RFID and Readers

Author: Marko Garlick


Radio-frequency identification (RFID) is the wireless non-contact use of radio-frequency electromagnetic fields to transfer data, for the purposes of automatically identifying and tracking tags attached to objects.


The tags contain electronically stored information. This would be the ID of staff working in the stores.
The ones used in supermarkets use induction, not battery powered means to run so to lowers costs and RFID tags communicating from 50 or so metres away is not needed in this working space.
RFIDs are easy to conceal or incorporate in other items. They have been miniaturized which puts down the cost of them for larger form factors.

Explanation and application

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.
  • Asset management
    • 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.
    • Cuts down on costs of production thus allowing a more competitive company.
  • Inventory systems
    • Where a shipment has an rfid tag so that supermarket managers can see whats is going in and out of their inventory through software (possibly web based)
  • Access control
    • For controlling areas inside of the stores for effective security
    • Different levels of authority for different areas
    • Time based systems (so that regular employees get access inside shop hours but higher level staff get 24/7 access

The RFID must be coupled with a reader.

This reader could be a flat surface next to a door, a longer range antenna in a warehouse or a handheld device for portable scanning of stock, for example.
Additionally, this reader can link back to a central server that records certain scans and/or can regulate usage of the reader.

external image Symbol_MC9090G_RFID_product.jpg
external image rfid_diagram.jpg
external image 20-RFID-Card-Male-Hand.jpg

References and resources