A RFID or Radio Frequency Identification is something that transmits the identity of an object by means of radio waves. There are multiple different ways of identifying an object (human readable, bar codes, 2D codes, etc,) but the RFID premise is based around a microchip with an antenna that transmits data via a reader to a computer, which then translates the radio wave into usable information.
RFIDs have a huge benefit in terms of identifying an object over other types of identification forms such as barcodes due to the fact that they are able to transmit the information over specific ranges. This is much different than the standard barcode identification process, as it does not require direct line of site when identification occurs. The transmission range is based upon the frequency of the RFID tag but can range anywhere from one to twenty feet traditionally and can transmit even further if their own power source is supplied.
Beyond their transmitting capabilities, there are two different types of tags; one being active, the other being passive. The difference is based around the power source given to each in which active tags have their own power source which usually consists of a battery while passive tags receive their power from the computer which reads the information sent to them. There is obviously a cost difference in these two tags not to mention the distance in which they can transmit.
Finally, there is an RFID tag known as a printer encoder, which is used to print graphics or text within a smart label attached to a product. These are used to embed information into smart labels and although they are similar to most printer functions, the ability to easily transmit this information makes it a great advantage to the typical scenarios.
For more information about RFIDs and their capabilities along with other components available for product identification, visit our products page.