Radio Frequency Identification (RFID)
The discovery of computers and usage of such in the business have paved way to a more efficient and excellent way of tracking down data. Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) particularly has improved the way prices of good are identified and their corresponding prices are computed. Further, it has also set a standard on how inventory tracking is done to come up with an accurate daily sales data. Gone were the days when merchants have to write down the prices of every goods they have on their sales book. Gone were the days when computations of prices and sales do not reflect the true price or true income of the business due to erroneous entries.
The barcode system was invented first by scientist to serve as a reference in entering data about a product thus, giving the merchants an easier way of managing their inventories. However, scientist discovered that although the system is a big improvement over the “books” being maintained by the merchants, its implementation is still manual in such a way as one needs to manually scan the barcodes. With the increase in merchandize of companies, they found out that barcode is not that effective anymore. A new technology that could contain more data and read faster is needed, thus the invention of the Radio Frequency Identification (RFID).
RFID works by using an RFID chip attached to objects, animals or even humans containing information. To retrieved information to from the chip, an RFID Reader is needed. There are two types of RFID reader, the read-only reader and the read-write reader. The read-only reader is capable of reading information from the RFID chip while the RFID read-write reader is capable of both reading and updating information on the RFID chip. RFID tags can be placed anywhere on an object.
Although RFID’s have several advantages, there are also some disadvantage of using the technology. RFIDs lack the capability for strong encryption to protect the messages that passes between the reader and the tag. Even though, the system that caters to the RFID is secure, it is still vulnerable to “eavesdropping, interruption, and fabrication.” (Grimaila, 2007) This can lead anyone with an RFID reader to break into the system and get the information contained on the RFID tags. RFIDs are also unable to identify specific codes of companies, so there is a strong tendency of competitors reading the information contain on a another company’s tags.
However, even though security problems exist with the use of RFIDs, there are several companies who implemented the technology became successful. These are some of the biggest companies like Amazon, Fedex and Microsoft. An RFID implementation in a supermarket, for example can save time and money. Usually, a supermarket attaches RFID chips on its products this making the reading time of the information on the goods faster compared to the use of barcode readers. This implementation alone shows how a supermarket values the time of their costumers thus, attracting more clients. In terms of saving money, the supermarket saves money on employees conducting their inventories as the information the company needs like the life cycle of the its goods and the number of products still available are readily reported by the system with just a query. Traditional reading of barcodes are avoided by just passing through RFID readers near the cashier then total amount due is registered in the cashier. All the client needs to do is pay the amount to the cashier. RFIDs are not only use on supermarkets as these can also be used to track movements of goods or even in agricultural products like tracking of animals.
RFIDs have gone a long way since its invention. Economist see that the usage of RFIDs will continuously increase over the next years.
Collins, Jonathan. "BMW Rolls Out RFID Worldwide - RFID Journal." RFID Journal - RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) Technology News & Features. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 June 2012. Retrieved from http://www.RFIDjournal.com/article/articleview
Grimaila, Michael. "RFID Security Concerns." ISSA Journal February (2007): 34. Print.
McAdams, Alison R. Radio Frequency Identification. New York: Nova Science Pub Incorporated, 2011.
Preradovic, Stevan. Multiresonator-Based Chipless RFID. Munich: Springer, 2012.
Shepard, Steven. RFID: Radio Frequency Identification. illustrated. NewYork: McGraw-Hill Professional, 2005.