RFID stands for Radio-Frequency Identification and it uses radio waves to capture as well as read information that is stored on tags that are specially attached to any object. These tags can be read from even a few feet away and it does not have to be in the line of sight for the reader to keep track of it. There are many different types of RFID tags. The main difference is whether or not there is an external power source. For apparel tags and stickers, there is no power source, for that reason, the chips are small and able to be inserted in the tags and stickers.
RFID technology has been used for many years in items such as the key less entry to cars, toll road readers, credit cards, cell phones and Bluetooth devices and warehouses use the technology for logistics. RFID can be used in telling the condition and location of an object. The tag can then be read using a reader. Numerous applications for this technology include supply chain management, authentication of pharmaceuticals and keeping track of assets. It is now becoming more mainstream and cost effective to use on many items like apparel and home goods. Someday soon, consumers will be able to add garments to their shopping carts and leave the store. Your bank will be notified of the purchase amount and it will be deducted from your account.
Why RFID Is Used
The RFID technology is not only great for individuals but also for large businesses. It helps in protecting consumer lives and revolutionizes the ways in which businesses conduct their operations. RFID happens to be an extremely flexible technology for auto-identification and can be used for automatically monitoring and tracking the physical world with utmost accuracy.
Application Of The Technology
RFID can be used to help with the following activities:
- Automating asset-tracking and inventory in manufacturing, healthcare, business sectors and retail
- Decreasing business revenue that is lost to inaccurate accounting of goods or theft
- Enabling access control of certain devices or areas
- Identifying sources of products, thereby enabling recall of dangerous or defective items such as defective toys, tainted foods, and compromised or expired medication
- Improving shopping experiences for consumers with easier returns and less out-of-stock items
- Preventing the use of counterfeit products in supply chain
- Providing greater visibility in supply chain, thereby yielding more effective distribution channels and reducing business costs
- Wirelessly locking, unlocking, and configuring electronic devices
Is RFID Better Than Barcodes?
Yes, it definitely is! The best thing about RFID is that there is no need to position it precisely in relation to the scanner. In many of the instances, we have found store clerks to face difficult while making sure the barcode is read. Other than barcodes, ATM cards and credit cards need to be swiped across a special reader. RFID, on the other hand, will work from even a distance of as much as 20 feet in the case of high frequency devices. No matter what the application is, RFID has great potential in increasing operation efficiency, decreasing the need for relying on manual processes, providing useful data in the case of business analytics, reducing operation costs, and improving asset traceability and visibility.
Many national retail chains such as Target, Lord & Taylor, Walmart and Kohls have already implemented RFID tags and stickers with countless others to follow.