What is RFID?

RFID stands for Radio-frequency identification. In an RFID system tags are attached to the objects that are to be monitored. These tags are often in the form of stick-on labels but can also form part of rfid bracelets or wrist-bands as used in hospitals, or be part of rfid keyrings or credit and rfid identity cards.

The History of RFID

RFID technologies were developed from the 1940s on as an off shoot of radar technology. RFID was a way to use signals to identify exactly which aeroplane it was on the screen. The ability to specifically identify objects remotely fascinated scientists and had a huge variety of possible uses.

The first widespread commercial use for RFID tagging was in the retail industry. Items were tagged in order to trigger alarm systems and discourage shop-lifting.

A further breakthrough came in 1973 when Mario Cardullo applied for a patent on the first RFID tag which could have rewritable data on it. In the same year, Charles Walton, applied for a patent on an rfid pass card system. – the “Portable radio frequency emitting identifier”. This patent was awarded in 1983, and was the first to bear the acronym “RFID”.

How RFID can be used today

Due to the vast possibilities and the versatility of this technology, RFID has become increasingly ubiquitous.

RFID tags are in your bank cards and payment systems, monitoring livestock, keeping check on assets and inventory, keeping infants safe from abduction in maternity hospitals, keeping deliveries monitored from warehouse to warehouse to end user. In hospitals expensive drugs can be monitored and tracked – so that stock isn’t purchased unnecessarily and staff can instantly find what they need.

The low cost and small size of the equipment means that it can be used almost anywhere. If you want more information on RFID technologies and how it might benefit your business please get in touch.