identification (RFID) is a technology for reading information from a distance from the transponder memory that are called RFID-tags.
The cheapest and easiest variants have a very simple structure and consist only of a unique number that they can send out for a distance of a few decimeters. This is the most common variety used today. In this type of RFID transponder has all of the information stored in a database. The record where information is stored is tied to the unique id. This simple type correspond to de facto standard barcodes. In the next price level, there are little more advanced tags having an internal memory that can be rewritten multiple times, but the memory is quite limited. The reader consists of an oscillating magnetic field inducing a sufficient voltage to the antenna for the tag to send its content. Such a tag can be small enough to be inserted under the skin of an animal, or surgically inserted into people for the identification using radio waves.
The tags mentioned so far were passive but there are also active tags. The active are distinguished by having its own energy source, unlike the passive, they do not depend on the reader energy. They are also physically larger and much more expensive. The active tags are used to communicate over large distances, such as in a container at a port.
Examples of uses of RFID today are the following:
- bus pass,
- lift pass,
- customs pass,
- phone booth,
- stores (security),
- booking systems,
- cars, etc.
Passive tags have no internal power supply. They get enough power from the reader to be able to send a reply. This is due to the reader antenna that creates enough power for the tag through induction. The passive tag antenna is designed to receive an incoming signal, and even send an outbound signal. The response of a passive tag is not always just an number, but can be more complex, such as information from the integrated memory.
Passive tags have the capacity to be read from 11 cm up to 10 meters depending on the standard you are using and also on how the environment looks like. Thanks to fact the passive tags are lacking built-in power source, they can be made very small and they are therefore very easy to place where space is limited, for example, under stickers or skin.
Unlike passive tags, active tags have its own power source that is used to send information and manage its own components. Active tags is much more reliable than passive tags. This is due to their ability to create an active session with the reader. Active tags can also send higher voltage levels thanks to their built-in power source, which facilitates the placement, for example, in a human body, because the signal then pass the constricting material such as liquids. The downside is that they are much larger and more expensive to manufacture. Their range can extend up to several hundred meters, and the batteries that maintain a device operative up to 10 years. You can even integrate major memories because the size is not as important.
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