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RFID: The concept and the impact

Steve Hodges and Duncan McFarlane


Radio frequency identification, or RFID, has sprung into prominence in the last five years with the promise of providing a relatively low-cost means for connecting nonelectronic objects to an information network. In particular, the retail supply chain has been established as a key sector for a major deployment of RFID technology. This chapter provides a background to the technology and its position with regard to competing technologies. A range of applications is reviewed and the chapter concludes with some comments on the likely societal impact of RFID and potential barriers to deployment. The report is aimed at a nontechnical audience – namely, senior staff from a spectrum of areas including insurance, banking, telecommunications, government institutions and academia. It does not cover any technologies other than RFID, and in particular does not address technologies that may be candidates for tracking people


Publication typeInbook
PublisherOrganisation for Economic Cooperation and Development
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