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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