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A

SEMINAR REPORT
ON

RFID TECHNOLOGY
Submitted in partial fulfillment for the award of the degree
BACHELOR OF TECHNOLOGY

IN
ELECTRONICS & COMMUNICATION ENGINEERING
SUBMITTED TO:
ECE. DEPARTMENT

SUBMITTED BY:
SUMIT KUMAR
1809640

HARYANA ENGINEERING COLLEGE


JAGADHRI
KURUKSHETRA UNIVERSITY, KURUKSHETRA

INTRODUCTION
Radio frequency identification (RFID) system is a flexible technology that is convenient, easy to
use and well suited for automatic operation. It combines advantages not available with other
identification technologies.
RFID does not require contact or line of sight to operate, can function under a variety of
environmental conditions, and provides a high level of data integrity. In addition, since the
technology is difficult to counterfeit, RFID provides a high level of security.
adio-frequency identification (RFID) is the use of a wireless non-contact system that uses radiofrequency electromagnetic fields to transfer data from a tag attached to an object, for the
purposes of automatic identification and tracking. Some tags require no battery and are powered
and read at short ranges via magnetic fields (electromagnetic induction). Others use a local
power source and emit radio waves (electromagnetic radiation at radio frequencies). The tag
contains electronically stored information which may be read from up to several meters away.
Unlike a bar code, the tag does not need to be within line of sight of the reader and may be
embedded in the tracked object.
RFID tags are used in many industries. An RFID tag attached to an automobile during production
can be used to track its progress through the assembly line. Pharmaceuticals can be tracked
through warehouses. Livestock and pets may have tags injected, allowing positive identification
of the animal.
Since RFID tags can be attached to clothing, possessions, or even implanted within people, the
possibility of reading personally-linked information without consent has raised privacy concerns.

Barcode readers require a direct line of sight to the printed barcode; RFID readers do not require
a direct line of sight. This applies to passive RFID tags & RFID solutions supplied by RFID
manufacturers which can be customised to cater to RFID India market.
RFID tags can be read at much greater distances; an RFID reader can pull information from a tag
at distances up to 50 feet. Xtenna based RFID Systems can read RFID tags from larger distances.
The range to read a barcode is much less, typically no more than five to ten feet. The long read
ranges have been demonstrated in RFID India market.
RFID readers have an inherent capability to read, RFID tags much faster. RFID readers that
support Dense Reader Module have the capacity to read upto 40 tags per second. Reading
barcodes is a time-consuming matter. This is on account of a direct line of sight which is
required. In some cases, if the items are not properly organised w.r.t the reader it may take
seconds to read an individual tag. Barcode readers tend to take a half-second or more to
successfully complete a read. RFID India market requires faster RFID tag read rates due to larger
quantities/ volumes required to be processed & read.
One of the biggest limitations associated with bar codes is line of sight which limits the
ruggedness of barcodes . It also results in limiting reusability factor for barcodes. (On account of
line of sight, the printed label strip for barcode must be exposed at all times for the product, as a
result of which it is subject to greater wear and tear.) However RFID tags are far more rugged,
since the RFID chip is better encased in a plastic cover. RFID tags can also be embedded in the
product itself, thereby ensuring greater ruggedness and reusability. RFID solutions require
rugged RFID tags. Rugged RFID solutions are required by library rfid, rfid retail, RFID Asset
Tracking & RFID Supply Chain.
With Barcodes, it would not be possible to exercise read & write capability, in other words,
information or data cannot be added onto a printed barcode label. This is however possible with
RFID tags wherein you can read, write, re-write & lock data or information thereby making it
possible for the RFID reader to communicate with the tag. RFID India market requires such
RFID tags wherein information or data can be stored.
RFID technology in India can be deployed for a variety of applications such as library rfid, rfid
retail, rfid asset tracking, rfid livestock & rfid supply chain.

What is RFID
RFID = Radio Frequency IDentification.
An ADC (Automated Data Collection) technology
that:
uses radiofrequency
waves to transfer data between
a reader and a movable item to identify, categorize,
track..
Is fast and does not require physical sight or contact between reader/scanner and
the tagged item.
Performs the operation using low cost components.
Attempts to provide unique identification and backend
integration that allows for wide range of applications.

History
In 1945 Lon Theremin invented an espionage tool for the Soviet Union which retransmitted
incident radio waves with audio information. Sound waves vibrated a diaphragm which slightly
altered the shape of the resonator, which modulated the reflected radio frequency. Even though
this device was a covert listening device, not an identification tag, it is considered to be a
predecessor of RFID technology, because it was likewise passive, being energized and activated
by waves from an outside source.
Similar technology, such as the IFF transponder developed in the United Kingdom, was routinely
used by the allies in World War II to identify aircraft as friend or foe. Transponders are still used
by most powered aircraft to this day. Another early work exploring RFID is the landmark 1948
paper by Harry Stockman, titled "Communication by Means of Reflected Power" (Proceedings
of the IRE, pp 11961204, October 1948). Stockman predicted that "... considerable research and
development work has to be done before the remaining basic problems in reflected-power
communication are solved, and before the field of useful applications is explored."
Mario Cardullo's device, patented on January 23, 1973, was the first true ancestor of modern
RFID, as it was a passive radio transponder with memory. The initial device was passive,
powered by the interrogating signal, and was demonstrated in 1971 to the New York Port
Authority and other potential users and consisted of a transponder with 16 bit memory for use as
a toll device. The basic Cardullo patent covers the use of RF, sound and light as transmission
media. The original business plan presented to investors in 1969 showed uses in transportation
(automotive vehicle identification, automatic toll system, electronic license plate, electronic
manifest, vehicle routing, vehicle performance monitoring), banking (electronic check book,
electronic credit card), security (personnel identification, automatic gates, surveillance) and
medical (identification, patient history).

An early demonstration of reflected power (modulated backscatter) RFID tags, both passive and
semi-passive, was performed by Steven Depp, Alfred Koelle, and Robert Freyman at the Los
Alamos National Laboratory in 1973. The portable system operated at 915 MHz and used 12-bit
tags. This technique is used by the majority of today's UHFID and microwave RFID tags.
The first patent to be associated with the abbreviation RFID was granted to Charles Walton in
1983
Design
A radio-frequency identification system uses tags, or labels attached to the objects to be
identified. Two-way radio transmitter-receivers called interrogators or readers send a signal to
the tag and read its response. The readers generally transmit their observations to a computer
system running RFID software or RFID middleware.
RFID systems typically come in three configurations. One is a Passive Reader Active Tag
(PRAT) system that has a passive reader which only receives radio signals from active tags
(battery operated, transmit only). The reception range of a PRAT system reader can be adjusted
from 1-2,000 feet. Thereby allowing for great flexibility in applications such as asset protection
and supervision. Another configuration is an Active Reader Passive Tag (ARPT) system that has
an active reader, which transmits interrogator signals and also receives authentication replies
from passive tags. Finally, there is the Active Reader Active Tag (ARAT) system in which active
tags are awoken with an interrogator signal from the active reader. A variation of this system
could also use a Battery Assisted Passive (BAP) tag which acts like a passive tag but has a small
battery to power the tag's return reporting signal.

RFID tags can be either passive, active or battery assisted passive. An active tag has an on-board
battery and periodically transmits its ID signal. A battery assisted passive (BAP) has a small
battery on board and is activated when in the presence of a RFID reader. A passive tag is cheaper
and smaller because it has no battery. Instead, the tag uses the radio energy transmitted by the
reader as its energy source. The interrogator must be close for RF field to be strong enough to
transfer sufficient power to the tag. Since tags have individual serial numbers, the RFID system
design can discriminate several tags that might be within the range of the RFID reader and read
them simultaneously.
Tags may either be read-only, having a factory-assigned serial number that is used as a key into a
database, or may be read/write, where object-specific data can be written into the tag by the
system user. Field programmable tags may be write-once, read-multiple; "blank" tags may be
written with an electronic product code by the user.
The tag's information is stored electronically in a non-volatile memory. The RFID tag includes a
small RF transmitter and receiver. An RFID reader transmits an encoded radio signal to
interrogate the tag. The tag receives the message and responds with its identification information.
This may be only a unique tag serial number, or may be product-related information such as a
stock number, lot or batch number, production date, or other specific information.RFID tags
contain at least two parts: an integrated circuit for storing and processing information,
modulating and demodulating a radio-frequency (RF) signal, collecting DC power from the
incident reader signal, and other specialized functions; and an antenna for receiving and
transmitting the signal.
Fixed readers are set up to create a specific interrogation zone which can be tightly controlled.
This allows a highly defined reading area for when tags go in and out of the interrogation zone.
Mobile readers may be hand-held or mounted on carts or vehicles.
2.

ISSUES FACED BY LIBRARIES:

Nowadays libraries are facing following issues:

Rising labour costs

Need to improve customer service

Increased material handling time/cost

Increasing theft of CDs, DVDs and books

Mis-shelved books

Poor inventory accuracy

Lack of security arrangements

3.

COMPONENTS OF RFID SYSTEM:

A basic RFID system consists of the following physical components:

An RFID device (transponder or tag) that contains data about


an item/bookAntennas or sensors used to transmit the RF signals between reader (server)and
the RFID deviceA reader (server) to receive and decode the information ,and
To communicate with automated library system.

3.1 Transponder/tag:
Historically an RFID device that did not actively transmit to a reader was known as tag . An
RFID that actively transmitted information to a reader was known as a transponder
(TRANSmitter+resPONDER). However, it has become common within the industry to
interchange the terminology and refer to these devices as either tags or transponder. The tags are
programmed with data that identifies the item to which the tag is attached. Tags can be read
only, volatile read/write, or write once/ read many (worm). It can be either active or passive.
RFID comes in variety of shapes and sizes.
The active RFID tags are powered by a battery and are typically read/write, tag data can be
rewritten and/or modified. Active tags memory size varies according application requirements;
some system state with up to 1MB of memory. Tag has three memory components:

Item identification (bar code) number.

Security bit that is turned off and on as the item is checked out or checked in.

Variable memory that can be used for sorting.

A typical read/write RFID work in process system, a tag might give a machine a set of
instructions, and the machine would then report its performance to tag. This enclosed data
would then become the tagged parts history. The battery-supplied power of an active tag
generally gives it a longer read range. Figure shows the front view and back view of an RFID
tag. Each passive thin tag contains a microchip with a capacity of least 96 bits .The tags can be
permanently activated or they can be read/write. In the former case, the tag usually continues
only a unique identifier for the item.With read write tags other information can be stored up to
the capacity of the tag . This information can be changed.

3.2

ANTENNAS:

A typical RFID system includes several different kinds of antennas, also known as sensors,
interrogators or reader. These are radio frequency devices designed to detect and read the
intelligent tags to obtain the information stored thereon. The antennas generate a field of power
to read the tags with in the range. Each tag generates its own signal for its unique data. The
antennae can be used for the circulation desk check-out, book return check in and long range
walkthrough devices to detect and interrogate an RFID tag passage for purposes of determining
whether it is checked or unchecked i.e.(authorized/no alarm or unaut -horised/alarm)event, it is
also possible to read a no of items on the shelve for purpose of locating missing or misplaced
items using a portable hand hold scanning gun.
Circulation desk check out units (equipment to charge and discharge the tags) can be placed on
the circulation counter or built in. Discharg -ing can be done on the same units, or on one or
more dedicated units away from the service counter.
3.3 server:
The server is a heart of the comprehensive RFID system .it is the communication gateway
among the various components. It receives the information from the antennas and exchange
information with the circu lation database. Its software should include the application program

-ming interface necessary to link it with the automated library system. The server should
typically include a transaction database so that the reports can be produced.
4. USE OF RFID SYSTEM:
The RFID system reduces the amount of time require to perform the circulation operations.The
most significant time savings are attributable to the fact that several items in the stack can be
grabbed at the same time.The one problem that remains is of the books on which the tag is not
pasted correctly or the data in the tags is not filled correctly .The other time saving realized by
the staff modest unless the RFID tags repl
aces both the bar codes or rf tags (used in older theft detection systems)
And bar codes used by the automated library system.the RFID system is a comprehensive
system which combines circulation and security appli -cation. Security gate with exit control,
work as interface to the circul ation system that can identify the items moving out of the
library.
The greatest advantage of RFID tracking system is their ability to scan books on shelves
without tipping them out or removing them Hand held inventory recorder can be moved rapidly
across the shelves of books to collect all of the unique identification information from the tags.
Using wireless technology, it is possible to not only to update the inventory, but also to identify
the items, which are out of order.With the up coming better detector it would be possible to
locate the book inside the library by sitting on circulation desk and then guide the user to it.This
can in a way, over come the problem of depth classification or shelving of books by call number
in a library system as the book can be easily traced from large collection of documents and can
be automatically sorted shelved and retrived,as and when desired.

LIBRARIES RFID SYSTEM IN:

The RFID system in libraries can have three components:

Labels and hard tags- electronic sensors that are attached to the documents.

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Equipments/gadget to deactivate and detach- used at the circulation table to electronically


deactivate labels as books are issued or detach tag if needed ; and

Detectors that create surveillance zone at exits or checkout aisles.

The surveillance begins by attaching labels or hard tags to the document. When a book is
issued, the label is deactivated.However, if document with an active label or hard tag carried
past the detector security gate, an alarm sounds.
5.1 TAG FUNCTIONALITY:
Some tags can only be written to once that is, once the tag is programmed, the information
stored in the tags memory cant be changed. Alternatively, information stored in the memory of
read/write tags can be used as required & these are the tags suitable for library uses for regular
automated circulation job pooled with security. Almost all RFID tags of the recent time in the
library market are also available with the feature of anti collision i.e.the reader has the ability to
read several tags simultaneously. However, the performance of tags varies depending upon
speed at which this can be performed by server and the total no. Of tags can be read.

5.2 ELECTRONIC DOCUMENT SURVEILLANCE MECHANISM:


As motioned, RFID system can be used to prevent theft in the library. The security mechanism
may be integrated into the chip itself, or security gates may be linked to a separate server, which
interrogates the database to conclude whether an alarm to be triggered. Electronic documents
surveillance is a system that protects books, CDs, micro films
Etc. , from undesirable social activities , such as theft hiding of books , or dislocation from their
proper shelf .
The physics of a particular tag & resultant surveillance technology determines which frequency
range is used to create the surveillance area.
The system ranges from very low frequencies through the radio frequency range.

11

RFID CYCLE AT LIBRARY:

6.1. TAGGING IN BOOK:


The RFID tags is sticks on the book & scan by the equipment at tagging station which intern
captures the data about the book from the library data base & security will automatically be
activated. Then book is placed on the shelf.

6.2 CHECK OUT BY STAFF:


The books can also be issued by library staff just by putting the book on the equipment that will
deactivate & database will be updated.
6.3. CIRCULATION STATION:
If there is no one available on the circulation counter to issue the books there can be an optional
device self check out station, on which library materials placed in any orientation may be
checked out one at a time or books stacked upto 6 high may be checked out all at the same
time. Data base gets automatically updated.Tags security bit is deactivated.
6.4. SECURITY GATES:
For theft detection security gates will sound an alarm if any tag is not deactivated & passed
through it, security system does not require a link to the central database.
6.5. MATERIAL RETURN:
To return the book, if the staff is not available at the circulation counter the book can be just
dropped in the drop box equipment, which will activate the security bit of tag, & the database,
will be automatically updated.
6.6. STOCK VERIFICATION:

12

For verifying the books in library, a light weight handled device can read tags embedded on the
books just as they are on shelves at a rate of 12 per second .The server attached with the scanner
can be programmed to search for missing book.
7.COMPARISON WITH BAR-CODE:
The RFID system is similar in concept to bar coding. Bar code system use a reader and
coded labels that are attached to an item, whereas RFID uses a reader and special RFID
device/tag which is attached to an item.

Bar coded uses an optical signals to transfer

information from the labels to the reader; RFID uses RF signals to transfer information from the
RFID device to the reader/server.
Since RFID device does not require line of sight between the transponder and the reader, these
systems overcome the limitations of other automatic identification approaches such as bar
coding.

The RFID system works effectively in environment where excessive dust, dirt,

moisture and /or poor visibility normally hamper and rapid identification. One outstanding
benefit of RFID is its ability to read through these environments at remarkable speed
responding in less than hundred milliseconds in most cases. Further more RFID is completely
automatic and transparent, eliminating the need to scan and object manually or activate a
magnetic tape, reader, or other contact ID technology. The advantages of RFID over traditional
bar code are shown in table:
Table1. Advantages of the RFID
CHARACTERISTICS

BAR CODE

RFID

LINE OF SIGHT

REQUIRED

NOT REQUIRED

ORIENTATION

SPECIFIC

ANY

WHILE MOVING

NOT SUPPORT

POSSIBLE

SEVERAL AT A TIME

NOT POSSIBLE

POSSIBLE

DISTANCES

IN CMS.

METERS

SCANNING

DONE MANNUALLY

AUTOMATIC

13

DATA ENTRY

CAN BE AUTOMATIC

AUTOMATIC

SCAN SPEED

FAST

FASTER THAN
BAR CODE

The RFID system improves library workflow, staff productivity and customer service with these
attributes. However the ability to conduct inventory counts without removing a single book from the
shelves is what really separates RFID from preceding technologies such as bar codes.

14

PAYMENT BY MOBILE PHONES


Since summer 2009, two credit card companies have been working with Dallas, Texas-based
DeviceFidelity to develop specialized microSD cards. When inserted into a mobile phone,
the microSD card can be both a passive tag and an RFID reader. After inserting the microSD,
a user's phone can be linked to bank accounts and used in mobile payment.
Dairy Queen in conjunction with Vivotech has also begun using RFIDs on mobile phones as
part of their new loyalty and rewards program. Patrons can ask to receive an RFID tag to
place on their phone. After activation, the phone can receive promotions and coupons, which
can be read by ViVOtech's specialized NFC devices.
Similarly, 7-Eleven has been working alongside MasterCard to promote a new touch-free
payment system. Those joining the trial are given a complimentary Nokia 3220 cell phone
after activation, it can be used as an RFID-capable MasterCard credit card at any of 7Eleven's worldwide chains.
Nokia's 2008 device, the 6212, has RFID capabilities also. Credit card information can be
stored, and bank accounts can be directly accessed using the enabled handset. The phone, if
used as a vector for mobile payment, has added security in that users would be required to
enter a passcode or PIN before payment is authorized.
Asset management
RFID combined with mobile computing and Web technologies provide a way for
organizations to identify and manage their assets. Mobile computers, with integrated RFID
readers, can now deliver a complete set of tools that eliminate paperwork, give proof of
identification and attendance. This approach eliminates manual data entry.
Web based management tools allow organizations to monitor their assets and make
management decisions from anywhere in the world. Web based applications now mean that

15

third parties, such as manufacturers and contractors can be granted access to update asset
data, including for example, inspection history and transfer documentation online ensuring
that the end user always has accurate, real-time data. Organizations are already using RFID
tags combined with a mobile asset management solution to record and monitor the location
of their assets, their current status, and whether they have been maintained.
RFID is being adopted for item-level retail uses. Aside from efficiency and product
availability gains, the system offers a superior form of electronic article surveillance (EAS),
and a superior self checkout process for consumers. The first commercial, public item-level
RFID retail system installation is believed to be in May 2005 by Freedom Shopping, Inc. in
North Carolina, USA.
2009 witnessed the beginning of wide-scale asset tracking with passive RFID. Wells Fargo
and Bank of America made announcements that they would track every item in their data
centers using passive RFID. Most of the leading banks have since followed suit. The
Financial Services Technology Consortium (FSTC) set a technical standard for tagging IT
assets[26] and other industries have used that standard as a guideline. For instance the US
State Department is now tagging IT assets with passive RFID using the ISO/IEC 18000-6
standard.
INVENTORY SYSTEMS
An advanced automatic identification technology based on RFID technology has significant
value for inventory systems. The system can provide accurate knowledge of the current
inventory. In an academic study[28] performed at Wal-Mart, RFID reduced Out-of-Stocks by
30 percent for products selling between 0.1 and 15 units a day. The RFID can also help the
company to ensure the security of the inventory. With the just in time tracking of inventory
through RFID, the computer data can show whether the inventory stored in the warehouse is
correct with quantity currently. Other benefits of using RFID include the reduction of labor
costs, the simplification of business processes, and the reduction of inventory inaccuracies.

16

In 2004, Boeing integrated the use of RFID technology to help reduce maintenance and
inventory costs on the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. With the high costs of aircraft parts, RFID
technology allowed Boeing to keep track of inventory despite the unique sizes, shapes and
environmental concerns. During the first six months after integration, the company was able
to save $29,000 in labor.
In 2007, Recall Corporation integrated the use of RFID to help organizations track and audit
their records, to support compliance with regulations such as the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and
HIPAA.
Product tracking
RFID use in product tracking applications begins with plant-based production processes, and
then extends into post-sales configuration management policies for large buyers.
In 2005, the Wynn Casino, Las Vegas, began placing individual RFID tags on high value
chips. These tags allowed casinos the ability to detect counterfeit chips, track betting habits
of individual players, speed up chip tallies, and determine counting mistakes of dealers. In
2010, the Bellagio casino was robbed of $1.50 million in chips. The RFID tags of these chips
were immediately invalidated, thus making the cash value of these chips $0.
RFID can also be used for supply chain management in the fashion industry. The RFID label
is attached to the garment at production, can be read/traced throughout the entire supply
chain and is removed at the point of sale (POS)
Transportation and logistics
Logistics and transportation are major areas of implementation for RFID technology. Yard
management, shipping and freight and distribution centers use RFID tracking technology. In
the railroad industry, RFID tags mounted on locomotives and rolling stock identify the

17

owner, identification number and type of equipment and its characteristics. This can be used
with a database to identify the lading, origin, destination, etc. of the commodities being
carried.
In commercial aviation, RFID technology is being incorporated to support maintenance on
commercial aircraft. RFID tags are used to identify baggage and cargo at several airports and
airlines.
Some countries are using RFID technology for vehicle registration and enforcement. RFID
can help detect and retrieve stolen cars.
Infrastructure management and protection
At least one company has introduced RFID technology to identify and locate underground
infrastructure assets such as gas pipelines, sewer lines, electrical cables, communication
cables, etc.
Passports
The first RFID passports ("E-passport") were issued by Malaysia in 1998. In addition to
information also contained on the visual data page of the passport, Malaysian e-passports
record the travel history (time, date, and place) of entries and exits from the country.
Other countries that insert RFID in passports include Norway (2005), Japan (March 1, 2006),
most EU countries (around 2006), Australia, Hong Kong, the United States (2007), Serbia
(July 2008), Republic of Korea (August 2008), Taiwan (December 2008), Albania (January
2009), The Philippines (August 2009), and Republic of Macedonia (2010).
Standards for RFID passports are determined by the International Civil Aviation Organization
(ICAO), and are contained in ICAO Document 9303, Part 1, Volumes 1 and 2 (6th edition,
2006). ICAO refers to the ISO/IEC 14443 RFID chips in e-passports as "contactless

18

integrated circuits". ICAO standards provide for e-passports to be identifiable by a standard


e-passport logo on the front cover.
Since 2006, RFID tags included in new US passports will store the same information that is
printed within the passport and also include a digital picture of the owner. The US State
Department initially stated the chips could only be read from a distance of 10 cm (4 in), but
after widespread criticism and a clear demonstration that special equipment can read the test
passports from 10 meters (33 ft) away[citation needed], the passports were designed to
incorporate a thin metal lining to make it more difficult for unauthorized readers to "skim"
information when the passport is closed. The department will also implement Basic Access
Control (BAC), which functions as a Personal Identification Number (PIN) in the form of
characters printed on the passport data page. Before a passport's tag can be read, this PIN
must be entered into an RFID reader. The BAC also enables the encryption of any
communication between the chip and interrogator
Miniaturization
RFIDs are easy to conceal or incorporate in other items. For example, in 2009 researchers at
Bristol University successfully glued RFID micro-transponders to live ants in order to study
their behavior.[13] This trend towards increasingly miniaturized RFIDs is likely to continue
as technology advances.[citation needed]
Hitachi holds the record for the smallest RFID chip, at 0.05mm 0.05mm. This is 1/64th the
size of the previous record holder, the mu-chip.[14] Manufacture is enabled by using the
silicon-on-insulator (SOI) process. These dust-sized chips can store 38-digit numbers using
128-bit Read Only Memory (ROM).[15] A major challenge is the attachment of antennas,
thus limiting read range to only millimeters.

19

Uses
The RFID tag can be affixed to an object and used to track and manage inventory, assets,
people, etc. For example, it can be affixed to cars, computer equipment, books, mobile
phones, etc.
RFID offers advantages over manual systems or use of bar codes. The tag can be read if
passed near a reader, even if it is covered by the object or not visible. The tag can be read
inside a case, carton, box or other container, and unlike barcodes, RFID tags can be read
hundreds at a time. Bar codes can only be read one at a time using current devices.
In 2011, the cost of passive tags started at US$0.09 each; special tags, meant to be mounted
on metal or withstand gamma sterilization, can go up to US$5. Active tags for tracking
containers, medical assets, or monitoring environmental conditions in data centers start at
US$50 and can go up over US$100 each. Battery Assisted Passive (BAP) tags are in the
US$310 range and also have sensor capability like temperature and humidity.[citation
needed]
RFID can be used in a variety of applications,[16][17] such as:
Access management
Tracking of goods
Tracking of persons and animals
Toll collection and contactless payment
Machine readable travel documents
Smartdust (for massively distributed sensor networks)
Tracking sports memorabilia to verify authenticity
Airport baggage tracking logistics.
In 2010 three key factors drove a significant increase in RFID usage: decreased cost of
equipment and tags, increased performance to a reliability of 99.9% and a stable international

20

standard around UHF passive RFID. The adoption of these standards were driven by
EPCglobal, a joint venture between GS1 and GS1 US, which were responsible for driving
global adoption of the barcode in the 1970s and 1980s. The EPCglobal Network was
developed by the Auto-ID Center, an academic research project headquartered at the
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) with labs at five leading research universities
around the globe: Cambridge, Adelaide, Keio, Shanghai, Fudan, St. Gallen.[19] At RFID
Journal Live 2010 in Orlando, Airbus detailed 16 active projects, IBM andmost recently
added to the teamCSC. The two other areas of significant use are financial services for IT
asset tracking and healthcare. RFID is becoming increasingly prevalent as the price of the
technology decreases.
Commerce
The value of the RFID market in 2012 will be $7.46 (USD) billion versus $6.37 (USD)
billion in 2011.[20] The RFID world market is estimated to surpass $20 billion (USD) by
2014.[21]
Payment by mobile phones
Since summer 2009, two credit card companies have been working with Dallas, Texas-based
DeviceFidelity to develop specialized microSD cards. When inserted into a mobile phone,
the microSD card can be both a passive tag and an RFID reader.[22] After inserting the
microSD, a user's phone can be linked to bank accounts and used in mobile payment.
Dairy Queen in conjunction with Vivotech has also begun using RFIDs on mobile phones as
part of their new loyalty and rewards program.[23] Patrons can ask to receive an RFID tag to
place on their phone. After activation, the phone can receive promotions and coupons, which
can be read by ViVOtech's specialized NFC devices.
Similarly, 7-Eleven has been working alongside MasterCard to promote a new touch-free
payment system. Those joining the trial are given a complimentary Nokia 3220 cell phone

21

after activation, it can be used as an RFID-capable MasterCard credit card at any of 7Eleven's worldwide chains.[24]
Nokia's 2008 device, the 6212, has RFID capabilities also. Credit card information can be
stored, and bank accounts can be directly accessed using the enabled handset. The phone, if
used as a vector for mobile payment, has added security in that users would be required to
enter a passcode or PIN before payment is authorized.[25]
Asset management
RFID combined with mobile computing and Web technologies provide a way for
organizations to identify and manage their assets. Mobile computers, with integrated RFID
readers, can now deliver a complete set of tools that eliminate paperwork, give proof of
identification and attendance. This approach eliminates manual data entry.
Web based management tools allow organizations to monitor their assets and make
management decisions from anywhere in the world. Web based applications now mean that
third parties, such as manufacturers and contractors can be granted access to update asset
data, including for example, inspection history and transfer documentation online ensuring
that the end user always has accurate, real-time data. Organizations are already using RFID
tags combined with a mobile asset management solution to record and monitor the location
of their assets, their current status, and whether they have been maintained.
RFID is being adopted for item-level retail uses. Aside from efficiency and product
availability gains, the system offers a superior form of electronic article surveillance (EAS),
and a superior self checkout process for consumers.
2009 witnessed the beginning of wide-scale asset tracking with passive RFID. Wells Fargo
and Bank of America made announcements that they would track every item in their data
centers using passive RFID. Most of the leading banks have since followed suit. The

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Financial Services Technology Consortium (FSTC) set a technical standard for tagging IT
assets[26] and other industries have used that standard as a guideline. For instance the US
State Department is now tagging IT assets with passive RFID using the ISO/IEC 18000-6
standard.[27]
Inventory systems
An advanced automatic identification technology based on RFID technology has significant
value for inventory systems. The system can provide accurate knowledge of the current
inventory. In an academic study[28] performed at Wal-Mart, RFID reduced Out-of-Stocks by
30 percent for products selling between 0.1 and 15 units a day. The RFID can also help the
company to ensure the security of the inventory. With the just in time tracking of inventory
through RFID, the computer data can show whether the inventory stored in the warehouse is
correct with quantity currently. Other benefits of using RFID include the reduction of labor
costs, the simplification of business processes, and the reduction of inventory inaccuracies.
In 2004, Boeing integrated the use of RFID technology to help reduce maintenance and
inventory costs on the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. With the high costs of aircraft parts, RFID
technology allowed Boeing to keep track of inventory despite the unique sizes, shapes and
environmental concerns. During the first six months after integration, the company was able
to save $29,000 in labor.[29]. Airbus began an RFID program in 2006 that received the 2008
Best RFID Deployment award at the RFID Journal Live event [30]
In 2007, Recall Corporation integrated the use of RFID to help organizations track and audit
their records, to support compliance with regulations such as the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and
HIPAA.[31]
Product tracking
RFID use in product tracking applications begins with plant-based production processes, and
then extends into post-sales configuration management policies for large buyers.

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RFID antenna for vehicular access control.


In 2005, the Wynn Casino, Las Vegas, began placing individual RFID tags on high value
chips. These tags allowed casinos the ability to detect counterfeit chips, track betting habits
of individual players, speed up chip tallies, and determine counting mistakes of dealers. In
2010, the Bellagio casino was robbed of $1.50 million in chips. The RFID tags of these chips
were immediately invalidated, thus making the cash value of these chips $0.[32]
RFID can also be used for supply chain management in the fashion industry. The RFID label
is attached to the garment at production, can be read/traced throughout the entire supply
chain and is removed at the point of sale (POS).
Access control
RFID tags are widely used in identification badges, replacing earlier magnetic stripe cards.
These badges need only be held within a certain distance of the reader to authenticate the
holder. Tags can also be placed on vehicles, which can be read at a distance, to allow
entrance to controlled areas without having to stop and present a card or punch in an access
code.
Social Media and the Internet of Things
In 2010 Vail Resorts began the EpicMix program to allow skiers to earn virtual badges,
compete for vertical feet skied and other milestones using UHF Passive RFID tags in ski
passes. The EpicMix system not only allowed automated social sharing and capturing of ski
data but also streamlined the verification process which used to be performed by using a bar
code and line-of-site scanner. Soon other brands began adopting this method and in 2013 it
has become a growing area of use fro RFID. Facebook is using RFID cards at most of their
live events to allow guests to automatically capture and post photos. The automotive brands
have adopted RFID for social media product placement more quickly than other industries.
Mercedes was an early adopted in 2011 at the PGA Golf Championships [33] and by the

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2013 Geneva Motor Show many of the larger brands were using RFID for social media
marketing [34]
Promotion tracking
To prevent retailers diverting products, manufacturers are exploring the use of RFID tags on
promoted merchandise so that they can track exactly which product has sold through the
supply chain at fully discounted prices.[35]
Transportation and logistics
Logistics and transportation are major areas of implementation for RFID technology. Yard
management, shipping and freight and distribution centers use RFID tracking technology. In
the railroad industry, RFID tags mounted on locomotives and rolling stock identify the
owner, identification number and type of equipment and its characteristics. This can be used
with a database to identify the lading, origin, destination, etc. of the commodities being
carried.
In commercial aviation, RFID technology is being incorporated to support maintenance on
commercial aircraft. RFID tags are used to identify baggage and cargo at several airports and
airlines.
Some countries are using RFID technology for vehicle registration and enforcement. RFID
can help detect and retrieve stolen cars.
Infrastructure management and protection
At least one company has introduced RFID technology to identify and locate underground
infrastructure assets such as gas pipelines, sewer lines, electrical cables, communication
cables, etc.

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Passports
See also: Biometric passport
The first RFID passports ("E-passport") were issued by Malaysia in 1998. In addition to
information also contained on the visual data page of the passport, Malaysian e-passports
record the travel history (time, date, and place) of entries and exits from the country.
Other countries that insert RFID in passports include Norway (2005),[44] Japan (March 1,
2006), most EU countries (around 2006), Australia, Hong Kong, the United States (2007),
Serbia (July 2008), Republic of Korea (August 2008), Taiwan (December 2008), Albania
(January 2009), The Philippines (August 2009), and Republic of Macedonia (2010).
Standards for RFID passports are determined by the International Civil Aviation Organization
(ICAO), and are contained in ICAO Document 9303, Part 1, Volumes 1 and 2 (6th edition,
2006). ICAO refers to the ISO/IEC 14443 RFID chips in e-passports as "contactless
integrated circuits". ICAO standards provide for e-passports to be identifiable by a standard
e-passport logo on the front cover.
Since 2006, RFID tags included in new US passports will store the same information that is
printed within the passport and also include a digital picture of the owner.[45] The US State
Department initially stated the chips could only be read from a distance of 10 cm (4 in), but
after widespread criticism and a clear demonstration that special equipment can read the test
passports from 10 meters (33 ft) away[citation needed], the passports were designed to
incorporate a thin metal lining to make it more difficult for unauthorized readers to "skim"
information when the passport is closed. The department will also implement Basic Access
Control (BAC), which functions as a Personal Identification Number (PIN) in the form of
characters printed on the passport data page. Before a passport's tag can be read, this PIN
must be entered into an RFID reader. The BAC also enables the encryption of any
communication between the chip and interrogator.[46]

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Transportation payments
In many countries, RFID tags can be used to pay for mass transit fares on bus, trains, or
subways, or to collect tolls on highways.
Some bike lockers are operated with RFID cards assigned to individual users. A prepaid card
is required to open or enter a facility or locker and is used to track and charge based on how
long the bike is parked.
The Zipcar car-sharing service uses RFID cards for locking and unlocking cars and for
member identification.
In Singapore, RFID replaces paper Season Parking Ticket (SPT).
Animal identification
A sheep with an RFID tag.
RFID tags for animals represent one of the oldest uses of RFID technology. Originally meant
for large ranches and rough terrain, since the outbreak of mad-cow disease, RFID has
become crucial in animal identification management. An implantable RFID tag or
transponder can also be used for animal identification. The transponders are more wellknown as passive RFID technology, or "chips" on animals.[49] The Canadian Cattle
Identification Agency began using RFID tags as a replacement for barcode tags. Currently
CCIA tags are used in Wisconsin and by US farmers on a voluntary basis. The USDA is
currently developing its own program.
Human identification
An RFID microchip implant.

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Implantable RFID chips designed for animal tagging are now being used in humans. An early
experiment with RFID implants was conducted by British professor of cybernetics Kevin
Warwick, who implanted a chip in his arm in 1998. In 2004 Conrad Chase offered implanted
chips in his night clubs in Barcelona[50] and Rotterdam to identify their VIP customers, who
in turn use it to pay for drinks.
The Food and Drug Administration in the US has approved the use of RFID chips in humans.
[51] Some business establishments give customers the option of using an RFID-based tab to
pay for service, such as the Baja Beach nightclub in Barcelona.[52] This has provoked
concerns into privacy of individuals as they can potentially be tracked wherever they go by
an identifier unique to them. There are concerns this could lead to abuse by an authoritarian
government or lead to removal of freedoms.[53]
On July 22, 2006, Reuters reported that two hackers, Newitz and Westhues, at a conference
in New York City showed that they could clone the RFID signal from a human implanted
RFID chip, showing that the chip is not hack-proof as was previously claimed.[54] Privacy
advocates have protested against implantable RFID chips, warning of potential abuse. There
is much controversy regarding human applications of this technology, and many conspiracy
theories abound in relation to human applications, especially one of which is referred to as,
"The Mark of the Beast" in some religious circles.
Surgery, even on a small scale, comes with its risks. The RFID chip implantation is no
exception. According to David B. Smith, the author of "Using Radio Frequency Identification
(RFID) Technology in Humans in the United States for Total Control,"[55] Smith gives the
examples of health risks such as "adverse tissues reaction, migration of implanted
transponder, compromised information security, failure of implanted transponder, failure of
insertion, failure of electronic scanner, electromagnetic interference, electrical hazards,
magnetic resonance imaging incompatibility and needle stick" (38). Such risks exist for
anyone undergoing an implantation procedure.

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RFID mandates
Wal-Mart and the United States Department of Defense have published requirements that
their vendors place RFID tags on all shipments to improve supply chain management. Due to
the size of these two organizations, their RFID mandates impact thousands of companies
worldwide. The deadlines have been extended several times because many vendors face
significant difficulties implementing RFID systems. In practice, the successful read rates
currently run only 80%, due to radio wave attenuation caused by the products and packaging.
In time it is expected that even small companies will be able to place RFID tags on their
outbound shipments.
Wal-Mart mandate
An EPC RFID tag used by Wal-Mart.
In January 2005, Wal-Mart required its top 100 suppliers to apply RFID labels to all
shipments. To meet this requirement, vendors use RFID printer/encoders to label cases and
pallets that require EPC tags for Wal-Mart. These smart labels are produced by embedding
RFID inlays inside the label material, and then printing bar code and other visible
information on the surface of the label.
In October 2005 the University of Arkansas' Information Technology Research Institute
released a report on its preliminary study of the impact of RFID on reducing retail out-ofstocks and concluded that RFID reduced out of stocks (OOS) by 21% over non-RFID based
stores.
Two years later the Wall Street Journal published an article titled "Wal-Mart's Radio-Tracked
Inventory Hits Static." The articles stated that the RFID plan set forth by Wal-Mart was
"showing signs of fizzling" due to a lack of progress by Wal-Mart executives to introduce the
technology to its stores and to the lack of incentives for suppliers.

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CONCLUSION
Developments in RFID technology continue to yield larger memory capacities, wider reading
ranges, and faster processing. The technology has the potential to ultimately replace barcode.
Even through with inevitable reduction in raw materials coupled with economics of scale, the
integrated circuit in RF tag will never be as cost effective as barcode label but the overall
benefits achieved from an RFID will definitely outscore a barcode system. The RFID will
continue to grow in its established niches where barcode or other optical technologies are not
effective and the spin off benefits from the RFID system is immense.

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REFERENCES
1. Finkenzeller, Kalus, RFID handbook-fundamentals and applications in contactless smart
cards & identification, 2003.
2. http://www.aimglobal.org/technologies/rfid
3. http://archive.pla.org/publications/technotes/technotes_rfid.html2.

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