RFID stands for Radio Frequency Identification. It uses the electromagnetic fields to detect, identify and track the tags attached to the objects and devices automatically. This tag is the storehouse of a lot of electronic information. Active RFID tags have a power source of their own to transmit the radio signals and can operate even hundred metres away from the tag reader whereas the passive RFID gains energy from the readers and transmits the signal back to the reader. It is quite different from the barcodes as it need not be in the visual range of the reader. It can transmit electromagnetic signal that can be received by the reader even when concealed in the object. It is because of this feature that RFID is used as an Automatic Identification and Data Capture (AIDC) with the help of Automatic boom barriers.
The RFID finds a lot of applications in different fields and industries. They can be attached to the automobiles at the time of production and the progress of the vehicle can be easily tracked in the assembly line. The RFID tags can be used in tracking the consignments in the warehouses. RFID microchips can help in tracking of endangered species of animals in wild and saving them from being poached by continuous surveillance.
The RFID tags can be attached to the clothes, products and other things to stop the menace of shoplifting in the shopping centres. These can also be used in securing the defence equipments and products from being stolen. However, the misuse of RFIDs to track a person and encroach on his privacy has also been reported and is a serious issue.
The RFIDs contain all the information related to the product. Its signals are received by the reader and it decodes them and displays the data on the screen. This is done with the embedded software in the reader. As the data is sent over in electromagnetic signals form, there is less chance of its loss or getting stolen as the compatible readers can only read those signals perfectly.
The RFIDs find a major application in managing traffic and on toll plazas. The cars or automobiles with a RFID have all the details and data fed in the RFID tag which can be easily read by the reader installed on the boom barrier. It also has the bank details or the credit card details of the owner in it. As soon as the vehicle comes in range of the toll plaza, the reader reads all its details flash it on the screen to the operator. The operator can automatically deduct the toll fare from the credit card of the user. It helps in speedy fare collection and thus the person does not have to wait in long queues to pay the toll fare to the authorities and waste his valuable time. It also helps in keeping a tab on the daily movement of the vehicle with other details like average speed, average running weight, car’s make and model, etc. It can also help in detecting the stolen cars whenever such vehicles come near a toll plaza.
Taking the advantages of the RFID system into account, the Indian Government has decided to upgrade all its Seaports with the latest state of the art technology for easy tracking and surveillance of the products and the vehicles. It will also save the time at the entry or at the gates where the goods and other items are checked. The program has been started and the first seaport to get fully equipped with the RFID System is the Cochin International Seaport on the western edge of the Indian Subcontinent. Keeping in mind the port safety and security, all the vehicles entering the port are equipped with the RFID which is read by the boom barrier for granting access to the vehicle. It would help in making the port safer and secure against any intrusion. It will also increase the overall efficiency of the port and help in speeding up the process.