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The Impact of Radio Frequency Identification Technology

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The Impact of Radio Frequency Identification Technology


CIS 500

Table of Contents

* What is Radio Frequency Identification Technology

* History of RFID Technology

* RFID in What We Use Today

* RFID Tags

* How RFID Works?

* Automatic Identification

* Is RFID Safe to Use?

* How much does RFID Cost?

* Will it replace the bar coding system

* Advantages and Disadvantages

* How different companies use the RFID system for asset management / accountability

* Conclusion

* Bibliography

List of Figures

Figure 1.1 Antenna with and RFID Pg.6

Figure 1.2 RFID UHF Tag Inlays- Pg. 7

Figure 1.3 High Performance RFID Antenna- Pg. 8

The Impact of RFID

What is Radio Frequency Identification Technology?

This paper will discuss the ways in which RFID identification technology relates to the management of information technology and its impact on organizational goals, mainly focusing on the impact on asset management and accountability. RFID, which stands for Radio Frequency Identification, is a general term for a wide range of technologies that utilize radio waves to automatically identify it. Automatic identification is known to a multitude of technologies that are used to assist machines in recognizing objects and people. RFID identification technology refers to a wireless system that allows a device to read information contained in a wireless tag from a distance without making any kind of physical contact in order to read the information it contains. This method transmits and receives data from one point to another.

History of RFID Technology

RFID technology has been available in one from or another since the late 1970's, then it was too expensive at the time and it was very limited as to what it could do for a company. In an article by Mark Henricks titled Tell and show, which can be found in the Entrepreneur Media, Inc Magazine in the June 2004 edition, dates RFID as far back as WW II. During WW II the United Kingdom used RFID devices to distinguish returning British airplanes from inbound German ones. Then the only way to show signs of a plane was radar and then it would only show presence of a plane; not the kind of plane it was. After a while Identification friend or foe (IFF) transponders that were carried in friendly aircraft gave them a distinctive "blip" on radar screens(Entrepreneur Media Inc, 2004). In that same article he also says, transponders are now being used nearly everywhere on aircrafts.

In 1980 the government was worried about the mad cow disease spreading around and that because of that they begun to track cattle from the feedlot to the refrigerator using RFID tags. Today tens of millions of cows wear these tags. In 1990 several automakers turned to RFID to deter theft by assigning keys to specific cars only the specified key could start the car it was assigned to. This resulted in many new cars today can being started only by keys equipped with appropriate RFID chips (Entrepreneur Media Inc, 2004).

RFID in What We Use Today

Now RFID is a part of our daily lives. You can find it in car keys, highway toll booths using easy passes it allows monthly toll card users to breeze through turnpike booths, and it allows drivers to pay for gas by waving a key in front of the pump. RFID also works on security access cards, and military vehicles and as a way to recovery lost or stolen vehicles using technology such as a Lojack or Onstar. RFID technology is used on many vehicles because of its ability to track moving objects.

In a typical RFID system, individual objects are equipped with a small, inexpensive tag which contains a transponder with a digital memory chip that is given a unique electronic product code. The interrogator, an antenna packaged with a transceiver and decoder, emits a signal activating the RFID tag so it can read and write data to it. When an RFID tag passes through the electromagnetic zone, it detects the reader's activation signal. The reader decodes the data encoded in the tag's integrated circuit silicon chip and the data is passed to the host computer for processing.


RFID tags come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. Some tags are easy to spot, such as the hard plastic anti-theft tags attached to merchandise in stores. Animal tracking tags which are implanted beneath the skin of family pets or endangered species are no bigger than a small section of pencil lead. Even smaller tags have been developed to be embedded within the fibers of a national currency.

The RFID systems are rapidly becoming the preferred technology for keeping tabs on people, pets, products, and even vehicles. One reason for this is because the read/write capability of an active RFID system enables the use of interactive applications. Also, the tags can be read from a distance and through a variety of substances such as snow, fog, ice, or paint, where barcodes have proved useless. In Figure 1.1 which was taken from is a picture of an Antenna sealed with an RFID tag.

Figure 1.1 Antenna sealed with an RFID tag

Presently, these tags are being produced with the design weight of 50 grams, a life cycle of being written to



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