To be able to humanly understand the mechanisms of RFID, let’s first understand the meaning of this particular term.
What is RFID-
RFID, an acronym for Radio Frequency Identification, is the soaring trend in technology, more so consumer market. Back in the days, RFID was used to track cattle. Finding its solace in the consumer market now, RFID is the application of radio waves into capturing and reading such information as stored on a tag which is attached to an object. Fancy thing about these RFID tags is that they can be read from even a couple of feet away. Moreover, they do not need to be in the direct sight of the reader to be tracked and decoded. These are made possible due to electromagnetic fields which are used to identify and track such tags as attached to the objects.
How RFID Works
Basically, RFID works on radio waves or electromagnetic waves to identify and track objects. So, radio waves or electromagnetic waves are the key players. But how do they work in favor of tracking objects. Let’s dig deeper. In a regular RFID system, the items which needs to be tracked are tagged i.e. attached with a tag. This RFID tag is built with a tag chip, scientifically called an integrated circuit. The said tag chip is connected to an antenna, which further has been either printed or stamped, etched or vapor deposited onto a mount or card. These mounts are, in most cases, made of paper or its equivalent substitute, of higher or lower grade. The combination of chip and antenna is then relayed or sandwiched between label and its adhesive support. The final outputs, i.e. finished tags, are then supplied to their apt destinations. These final tags could bear any shape or size, color or print. They could be anything from apparel hand tags to security tags to industrial asset tags.
That is the basic use of RFID. But with the advent of technology, RFID can now be used in a variety of things, for a variety of operations. Take RFID smartcards or plastic cards for example. They are built to smartly use the technology for various personal and industrial purposes. As a RFID Metal Card manufacturer, we know the times are now right to impress your consumers, dealers, clients with your tech savviness. That aside, RFID is the apt technology to advance your business growth, more so in retail.
Application Of RFID In Modern Retail
We know that everything bought and sold these days have a UPC bar code smartly printed on either them, i.e. the products, or their tags. The basic use of these codes is to help keep a track of the inventory. But since inventory is only in stock until it is sold, so RFID has long been the answer to the question of tracking what is sold, when it is sold and how it is sold. The modern times, of course, calls for modern application of old technology. Hence, RFID helps keep a track of not only what is sold but to a certain extent who bought it, i.e. the consumer details.
These days, RFID are the updates, said in industrial terms a fast pacing adaptation, of bar codes. Being widely used for their abilities to read and write, RFID tags bear the modern skills of updating, alteration or sealing the stored data. This obviously proves highly beneficial in managing the details and securing them at the same time. The technology is picking pace rapidly like a wildfire. It won’t be a surprise to see majority of retail stores dealing with RFID tags than bar codes. To set that back with an example, consider your credit cards which are being used to make payments these days. Even smartphones that scan the codes for payment.
Modern times call for modern techniques. Innovations in the industry has led to the creation of newer RFID techniques which comprise of active, semi-passive and passive tags with RFID. With abilities to store upto two kilobytes of data, the RFID tags are the best thing that has happened to the retail industry in terms of technology. On and off, new RFID tags supported in plastic, silicon and at times even glass cards or tags, work the similar way where primarily data is stored in microchips. The magnetic energy from RFIDs antenna is transmitted to the tags antenna. After receiving the signals, the tag sends radio waves back to the RFID reader. That is done with the power absorbed from the tags internal battery or from the electromagnetic field of the reader. Thus, finally the reader receives the signals and interprets those frequencies, converting it into understandable data backed by meaning.
Types Of RFID Tags And Their Functioning
It will be futile to discuss RFID without its various types of tags. So, as formerly mentioned RFID comes in three different types of tags namely active, semi-passive and passive tags. These tags are easy to manufacture and fit in any responsive product. Active and semi-active tags are backed by power which is befitted in their internal batteries. This internal battery is used to power the circuits and broadcast the radio waves by an active tag. The semi-passive tag however, seeks the power from its reader for broadcasting. Being amply supplied with a better hardware these two are expensive, at least more than the passive tags. The passive tags, on the other hand, are built to rely entirely on their readers for power. Perhaps the reason why they could only read data up to twenty feet and hence, are easy and cost-friendly to produce.
In all their reliability and functionality, RFID tags have proven excessively beneficial in keeping the retailers stocked with information while easing various functionalities tremendously. It is in their incredible built and technical advantage that today’s retailers can attain vast amounts of data at lower cost and in lesser time. The biggest advantage, however, has been in managing large cues of customers with ease what with easily readable information from finer distances.
*All pictures have been sourced from Pexels