RFID Technologies Master seminar : Tangible User Interfaces Bruno Dumas – DIVA Group University of Fribourg 9.12.2005.
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RFID Technologies Master seminar : Tangible User Interfaces Bruno Dumas – DIVA Group University of Fribourg 9.12.2005
Presentation summary “RFID” ? Base of the technology Technical aspects Advantages & Limitations “Standard” applications Applications to TUIs Conclusion
“RFID” ? RFID -> Radio Frequency IDentification Derived from early military technology (russian “bugs”, 1939 Allied IFF systems, etc.) First papers on the RFID theory in the 60’s First high scale deployments in the 90’s 21st century : RFID everywhere ?
Base of the Technology Necessary elements : a reader and a tag Reader sends a wave at a given frequency If a tag is close enough to the reader, it will receive the wave The tag is designed to take advantage of the wave energy to send back an answer, enclosing (for example) its identity
Technical aspects : Tags Different types of tags : (Pure) passive Semi-active (same technology than passive tags, but battery assisted) Active (contain a transceiver, battery assisted) Increase in read range, but also in price !
Technical Aspects : frequencies RFID operates at different frequencies FreqencyPrice rangeRead RangeLimitationsApplications Low frequency 125-134 kHz lowLow ( < 1 m.)Low reading speed Animal/Container tracking… High Frequency 13.56 Mhz Low to MiddleLow ( < 1.5 m)Problems with metal Library, access control… Ultra-high freq. 860-930 MHz Middle to HighHigh ( > 10 m)Interference problems Pallet/Vehicle tracking… Microwave 2.4 GHz HighHigh ( > 50 m)Not widely deployed Vehicle access control
Technical aspects : protocols Numerous protocols… … Really numerous : ISO standards Industry-defined (EPC) standards US Department of Defense standards And *lots* of proprietary solutions…
Technical aspects : Protocols Proof by example : the 860-930 Mhz range
Advantages As Sokymat says… But sometimes very low range Depends of the material Only valid for low frequency tags Not all tags have this functionality Mainly valid for high frequency tags
Limitations Read range (for passive tags, less than 1 meter in most cases, sometimes even less than a few cm !) Security (nothing at this time, at least among the standards; planned ?) Multi-tag management (collision problems with some types of readers and tags) Interferences with metals and liquids No unification between the different protocols
Case study : US Passport The US decided to introduce RFID chips into their new passport Goal : easily integrate machine reading of personal and biometrics data … All this with no security at all… They were finally told of the dangers and reviewed the concept The « new » passport contains encryption, shielding, some sort of PIN code…
“Real” advantages Cost will necessarily go down As a replacement for the bar code, good technology Linked with other technologies (like GPS or sensors), can become really attractive
“Standard” Applications Presented as a successor of the bar code (which shall still remain in place a few years, though) Supply chain Traceability Animal Identification Checkpoint systems …
Application to TUIs Augmented documents Tangible bookmarks Easy “interfacisation” of random objects Etc… What could be the limit when every product is tagged ?
Conclusion Present state of the RFID : Nonetheless, will be a major piece of our future Dearly desired by the industry Desirable for the TUI research … as a tool … mixed with other technologies ?
Final anecdote Some fundamentalist Christians firmly believe that RFID is in reality… … The Mark of the Beast !!! (Cf. Wikipedia.org for more details ^^ )
References http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RFID K. Finkenzeller, RFID handbook : fundamentals and applications in contactless smart cards and identification, Wiley & Sons 2004. S. Shepard, RFID : radio frequency identification, McGraw Hill 2005. RFID: a week long survey on the technology and its potentialRFID: a week long survey on the technology and its potential Bridging Physical and Virtual Worlds with Electronic TagsBridging Physical and Virtual Worlds with Electronic Tags Real Applications using RFID tags AIM RFID Emblem