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What is RFID technology and what is it used for?



Radio-frequency identification (RFID) uses electromagnetic waves to automatically identify and locate objects and living things. An RFID system consists of a transponder, which contains an identifiable code and is embedded in or attached to an object or living thing, and a device that can read the code.

Photo: Maschinenjunge, CC-BY-SA 3.0

RFID systems started being used towards the end of the Second World War. Transponders and readers were installed in aircraft and tanks so that troops could identify whether a specific location or vehicle was friend or foe. Nowadays the technology is used for things like tagging animals and identifying goods.

Saskia Blank from the Ideas 2020-Team answered this question in collaboration with Oliver Küch, Marketing and PR, from the Fraunhofer Institute for Secure Information Technology has been involved in answering the question.