How do EPC and RFID work together?
The EPC, or Electronic Product Code, is a way of identifying an object in a unique and global way. We might think of the EPC as an ID number given to one single object. An EPC assigned to one object is different than the EPC assigned to another. This means the EPC allows unique identification of individual objects.
RFID, or Radio Frequency Identification, is a technology used to transmit that unique identification to and from business systems and databases. RFID works via a microchip, which stores the EPC (and perhaps other data) and transmits it to and from reader-antennas using electromagnetic radio waves. The microchips and the readers do not need to be in each other’s line of sight to work properly, and the transmission/reading process is ultra-rapid.
The EPC and RFID work together to enable business partners to share information about their products and processes. This information is stored in secure databases. Someday, RFID might make it possible to "scan" all the groceries in an entire supermarket caddy in the blink of an eye, without needing to manually pass each item in front of a scanner. Right now, however, the most exciting live use cases take advantage of the way that EPC and RFID can work together to provide exact product localisation – for example in a warehouse – resulting in optimised time-management for product delivery processes and for inventory management, and enhanced traceability which contributes to improving consumer safety.