RFID is a dynamic technology utilized in every industry and for a multitude of applications from files to firearms. The technology is often used for identifying discreet items, such as evidence, weapons, staff, assets, vehicles, etc. and similar high value assets by adhering or attaching labels or tags that include a RFID inlay antenna and transmitter). Typical RFID systems are made up of two (2) major components: Readers and Tags (inlays).

The reader, sometimes called the interrogator, sends and receives RF data to and from the tag via antennas. A reader may have multiple antennas that are responsible for sending and receiving the radio waves. The tag, or transponder, is made up of the microchip that stores the identifier (data), an antenna and a carrier to which the chip and antenna are mounted (label).

The RFID labels draw their power from the reader. The reader transmits a low power radio signal through its antenna to the tag, which in turn receives it through its own antenna to power the integrated circuit (micro-chip) that is built-into the label. The tag will briefly converse with the reader for verification that the tag was ‘read’ and the exchange of data. The state-of-the-art is Gen II ‘passive’ RFID tags utilizing the 915 MHz frequencies.

RFID Antennas can be placed at choke-points throughout a facility to keep track of what item(s), passed what choke point(s), going which direction, on what date and at what time. If staff has RFID name badges, then ‘who’ had ‘what items’ would be tracked. Name badges can be additionally used to track and restrict staff to or from physical locations and/or specific asset classifications.

Wondering if RFID is right for you?