Radio - Frequency Identification (RFID)
This is the process by which a small microcontroller and an antenna are put into a card, glass tube, or pretty much anything else (the RFID tag), and then its stored information is picked up by a receiver (the RFID reader). RFID tags can be found in any Frequency imaginable, the two most common are 125khz and 13.56mhz. There are several development boards that allow the average hobbyist to interface with this fast growing technology, one is made by Parallax (the same company which makes the Basic Stamp) and some others are available at SparkFun (which has the parts but not the board), another really good supplier is RobotShop (which has everything from the boards to the tags and parts!)
RFID tags are generally classed as either active or passive, depending on whether or not they have their own power source (battery), or rely on the powered RFID reader to initiate transmission. Many RFID tags require the reader to be in very close proximity in order to be read, but others can be read at a distance of some meters.
- Parallax (Great kit with card and receiver)
- SparkFun (Great place to get parts for RFID only the first 9 items pertain to RFID)
- RobotShop (Great place to get any parts/boards for RFID hands down one-stop-shop)
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