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Discuss about the Radio Frequency Identification for RFID Technology.




RFID or radio frequency identification is an advanced technology that incorporates electrostatic or electromagnetic coupling in radio frequency portion belonging to the electromagnetic spectrum for unique identification of objects, animals or people. Organizations are adopting this technology in place of barcodes (Rajaraman, 2017).

This report discusses about the working mechanism of RFID. It points out the various categories of RFID tags. It talks about the business as well as technical issues that are solved by using RFID technology.  This report describes the implementation of RFID in one organization and it also presents the use of RFID in various market places.

Working of RFID Technology

RFID technology utilizes radio frequency for the purpose of identifying objects, collecting information about the objects and entering the details in the system by an automated process. The three main components of RFID technology are the RFID tag, RID reader and antenna. An RFID tag consists of an antenna as well as an integrated circuit (Hutter & Schmidt, 2013). These are used for the purpose of transmitting data to RFID reader. The RFID reader converts radio waves into usable data. The RFID tags can be activated by radio signals. The data that is collected from the RFID tag is then transferred to a host system by using a communication interface. The data is stored in the database of the system for further analysis. The role of RFID tag is to carry data and it contains an antenna along with micro chip. The reader can also be referred as interrogator.

Types of RFID

Passive RFID:  This type of tag does not contain battery. Here the energy is transferred from reader via radio frequency. The power of the tag is available only within the field of the reader. It range of communication is short in this type of tag (Rajaraman, 2017). It has a limited range because the radio wave is reflected from tag to the reader. It is able to read as well as transfer sensor value when the tag is powered by the reader.

Semi-passive RFID:  This RFID tag incorporates the main features of the active tag. It consists of a power source like battery to power the chip. This energy that is captured can be used for the purpose of backscattering. The communication or read range is more than that of passive tags.

Active RFID: This tag consists of battery or power source. Tag power is available on a continuous basis. It has got high signal strength from the RFID tag to the reader. The range of communication is 100 meter or more. Active tags are mostly used in large objects. Its data bandwidth is higher than the bandwidth of passive tags.

Business and Technical Problems solved by using RFID Technology

RFID technology has played a significant role in solving the issue of object, human and animal tracking. Assets that are present in warehouses can be tracked in a simplified manner. The process of inventory management has improved by attaching RFID tags to the goods that are present in the factory (Fan et al., 2014). This technology has helped in solving the problem of over stocking as well as under stocking of goods. It has helped in providing security to the stocks and controlling the stock quality. RFID tags can be used for automating the process of toll tax payments by attaching the tags to the vehicles (Kalantri et al., 2014). Effective animal monitoring is made possible by utilizing RFID tags. It acts as a significant tool for tracking the movements of the animals and determining their characteristics. RFID technology has improved farm management in an effective manner. Missing goods and products can be tracked by using RFID technology (Shin & Eksioglu, 2014). RFID technology is responsible for producing accurate results as it does not involve human interventions. RFID tags have been able to improve organizational efficiency.


Barcode and RFID



Barcode has a set of data that can be scanned and converted to numeric codes.  It requires line of sight.

It does not require line of sight. RFID tag utilizes radio waves for tracking as well as identifying goods.

The read range varies from inches to feet.

Passive RFID can read up to 30 feet and active RFID can read up to 100 feet.

Barcodes can identify one kind of item.

It has the capability to identify every item.

Optical laser technology is used.

Radio frequency technology is used.

Human intervention is required for scanning barcodes.

Scanners are fixed and it does not require human labor.

It cannot be updated.

New data can be updated.

Damaged tags will not work. Hence it is less reliable.

It has high reliability.

Table 1: Comparison between Barcode and RFID

(Source: Lotlikar et al., 2013, p. 821)

 RFID and QR code

QR Code


This technology requires line of sight.

Line of site is not required.

Read range is from inches to feet.

The read range is much more than the read range of QR code.

Human intervention is required.

No human intervention is needed.

Data cannot be updated. It can only be read.

Data can be updated.

30 % data can be recovered from damaged tags. It is less reliable than RFID.

It has high reliability.

Table 2: Comparison between QR code and RFID

(Source: Lotlikar et al., 2013, p. 821)

RFID Limitations

Security: RFID tags are susceptible to security threats and attacks. Attackers can gain unauthorized access to and modify the information on the RFID tags. There can be other attacks like virus and side channel attacks. Strong security measures like encryption of the data in the tags can overcome this limitation.

Collision: Signal collision can take place while scanning several RFID tags at the same time. Use of anti-collision algorithms will prevent this issue.

Cost: The cost of RFID technology is much more than that of QR codes and barcodes (Lehpamer, 2012). Organizations incur huge cost in setting up this technology. Passive tags are less expensive than active and semi active tags.

Complex design: The installation procedure of RFID technology is unique. RFID technology has reader and tag. It has a complex design and working mechanism.

Implementation of RFID in Walmart

Walmart has implemented RFID technology in the year 2003 for improving its supply chain operations. Initially it had used RFID for tracking pallets of the merchandise present in its supply chain and warehouses. Walmart is able to track the movement of its products in an accurate manner by deploying RFID technology. It makes use of RF tags for keeping an account of the shelved stocks.  RFID tags are able to provide real time information about the store shelves. RFID technology has been able to reduce the inventor cost of Walmart (Shin & Eksioglu, 2015). Implementation of RFID has improved the supply chain efficiency of Walmart. Walmart was able to reduce its out of stock level by 16 per cent and reduce excess inventory. Walmart was also able to achieve operational improvements and WIP data management.

Use of RFID in Market Places


RFID tags can be attached to the products in the retail store. It will help the store to prevent any shoplifters to take away any product without payment and enhance the security level of the stores. It will enable the employees to locate the products and record the quantity (De Marco et al, 2012). RFID tags are implemented in retail industry for automating the inventory tracking process and enhancing the operational efficiency of the retail stores.


Banking sector has achieved high level of data accuracy by implementing RFID technology. It has improved the level of customer service and simplified the payment procedure. RFID tags will help the banks to keep track of laptops and other assets (Zhu, Mukhopadhyay & Kurata, 2012).  Data security of the banks can be improved by implementing RFID technology.   

Healthcare Industry

The Healthcare industry is able to keep a track of prescription drugs on the basis of expiry date and many other important details like lot number (Manzoor, 2016). Patient safety can be enhanced by using RFID technology. RFID bands can be scanned for getting accurate details about the patient. 


RFID technology has been able to improve the accuracy as well as timeliness of the inventory data. It has reduced the inventory cost of the organizations (Fosso Wamba, 2012). RFID tags have enhanced the efficiency of supply chain management by accurate monitoring of the movements of goods and products throughout the supply chain. It has simplified the procedure of asset tracking by using radio frequency.


It can be concluded from this report that RFID technology can be implemented in various industries like healthcare, banking and retail for enhancing operational efficiency and security standards. This report said that RFID is more reliable than barcode and QR code. It also discussed about certain limitations like security issues and high cost of RFID tags. This report explained how the RFID works. It also explained few business and technical issues like asset tracking problem that can be solved by RFID technology.



De Marco, A., Cagliano, A. C., Nervo, M. L., & Rafele, C. (2012). Using System Dynamics to assess the impact of RFID technology on retail operations. International journal of production economics, 135(1), 333-344.

Fan, T. J., Chang, X. Y., Gu, C. H., Yi, J. J., & Deng, S. (2014). Benefits of RFID technology for reducing inventory shrinkage. International Journal of Production Economics, 147, 659-665.

Fosso Wamba, S. (2012). Achieving supply chain integration using RFID technology: the case of emerging intelligent B-to-B e-commerce processes in a living laboratory. Business Process Management Journal, 18(1), 58-81.

Hutter, M., & Schmidt, J. (2013). Radio Frequency Identification.

Kalantri, R., Parekar, A., Mohite, A., & Kankapurkar, R. (2014). RFID based toll collection system. International Journal of Computer Science and Information Technologies, 5(2), 2582-5.

Lehpamer, H. (2012). RFID design principles. Artech House.

Lotlikar, T., Kankapurkar, R., Parekar, A., & Mohite, A. (2013). Comparative study of Barcode, QR-code and RFID System. International Journal of Computer Technology and Applications, 4(5), 817.

Manzoor, A. (2016). RFID-Enabled Healthcare. International Journal of Information Communication Technologies and Human Development (IJICTHD), 8(2), 26-46.

Rajaraman, V. (2017). Radio Frequency Identification. RESONANCE, 549.

Shin, S., & Eksioglu, B. (2014). Effects of RFID technology on efficiency and profitability in retail supply chains. Journal of Applied Business Research, 30(3), 633.

Shin, S., & Eksioglu, B. (2015). An empirical study of RFID productivity in the US retail supply chain. International Journal of Production Economics, 163, 89-96.

Zhu, X., Mukhopadhyay, S. K., & Kurata, H. (2012). A review of RFID technology and its managerial applications in different industries. Journal of Engineering and Technology Management, 29(1), 152-167.

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