Network and Telecommunications Concepts I/360
Ms. Marjorie Marque
December 5, 2005
RFID: A Broad Overview
Radio Frequency Identification is part of the expansive category of automatic identification technologies. Auto-ID technologies include bar codes, optical character readers and others, such as retinal scans. So what is RFID and what can this technology be used for? Radio Frequency IDentification (RFID) is a system consisting of a tag, a reader and any particular form of electronic data processing equipment, such as a computer (see Tag below). The system is fairly simple to operate. Unlike bar codes, which must be close to the scanner for reading, encoded signals from the tag and the reader are wirelessly transmitted through radio waves across greater distances. RFID not only has the advantage of longer read distances, it also has the ability to read through dirt, rain, snow, fog, direct sunlight and non-metallic objects. RFID can be used to identify, track and sort a wide variety of objects.
This technology has recently had an impact on so many companies that the majority of people would presume the RFID proposals are new. Conversely, research indicates that RFID technology appears to have had its grass roots in World War II. According to the RFID Journal, Germans discovered the radio signals were changed as they were reflected back to the base after bouncing off planes rolling in the air. This method would alert the radar crew on the ground that the plane was friend or foe and, as such, was the first passive RFID system (2005). In 1932, the British invented the IFF transponder under Watson-Watt. It was the first active system to identify friend of foe (IFF). The paper, entitled "Communication by Means of Reflected Power" (Proceedings of the IRE, pp1196-1204, October 1948) by Harry Stockman, is seen as a landmark in the development of RFID technology and has lead to much... [continues]
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