fig, 1 tab)

  37. On the right wavelength

    Vanessa Houlder.

    Financial Times; 21 Jan 97, Vol. , No. , p.15 1997

    The use of radio based mini computers as a labelling technique is known as radio frequency identification, or RFID, which is now finding its way into a growing range of industrial and commercial applications. It is well established in applications such as locking cars, tagging animals, monitoring curfewed offenders, charging motorists on toll roads and marking railway containers. Nearly half of all RFID equipment is used in the transport industry.

  38. What can packaging tell us?


    Missets Pakblad, Vol. 18, No. 3, Mar. 1996

    The use of radio-frequency identification (RF-ID) as an identification technique is well known for animal identification, shop anti-theft systems, entry control and logistics applications. The technique is based on the detection of radio waves emitted by a transponder placed in the object to be identified, such as a packaging label. An antenna located remotely from the transponder picks up the unique radio wave signal emitted and this is interrogated by computer. Most RF-ID systems are based on the inductive principle but the microwave principle is also used. Most transponders contain an integrated circuit but only those to which the EEP ROM or RAM technique is applied can both read and write to the chip. A disadvantage of the RF-ID technique is that it cannot read labels screened by metal objects, such as those between cans. (1 tab, 2 fig)