RFID is an enabling technology allowing ubiquitous wireless tracking and sensing. In the form of passive RFID, it is widely deployed in billions of units each year on everything from cattle to apparel to being embedded in smart cards. Versions with their own power source (active RFID) enable sensing, real time location systems (RTLS) and machine to machine communication via wireless sensor networks (WSN) – extending the internet to objects by being able to communicate with them over the web – termed "The Internet of Things".
RFID has made significant impact in retail, transit, healthcare, payments, security and logistics applications, utilizing a wide range of enabling technologies with different price and performance points. There is at least as much value in the system and services as there is in the hardware, with the requirement to collect, filter and critically make profitable automated decisions with the information. The opportunity is just beginning, with the technology enabling visions such as "Smart Cities," to consumer goods companies and retailers increasing sales by reducing inefficiencies but more importantly adding clear value for consumers.
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