RFID stands for Radio-Frequency Identification. The acronym refers to small electronic devices that consist of a small chip and an antenna. The RFID device serves the same purpose as a bar code or a magnetic stripe; it provides a unique identifier for that object. RFID is fast, reliable, and can be read from up to several feet away and does not need to be within direct line-of-sight of the reader to be tracked, whereas barcodes must be aligned with a scanner and magnetic stripe access cards most be swiped through a reader.
RFID belongs to a group of technologies referred to as Automatic Identification and Data Capture (AIDC). AIDC methods automatically identify objects, collect data about them, and enter those data directly into computer systems with little or no human intervention. RFID uses radio frequency waves to transfer data between a reader and an electronic tag (micro-chip) attached to an object, for purpose of identification and/or tracking.
Usually RFID access control systems consist of the following components: 1) reader that is connected to (or integrated with) 2) an antenna, that sends out a radio signal to 3) a tag (micro-chip) that returns the signal with information added. To read the information encoded on a tag, a two-way radio transmitter-receiver called an interrogator (reader) emits a signal to the tag using an antenna. The tag responds with the information written in its memory bank. The reader will then transmit the read results to an RFID computer program.
Radio-frequency identification (RFID) uses electromagnetic fields to automatically identify and track tags attached to objects. The tags contain electronically stored information. RFID tags can be either passive, active or battery-assisted passive. Passive tags are cheaper and smaller because it has no battery; instead, the tag collects the radio energy transmitted by a nearby RFID reader. Active tags have a local power source (such as a battery) and may operate hundreds of meters from the RFID reader. A battery-assisted passive (BAP) has a small battery on board and is activated when in the presence of an RFID reader.
RFID is, for example, used on access control systems, to identify clients by healthcare agencies, animals in livestock management systems, students that use lockers to store belongings and taxis that request access to passenger pick-up areas at airports. RFID readers are usually connected to another system. For example, in access control system an employee would have an access control access card with a RFID tag. The reader would be a smartcard reader that is mounted next to the secured doors. The reader would be connected to an access control system. In the access control system access rights for people are stored and people are linked to a number. This number is also stored on the RFID card. If the access control system gets information from the reader, it will look in its database to check if this person has access rights. If so, the system would be sending a signal to a door that it can be opened.
RFID tags are also widely used in identification badges, and replacing earlier magnetic stripe cards. These badges need to only be held within a certain distance of the reader to authenticate the holder. Tags can also be placed on vehicles, which can be read at a distance, to allow entrance to controlled areas without having to stop the vehicle and present a card or enter an access code.
Are you considering implementing an RFID Solution? Take the next step and contact us at Dicsan Technology for more information about RFID and RFID access control systems and how integrating this technology into your home or business can be of great benefits.
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