Radio Frequency Identification Technology

In transportation Radio Frequency Identification Technology, or RFID, works by using radio waves for an automatic type of identification. The technology system transmits the identity information of an object or a person. A scanner picks up and processes the transmitted information.This is known as radio frequency identification technology, or RFID.

RFID Frequency Identification Technology – What Is It

Older automatic identification systems used a bar code and required a person to manually scan the bar code. The objects being scanned are moved to a specific spot to be scanned. A scanner picks up the bar code information there. Railroads and automobile traffic using RFID technology to monitor traffic. The scanners are placed in areas that the cars can be scanned as they pass by.

A person is needed to manually scan objects or people. But, the automatic technology does not need a person to operate. For this reason, automatic RFID is becoming more desirable.

A large amount of data is stored in the chip placed on an object. The increased memory allows much more information to be collected. Consequently,this information can be used to identifyPicture of a chip used for Radio frequency Identification Technology the location and much more.

Chips also contain information that identifies the origin and date of manufacture, type and quantity of products.

Product information is transmitted to a computer that analyzes and reorders needed products.

Other information is sent automatically, to warehouses to determine which items need restocked.

This in turn limits human error and greatly increases efficiency in business.

Radio Frequency Identification Technology Types

Passive RFID Tags, do not contain any battery, so the information can be stored a long time, maybe decades, longer than it is needed sometimes, say after a product is sold.

Passive Radio Frequency IdentificationTechnology Chip Tags on Clothing
Passive RFID Tags

When a Passive RFID Tag encounters a reader, the reader sends a signal to it which creates a current enabling it to transmit the data it contains.

This is only good for short distances.The cost is cheap at around 10 cents per tag. Cost alone makes these tags the most popular.

The Active RFID Tag contains a battery.It has its own source of power to transmit data by itself.

It can be used for distances of one hundred feet or more. However, these are expensive, and can cost $20 or more.They also require battery replacement. So, Active RFID usage is limited to more expensive items.

Problems With RFID TechnologyPicture of a Radio frequency Identification Technology Scanner

Since these chips store so much data, this make it easy to include all your personal information.

Chips are then placed on easy to scan credit cards and Identification cards like your drivers license.

Fortunately, the problems with Radio Frequency Identification Technology are being corrected. Soon, we will avoid such intrusions.

But, for now, your card can now be read without it ever leaving your pocket or wallet. So how do you protect yourself from having all your information stolen.

Our colleges are becoming a very real data security issue. Experiments have shown that in a matter of seconds, a fake duplicate card can be created and used to purchase items from the students accounts.

All this done from information on the students I.D. card containing a chip! How hard is it to get? With the proper scanning device,simply walking beside anyone on the campus, information can be copied. Then, transferred to a new card with the push of a button. They have stolen your identity

Do Blocking Sleeves and Blocking Wallets Work

Blocking sleeves and wallets contain a metallic mesh or sleeve. They are considered to effectively block RFID radio transmissions. This is a specially designed RFID blocking sleeve or pocket that you slip your credit or identification card into. It will prevent the theft of your card information. It does this by blocking signals transferred from scanning your card.

This is referred to as electronic pick pocketing. RFID blocking sleeves, and blocking wallets have been developed to stop the theft.

The newer cards with an embedded chip, have a magnetic strip as well. Simply because, chip scanners are not found everywhere yet. But, if the newer technology is available, the chip only needs to be near the data reading device to be read.

This has made theft easier for the crooks.The shielding devices have had minimal results in protecting the data. In most cases the information can still be obtained.

One experiment using duct tape and aluminum foil to make a homemade pocket blocking sleeve, actually worked better than the commercial RFID blocking technology shields.

Blocking Wallets Stop Scans

Blocking protection embedded into handbags is designed to stop all unauthorized scans. A wire mesh embedded within blocking wallets and handbags, creates a Faraday cage which reflects the signals.

 Aluminum RFID Blocking Wallets for Radio Frequency Identification Technology
RFID Blocking Wallets

Tests show that these devices have little effect on the data transfer. So save your money, and just request the magnetic strip cards. Most companies realize the security risks and honor such requests.

The magnetic strip card can be copied over and over, again and again. This is why the credit cards are transitioning to the embedded chip.

The chip card holds much more data, and will only allow a scan once. This prevents the easy creation of a new card.

The RFID Technology Is Not New

Walmart has used the RFID technology for nearly a decade in every area of their marketing. Everything from tracking merchandise along their supply chain, to cutting inventory, and reducing out of stock events.

Toll roads use this same RFID chip technology with the Ez pass card. Ez pass cards get scanned as the vehicle speeds past the toll booth.

The future in retail is to embed the technology price tag right on the merchandise.  The ability to scan tags from a distance away from the register, would be the ideal solution. 

Products will be scanned differently in the future. Maybe all the products, will be scanned all at once from inside our shopping bag. The scanner will be able to detect all the separate chips in the bag. Thus, it would be possible to sort out all the items you bought, without having to remove them. Your entire purchase scanned from inside your cart, all at once. Pretty cool indeed, but scary.

If you have any questions or want more information, leave a message below.

Chas

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