RFID is the acronym of "Radio-Frequency Identification", a technology that allows the remote recognition of an object through the transmission of electromagnetic waves.
The aim of this page is to provide an introduction to RFID technology that allows you to understand its operating principles, advantages, constraints, applications and prospects. Currently, the most widespread automatic identification technologies are those of barcodes and magnetic stripe cards, but in the next few years, RFID could take over as it has much superior functionality.
As is well known, in a system where the bar code must maintain a minimum distance and orient the object towards the reader in order to obtain the requested information; the barcode also cannot tolerate any coating and is very sensitive to external agents such as high temperatures, water or dirt, which degrade the information content. All these details are overcome by an RFID system thanks to the communication by means of radiofrequency and architectural waves of the object to be recognized, called a "transponder".
Each transponder can be uniquely identified thanks to a code stored in its own microchip and can take any desired shape, be exposed to particular external conditions or be coated with the most suitable material for the type of use to be made of the object on which the transponder is applied.
A transponder can also store a large amount of information, letters and writings in real time even at distances of a few meters. This last feature is essential to determine the superiority of an RFID transponder over magnetic stripe cards, for which physical contact with the reader is required.
RFID is not a "new" technology since it was born during the Second World War to distinguish aircraft from enemy ones. The transponders of the time were much preferable and of considerable size, for this use of RFID was intended only for military purposes.
The technological advances of the last twenty years and mass production have made it possible to create very small transponders (even a few millimeters) at low cost.
RFID technology has therefore been adopted in numerous application fields, always having great success. For example, we can mention the Telepass, the ski pass, the identification of animals and the anti-theft systems of supermarkets: applications that are already widespread in Italy and in the world.
Other applications under development are related to the identification of the person, such as the creation of personal RFID documents (passports, driving licenses and identity cards) or new electronic payment systems.
The continuous birth of international standards that regulate the use of transponders and the continuous lowering of new prices could be decisive for the effective implementation of the "The Internet of the Things" project, according to which every object in the world will be equipped with a transponder .
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