International Door & Operator Industry

SEP-OCT 2013

Garage door industry magazine for garage door dealers, garage door manufacturers, garage door distributors, garage door installers, loading docks, garage door operators and openers, gates, and tools for the door industry.

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Page 58 of 110

teChnicAl Radio Frequency ID I was going to change my picture with a recent photo, but since 'some people'… (you know who you are) … keep posting pictures of themselves from 10 years ago, I fgured I'd do the same.ProblemisthatifImeetpeople at the annual Convention, and they see me now, they'll think I'm sick! Anyway, …Radio Frequency Identifcation technology, known as RFID, is not a new technology, but is being applied in many new ways, spurred by technological advances and decreased costs. Originally used during World War II to identify friendly aircraft, RFID is being used in public and private sectors from hospitals to the highway, to livestock tracking, access control, theft control, and much much more ever since. Since our Industry is so product diverse, I feel sure that more than a few Companies are using this technology. But, I haven't received any phone calls or e-mails letting me know for sure. NowthatIthinkofit,thePresident hasn't called lately either!! I guess I'm out of the loop. In RFID systems, an item is "tagged" with a tiny silicon chip and an antenna, which can then be scanned by a mobile or stationary reader using radio waves. The "tag" can be encoded with unique information, allowing a tagged item to be individually identifed by a Reader. See fgure one. 56 Figure One Figure one shows two examples of Tags with chip and antenna, but there are actually hundreds of available shapes and sizes. Some are the size of a grain of rice, or buttons on your shirt, and some quite large. Some are designed to be permanent, some disposable. Tags can be either passive with no contained power source, or active, with a power source. Some Readers are mobile, and some stationary, some small, some large, and they work on different frequencies depending on range requirements. In each case, a Reader scans the tag for the data it contains and then sends that information to a database, which interprets the data stored on the tag. The tag, reader, and database are the key components of an RFID system. An every day example of this technology is used in clothing stores. Each particular suit jacket, including its style, color, and size, can be identifed electronically. Most people are aware that a door reader will sound an alarm if a tagged item wasn't deactivated by the salesclerk.SomePharmacies'areusing RFID to fll certain prescriptions from bottles bearing an RFID-chipped label International Door & Operator Industryª By Jack Ginther confrming the authenticity of its contents. On the highway, cars with RFID tagsontheirwindshields(E-ZPASS) can move swiftly through highway toll booths, saving time and reducing traffccongestion.Let'snotforgetthe automotive industry, who have been making RFID ignition key systems since 1997, and lately, more models are being offered with no ignition key, just a pocket RFID module. At home, many pets have been implanted with chips so that lost animals can be identifed and returned to their owners. So, we'll get a chip put in Fido andGrandPopatthesametime. With inventory control, you can follow everything all the way through from the manufacturer to the end user. Access control for people authentication is now changing as well. Many Schools are now using this technology. At some major Hotels, RFID wrist bands are replacing the electronic room key card. Hospitals and Nursing Homes follow a patient from admission to discharge. No accidental Frontal Lobotomysurgerywithpeoplewith a similar name. Some people have already been implanted with an RFID tag called VeriChip which links to a personalmedicaldatabase.EvenLibraries have been tagging certain books. Some Credit Cards are also implanted with tags, and do not need direct contact to Continued on page 58

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