Chapter 2

Radio Frequency Identification Technology Overview 1

2.1. Introduction

Identity plays a crucial role in writing a success story of the Internet of Things (IoT). Some of the traditional approaches to collect the identity are machine readable characters, MICR (magnetic ink character recognition), bar-codes, smart cards, magnetic strips, face and retina scans (especially for human beings), etc. Some of these are contact type, where the object storing the identity information has to make physical contact with the reader, and others are of proximity type. Most of the proximity-based techniques require a clear line-of-sight path for successful identification. This could be a major issue in several applications. For example, if the objective is to identify the objects stored on a palette, it is almost prohibitive to take each of the boxes out of the palette, show them to the reader, and store them back on the palette. In such a situation, it would be desirable to have a system that could collect the identity of each of the boxes without the need for a clear line-of-sight. Another interesting application could be that of identifying perishable items that are stored in a freezer compartment. Ideally we would like to know the expiry date of each of the items without even opening the freezer compartment. A barcode-like technique, which requires a clear line of sight to obtain the identity, would hardly be of any use in a scenario like this, unless the items are stacked so that every ...

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