Imagine a future in which not only people, but also things can communicate and exchange information. And this is not science fiction. The development of communications has led to the fact that today almost everything is connected to a single telecommunications infrastructure. We can no longer live without communication, just as we cannot exist without oil and electricity.
It is not the first year for linguists to argue about how to translate the beautiful ubiquitous society into “great and mighty” beautiful Americanism. This is a society in which, according to experts, you and I will soon have to live, they call it “omnipresent”, then “open”, or simply “ubiquitous”.
In fact, the word "ubiquitous" is not news in the field of IT. The term "ubiquitous computing" (literally - ubiquitous computing) was proposed as early as 1991 by Mark Weiser, the former chief scientist at the Xerox research center. There was a lot of talk about “total computing”, but until recently they didn’t really believe in the possibility of implementing this idea.
With the help of ITU [http://www.itu.int/ubiquitous/], who launched the Ubiquitous Network Societies project in late 2004, the minds of experts were captured by the idea of creating a world in which information technologies fit into everyday life . The day is not far off when using miniature radio transmitters, IP addresses or hyperlinks you can “see” almost any object (from remote controls to disposable razors) and manage it.
Continuous development of communication implies a constant increase in the number of users, operators, services, communication channels and types of information transmitted. As a result, bandwidth, speed of information exchange, traffic volume and network usage time will also increase. We can say that we are building a “On Line” community. Or the fact that in the near science literature recently began to be called "Ubiquitous Society".
The world is made up of bricks.
It all began in 1946, when Russian engineer Lev Sergeyevich Termen invented the latest device for the Soviet Union, which was based on the principle of converting radio waves into sound vibrations. Sound waves, in turn, affected the diaphragm, which, slightly changing the shape of the resonator, modulated the reflected radio signal. Although this device was not an identification tag, but a passive transmitter (“bug”), it can be considered a direct relative, so to speak, the progenitor of RFID technology.
Another similar technology, the “friend – foe” recognition system, was invented by the British in 1939. It was widely used by the allies during World War II to determine the ownership of objects in the sky. Such systems are still used in both military and civil aviation.
It is likely that the Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology [Radio Frequency Identification] will soon change quite a significant part of our world - from mobile phones to supply management. There are many obstacles along the way, but the possibilities ahead are also serious. And the point here is not so much in the RFID itself, as in its network version.
Networked RFID (Networked RFID) (NRFID) devices are RFIDs that are used as a communications node in a distributed system that consists of open networks such as the Internet. This is their main difference from “traditional” RFID, which “communicate” mainly with the traditional, stand-alone “read / write” (R / W) system. This difference led to the following technical capabilities of NRFID.
The ubiquitous computing / ubiquitous philosophy underlies the technology and the NRFID system. Such systems consist of miniature computers used as network nodes, which are located in everything and everywhere, automatically “realize” the situation and interact with each other, exchanging information. The smallest node in this all-encompassing network is the NRFID.
NRFID is a key technology that blurs the line between the electronic virtual world in a distributed system and the real world, for example, objects connected to the network and their location. Thus, everyone will be able to use a completely new information service, unknown to today's information society. This is a direct access to information about the product that you hold in your hands - whether it be food, medicine or a child's toy; information about where you are, etc.
By changing our existence, NRFID can be applied in various areas of society. In the widely used ID centers, many experiments have already been conducted on NRFID applications, and experiments have shown the effectiveness of the NRFID technology for these applications. As an example, reviews of the following three particularly interesting (promising) applications are given: operational control of food, operational control of drugs and the provision of location services.
Comprehensive system for the operational control of food
This system allows you to keep track of what happens to products at every stage of their production, transportation, storage, processing and sale. If an accident is recorded due to the use of certain foods, this system is used to search for information, determine the cause and determine the degree of disaster.
In 2003, an experiment was conducted in Japan to “track” vegetables supplied to supermarkets. Even at the time of sowing, all the data on the place of cultivation, the applied agronomic methods, fertilizers, fertilizers, etc. were entered into the databases. During the harvest, an RFID tag with the appropriate code was attached to the product box. At each delivery stage, relevant information was added to the base record associated with this tag, for example, the type of fertilizers used and the date they were used. All information was available to buyers - it was enough to enter a request, specifying the barcode or RFID data of any vegetable purchased in the store. Thus, buyers could be convinced of the quality and safety of the goods they purchased. In 2005, the area of the experiment was expanded to cover 150 products - fruits, meat, milk and their products.
Did we get acquainted with the “achievement of Western civilization” - a bar code? Remember how you tried to deal with its designations, trying to determine the country of origin?
In their functions, RFID tags are very close to the already familiar barcodes, which are likely to be completely supplanted by RFID in the near future. This contributes to the mass advantages of labels over barcodes.
First, the data in the radio-frequency tag can be changed and supplemented many times, while the bar-code data cannot be changed - they are recorded immediately when printed.
Secondly, the RFID reader does not need to “see” the tag in order to read data from it. Moreover, labels can be placed imperceptibly, for example, inside a package, if it is, of course, radio-transparent. The tag can be read, even if it moves through the registration area at a sufficiently high speed.
Thirdly, the RFID tag can be read from a fairly large distance, which, depending on the tag model and transmitter power, can reach several tens of meters.
Fourth, the RFID tag area of 1 square. cm can store up to 10 thousand bytes, which is two orders of magnitude more than the information capacity of the bar code.
Fifth, modern readers can read data from several dozen RFID tags at the same time, which is inaccessible to a device with a bar code.
Sixth, to read the tag data, it does not matter how it is located. For automatic reading of barcodes there are standardized rules for placing them on commercial and transport packages. RFID tag is enough to be in the area of the scanner.
NRFID tags are divided into passive, sensor nodes and active. They can be built into almost any object and be located anywhere. The NRFID tag has its own identification number (ID). This number identifies records in the database that store information associated with this tag, the database is connected to the network, and information from it can be obtained using a subscriber terminal equipped with an information I / O system, a user interface, and an interface to the network. This terminal, having received the tag ID and identifying itself in the network, requests and receives the necessary NRFID data from the database. The radio links that support the exchange of information between the terminal and the service servers, the ID and the applications, become “bridges” between the real world, the presented information stored in the NRFID tag, and the virtual worlds of the servers.
Location Services is one of the most important applications of NRFID tags. The system works as follows: an active tag (beacon) is placed on one of the local objects, and passing cars equipped with scanners read data from it (for example, the nearest service stations, gas stations, information on repair work on the highway, information on surrounding historic sites, tourist sites, shops, hotels, restaurants, etc.).
Japan has developed the Free Mobility Assistance Project, which provides location information. Translated from the Japanese project slogan sounds like this: "Tie information to the place of stay." Trial operation of systems has already begun in some parts of Japan, particularly in the cities of Tokyo, Sapporo, Nagoya and Aomori on the island of Honshu.
Radio to pay for a taxi
It is said that Tokyo taxi drivers prefer to receive fare through RFID and mobile phones. In November 2004, the Japanese credit card company JCB International began testing the QUICPay payment system. Taxi drivers were issued RFID scanners, which read the data from the passenger’s mobile phone chip, determined the account balance and charged the required amount.
Supply Chain Management
When it comes to inventory management in the supply chain, trading faces many challenges. It is radio frequency identification that offers precise control over the supply chain, effective inventory management and careful procurement planning. RFID technology significantly reduces the time spent on inventory of a warehouse or store, while increasing the accuracy and accuracy of the data.
Counterfeit goods tracking
By placing RFID tags on a package of drugs sent to pharmacies or hospitals, pharmacists hope to reliably and accurately identify counterfeit drugs, since they are usually delivered by “left” ways, and there will not be marks on their tags about passing the required route points for the “right” drugs.
These tags can also be used to prevent theft and the purchase of expired drugs.
Tags for kids
When Legoland was opened in Denmark in 2004, the administration launched a kiddie search system based on the principle of periodically registering RFID in a wireless local area network. Parents wear special bracelets for children with tags embedded in them. When a child, moving through the park, enters the RFID registration area, the system records information about its location in the database. All this allows parents at any time to find out where their child is.
If the child is lost, parents and guards can use the mobile phone. They transmit a message to an application called "Locator of children." In response, the application returns a message containing information about the last location of the child - the coordinates, the name of the park section, etc.
Let's imagine the world of the “intellectual” trade of the future. Equipped with RFID scanners, shelves automatically register an assortment. When less than a certain number of products of this model / size / color remain in the sales area, the system will send a message to the warehouse with a notification about the need to update / replenish the range. Moreover, the store will be able to automatically notify the supplier and manufacturer of products, requesting a new consignment. Thus, thanks to RFID, everyone wins: we will always find what we are looking for, if, of course, someone produces it, the store increases sales, the manufacturer will always have information about demand, transport companies will improve shipping optimization.
No queues at the cashier and no chance for a thief
Using the RFID system, payment is faster than using a barcode. After all, if a customer buys several things, information is read simultaneously from all labels. RFID technology allows you to combine recognition with the observation of the goods. When a customer leaves the store, conventional electronic surveillance antennas automatically determine if the tag sensor on the product in the bag has been deactivated or removed.
All this is only a small part of the opportunities that applications have with the use of radio frequency tags.
According to many experts, RFID technology will become a new, and in the future, the only universal method of tracking products in the global supply chain. Experts believe that automatic identification and data collection systems will force out bar coding from the market, especially if the largest shopping centers do not retreat from the stated requirement that all suppliers must introduce radio frequency identification of their goods.
The potential of RFID is far from exhausted. However, on the way of introducing this technology, many difficulties arise, in particular, problems of a psychological nature that are inevitable for top managers - after all, they will have to restructure a well-established and worked out process over the years. But this is not important. We are dealing with the introduction of a new technology to the market, with a projected global coverage. Therefore, the main inhibiting factor is the cost of one label, which is much higher than the price of a bar code, as well as the absence of international standards.
Prospects for RFID technology
Ruslan Denisov, Business Analyst, Research and Development Department, Service Plus Group
RFID in the near future will not replace the CC
It is necessary to be very careful about the thesis about the displacement of bar coding by the radio frequency identification technology. Being one of the many methods of automatic identification, RFID has both clear advantages and disadvantages that define the limits of the technology application. The constraints are, first and foremost, the rather high cost of radio frequency identification per metering facility. However, the price factor is not the only one. For example, with a significant deformation of the traditional bar-code label, the operator still has the opportunity to manually enter the characters, which are usually duplicated with the bar code. With similar damage to the RFID tag identification is not possible. To prevent such a situation, some manufacturers put a corresponding barcode on the RFID tags.
Thus, it is possible to predict with confidence the coexistence in the near future (10–15 years) of RFID and other methods of automatic identification, including bar-coding.
Developing an RFID solution contains a large amount of technical consulting.
When developing a solution using RFID technology, it is necessary to take into account many different factors: geometry and radio frequency parameters of accounting objects and their environment, speed of movement and frequency of updating information, the amount of transmitted and stored data, etc. In some cases, the specificity of an object turns, at first glance, Typical design in a unique. Qualitative pre-project research is a prologue to the implementation of an effective RFID-based solution.
RFID solutions are promising in monitoring and managing the operation of a single technological chain.
Return on investment in RFID technology is provided primarily by optimizing resource management and reducing transaction costs. The minimum threshold for an economically viable RFID solution varies by industry. RFID-solution level of the technological chain requires a significant concentration of material and information resources, significant organizational efforts. However, it is in such projects that it is possible to increase the economic efficiency of using RFID technology by redistributing internal corporate costs.