RFID (radio frequency identification) is a fast, automatic identification technology similar in application to bar code technology but uses radio frequency (RF) instead of a visual scanner to transfer data between a reader and an item being tracked.
Since high performance systems can read data on tags at a speed of at least 40 tags per second, RFID can be data collection at warp speed without human interaction; a highly efficient wireless alternative for item management tracking.
Will RFID replace bar codes?
It is likely that RFID and bar codes will coexist for many years. Bar codes are inexpensive and effective for certain tasks.
How does RFID work?
RFID uses a reader to locate and track special tags or labels attached to an item, similar to a bar code system. Instead of collecting laser light reflections off printed bar code labels, RFID uses low wattage radio frequencies to read from and write to the tags.
The RFID tags, or labels, equipped with an RF antenna and a tiny computer chip, broadcast information to the RFID reader. These broadcast radio waves do not require a direct line of sight or one-at-a-time labour intensive involvement. Tags do not have to be in contact with the device that "reads" the information stored on the chip.
More information about RFID is available from Gamma Solutions.