RFID and Business: Fundamental Concepts
One of the most important new technologies in the creation and use of secure ID cards is known as radio frequency identification, or RFID. Even though vastly superior to most other forms of identification, many individuals and businesses are still not entirely clear on how RFID systems operate, or why they are so useful.
A RFID system incorporates an integrated circuit embedded in an object such as an ID card, along with an antenna, allowing it to both receive and transmit data. RFID systems can be passive, in which case the external radio signal powers the unit, or active, which uses an integral battery to allow the RFID chip to function independently of an external signal.
The second component of an RFID system is the reader, which can be a stationary unit or a mobile reader. These systems scan the RFID unit, reading the information on it without the need for any physical contact. Active RFID units can be read at a longer range, as they are self powered, and can also include a variety of sensors that can increase their utility, for example a remote temperature sensor for refrigerated goods.
The Advantages of RFID Systems
Unlike other systems, RFID systems can be accessed remotely, allowing the electronics to be placed in an ID card, safely protected from wear. In addition, they do not require direct human intervention to be read. For example, an RFID reader can be placed by a door to automatically record the identity of all cards that pass through. This can be helpful in businesses that have a wide variety of access levels. For example, an airport where some areas must be secure from unauthorized personnel, while not unduly inconveniencing authorized personnel.
In addition, RFID card printers can be used to place other identifying information on the cards, such as photos, designs or external magnetic stripes, all without interfering with the functionality of the RFID system. This can be especially useful when individual employees require a card with remotely configurable access privileges, allowing it to be easily changed without the inconvenience of issuing a new card.
RFID and Cost Savings
Due to the highly automated nature of RFID systems, they can result in large savings in employee related costs. Unlike other identification and tracking systems, RFID systems require little in the way of direct supervision, allowing a reduction in security related staffing.
RFID systems, especially RFID cards, are part of a revolution in modern access control and tracking systems. By making use of this unique technology, businesses can reduce their employee costs, increase security and allow for the real time tracking of both personnel and material.
Image by plural and licensed through Creative Commons.
About the Author: Joseph Scribner is a sales representative at CardPrinter.com, an ID card printer online retailer carrying the leading printer manufacturers. Visit the site to buy the Evolis Zenius Classic Badge Printer, Zebra ZXP 3 Printers, and a variety of other leading ID printers.