In addition to the development of smart cards and biometrics, there is another important technology that has arisen which will ultimately be merged with them as the world moves toward the final economy of the Antichrist. Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) is a wireless communication technology that uses microwave or ultra-high frequency (UHF) electromagnetic signals within the radio spectrum to send digitally encoded data between a tag and a reader, which can then be used to identify and track items. An RFID tag can be relatively simple in design, but powerful in its potential applications. The basic elements of a tag are: a microchip containing nonvolatile memory and an antenna to collect and transmit radio waves. The chip contains circuitry that stores a unique binary number in its memory and the antenna serves as the receiver and transmitter of information. The antenna is much larger than the microchip and typically consists of loops or coiled wire extending out from the chip. In a passive or unpowered RFID tag, the wire loops serve two purposes: 1) to transmit information (the stored encoded ID number) and 2) to act as a power source for the microchip using electromagnetic induction, which is caused as the RFID antenna picks up the radio signals emanating from a reader.
When a nearby RFID reader sends out a radio signal that is received by an RF tag, it causes an electromotive force to occur within the wire coil of the RFID antenna. This in turn causes electrons to flow within the wire. This electron flow within the coil is the electrical power source for all passive RF chips to operate. The induction process causes the microchip to be powered up and respond by sending out a radio signal containing the identification code stored within its memory. Thus, when a reader “wakes up” a RFID tag, it receives back a radio transmission containing the tag’s unique ID number, which then can be used to determine exactly what is labeled or associated with the tag.
Passive RFID tags typically emit radio waves in the range of 300 MHz to 300 GHz, which is in the microwave to UHF range of the electromagnetic (light) spectrum. Most international standards today use radio waves of less than 1 GHz. Within this part of the spectrum, the signals can penetrate through most objects and people, and thus the tag and the reader need not be in line of sight to work properly. RFID tags that are used to label and identify manufactured goods can typically be read passively through the magnetic induction process if the reader is within a few meters of the RFID antenna, although some powerful readers can detect passive RFID tags up to 15 meters away. Thus, a portable hand-held reader can be used to determine what is in a shipping container merely by activating the reader nearby the container. The reader will receive back from the RFID chip the unique identifying numbers stored within tag, which then can be associated with the manufacturer and product name using a computer database networked to the reader. In fact, many different products labeled with different RFID tags can be read nearly simultaneously with a single reader and without opening a container, which makes RFID the most efficient method of identifying physical items like raw materials and products…[read full article]