The ABC of RFID
Technology for better products and services
You are in a desperate hurry, the queue is long and the sales assistant at the checkout has to scan hundreds of items before it's your turn. But situations such as these may soon be a thing of the past. In order to check out your groceries, you will simply wheel your trolley through a special gate. A reader and a computer will add up your purchases and the supermarket will debit your bank account. Off you go to your appointment, having saved 30 minutes – thanks to radio frequency identification (RFID)!
RFID technology has been around for decades and it has the capability to improve your life. Since the 1980s, it has been used to regulate access to office buildings, prevent shoplifting and allow motorists to pass through motorway tolls without having to stop. Nowadays, more and more retailers and producers of consumer goods use RFID to identify their products. This enables them to guarantee the freshness and availability of food and the authenticity and quality of products. Above all, RFID improves their service and enables you to obtain additional information on products while you shop.
Tags, readers and a computer system
How does all this work? Well, the technology is quite simple. An RFID tag, a reader and a computer system are all that is needed. In most cases, a long number – the Electronic Product Code (EPC) – is the only information stored on a tag’s tiny computer chip. Once securely linked to a database, the number provides positive, unique identification of an object.
Some RFID systems, including building access, passport control and patient ID systems, link a unique ID to well-protected personal data. The benefits for consumers are evident. There are some examples on the website, but they do not involve EPC. As far as consumer goods are concerned, you can be sure that no personal information is ever part of an EPC.
In order to improve the technology a lot of research is done. Retailers, producers of consumer goods and logistic companies are working hand in hand with scientists.
Sign-up for our Newsletter:
What is possible
RFID makes life more convenient, creating time for leisure activities more ...