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A Closer Look at Radio Frequency Identification (RFID)

Radio Frequency Identification is a wireless system which uses radio waves to identify and track information between objects which are not in the line of sight. The technology is used for providing security to objects or living creatures so it can be incorporated in a product or human being. The user who is chipped gets an identification tag which can be recognized wirelessly using radio waves from a distant place. In RFID, an integrated circuit is used to store and process the information transferred through radio waves.


The technology of radio frequency identification was used in World War II to identify friendly aircrafts. From 1969 onwards, it was used for personal identification, banking, and medical purposes. In 1971, Radio Frequency Identification was used in a toll device for the first time. The first patent on RFID was in the name of Charles Watson in 1983.

Current Uses

Radio Frequency Identification is used in libraries to track books. It’s also widely used in authentication systems and applications like Enterprise Systems. Another use includes the supply chain management systems for the purpose of inventory tracking. Besides, RFID finds its use in retail, baggage handling, healthcare sector, and anti-counterfeiting. Radio Frequency Identification is used for improving the security of products and people as well.

Potential Uses

Radio Frequency Identification provides features such as better visibility of inventory and work flow in production companies so it can be used for tracking goods and providing location based services. Additionally, Radio Frequency Identification can be used to improve the food habits of people in the near future as it can be embedded into a person to evaluate the eating habits. Radio Frequency Identification can be used for monitoring people too. In situations where parents have to leave their kids at home alone, a RFID can help the parents to keep a tab on their kid. RFID can be used for keeping health records of people as well.

Regulation and Standardization

There is no global regulation which governs RFID. In addition, low frequency tags can be used globally without a license. However, there are certain restrictions for the use of ultra high frequencies in some countries.

Problems & Concerns

RFID comes with a number of issues such as volume and noise. In some cases, RFID has been proven to provide unreliable results. It raises database security and privacy concerns with users too. RFID devices are designed to remain with their networks. For instance, RFID tags which are used for monitoring inventory stay within the company. This feature of RFID can sometimes cause major problems for the companies.