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Rfid Tracking Technology and How Rfid Tags Are Used

Updated on March 11, 2021

What is RFID Tracking and How Does it Work?

Radio Frequency Identification tagging is a concept that involves a chip talking to a network through a radio frequency. It is a portable tracking system that has been designed to replace the existing bar-code (UPC Universal Product Code) found on all items purchased and manufactured today. It has led to some controversy about how its impact will affect privacy as well as its effect on human health.

An RFID tag works by a three-way system of communication. A transponder (RFID tag) electronically programmed with unique product is the chip. The chip is known as a transponder. This transponder emits a signal which is picked up an antenna which then sends the information to a transceiver in coded format. This transceiver can then analyze and interpret the information though the implementation of software and a computer.

RFID Tags and consumerism

RFIDs current uses include asset control, manufacturing, supply chain management, retailing, payment applications, and security and access control systems.

With RFID tracking being promoted by Wal-Mart, Tesco, and Best Buy market forces are extremely keen on implementing this new technology. There is no need for example, for a person to scan or press any button to purchase a product, it is totally passive as it allows users to interact with products from a purchasing perspective. When all products have RFID tags in place, a person will never need to queue they can just walk out of the shop. The information of what items they have will be transmitted to the transceiver which will then implements a billing procedure to the customer. This would allow other staff members to focus on asset management as well as reducing cost overheads in the form of wages etc.

RFID Applications and Tracking

How would you feel about having an RFID Chip implanted in your Body?

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RFID Tracking in Dogs and Society

It has been an acceptable use for dog tracking, where an RFID chip the size of a grain of rice is injected into the upper-neck of a dog. It also features in self-checkout in Libraries, where each book has a RFID tag. The discussion on its use to track patients who have been injected with an RFID chip suggestions its uses are legion. Governments are looking to RFID chip other sections of society, which generates a question of ethical concerns and problems.

Could RFID Tags be dangerous?

In essence, the RFID tags will allow a constant surveillance of any item or biological entity that features a chip. Its power therefore lies in its associated application. It has been argued that humans exist as biological, electrical and chemical beings. The notion that a chip is implanted that might unbalance these processes is a genuine concern. Say, for example, would it not be scientifically possible to pulse an RFID chip with a thought and implement behavioral change?

This is the main concern with the groups who are fighting the implementation of this chip throughout society. It marks a reduction in civil liberties that each person is born free, while the system gradually enslaves them.

RFID Tags Tracking for Humans or Animals

Just the size of a grain of rice RFID tracking is proving popular amoungst people and animals
Just the size of a grain of rice RFID tracking is proving popular amoungst people and animals

RFID Concerns and Fears - The Infancy of New Technology

The implementation of new technology will introduce the possibility of RFID hacking and crime. Would it really be ideal to now that a criminal or a criminal organization could hack into the chip that is implanted in a person? The visions these thoughts evoke are unsettling. RFID tagging is still in its infancy however it looks like it will be rolled out in the not too distant future. Once both the implementation costs become negligible and privacy laws are circumvented RFID tags will be commonplace. How society will be affected by this technology is yet to be understood.

How the RFID Tracking Technology works as a System in Libraries

RFID offers a fully automated (human free) tracking method in most modern libraries. This tracking system will soon extend into the commercial market.
RFID offers a fully automated (human free) tracking method in most modern libraries. This tracking system will soon extend into the commercial market.

RFID Tagging Tags in Libraries and Chip Technologies

As society moves towards a self-checkout way of living, the individual will be more responsible for transactions that traditionally involved other people in the process. With the advent of RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) in libraries self-checkout is seen as an example. The advent of RFID tagging features strongly within this framework of non-interaction. The impact on traditional jobs and the workplace may move the focus towards the implementation of self-service utilizing RFID tags. Books within libraries now have an RFID chip to allow the customers to self-check books in and out.

RFID Tag Interaction

RFID technology acts as way for people to effectively interact with a shop or utility. Self-checkout allows for the implementation of a new technology to reduce staff and also unfortunately a social aspect of human interaction.

The positive aspects are that it is more time efficient with the no need to queue to take books out on loan. However, the ability to take for cash payments is still down to an individual and a member of the library staff to arrange. It’s possible soon that of course even this ability will be transferred to RFID tags and that a centralized bill will be produced and emailed through mobile technology. In a similar way to how the congestion charge zone operates in London.

RFID Tracking at work in a modern library

The Positive Ability of RFID Tag Tracking in Libraries and Consumerism

One aspect which is appealing, although possibly intrusive is that it must be possible, in theory, to ascertain where the items that have associated RFID tags are in the physical world once outside of the library environment. Although it has been suggested it is only possible to read this RFID at short distances, it is worthwhile to note that this technology is still in its infancy.

RFID tracking in libraries

The idea that a library would know exactly the location of every single item out on loan is interesting if not intimidating. By removing the social aspect of physical interaction it is perhaps curious to note how secular this could potentially make society. Often it is a part of being in society that helps form norms, values, and accepted codes of conduct. If the RFID tags remove this element then humanity becomes not only removed from social interaction, but also dependent on technology and all its manifestations.

The continual use of RFID for tracking people

As with all technology, the future is for certain going to become more dependent on technology. The limits to RFID tagging within libraries provide valuable source data which will then be implemented into other areas of social interaction. It is worth noting that social groups may also be tagged with the RFID tag; to not only monitor their location, but potentially to control behavior. It sounds Orwellian in its nature, but the potential is there.

Members of local libraries are using RFID Tracking

Libraires allow users to take out and return books through the use of RFID Tracking. This reduces staff costs and frees up other resources, such as stock management.
Libraires allow users to take out and return books through the use of RFID Tracking. This reduces staff costs and frees up other resources, such as stock management.

The Future Trends of RFID Tracking Technology

Positively, RFID tagging in libraries is essentially a progression technology. Its impact on society and how it atomises the individual remains to be seen? Unfortunately with today’s technology driven society it is impossible to reverse these trends. So it looks as though RFID tags will continue to be applied in existing spheres, with its potential to be explored in greater details, as the technology advances.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2014 johndwilliams


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