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A system like that is very effective in a large variety of application fields,
especially if it is used in combination with a suitable network-based data
collection and processing system.
RFID systems are particularly useful when a contactless item detection
is needed, along with a high hit-ratio (the correct readings on the first try is
more than 99.5%), even in dirty or particularly severe environments. Last
but not least, RFID systems can be easily hidden in the environment, so they
are useful when the presence of a control system must not be revealed.
7.5 RFID for pervasive systems
RFID technology can significantly contribute to the realization of pervasive
systems, as demonstrated by many researchers over the years. Some
examples are the magic medicine cabinet [16], the augmentation of desktop
items [17] and smart shelves [18]. These prototypes show that RFID
technology has many benefits over other identification technologies, because
it does not require line-of-sight alignment, multiple tags can be identified
almost simultaneously, and the tags do not destroy the integrity or aesthetics
of the original object. Owing to the low cost of passive tags and their
powerless operation, there are also some weaknesses associated with RFID-
based object identification, as shown in [19].
The use of RFID applications exploit the full range of tag technology,
from low-cost tags to highly expensive miniature sensor/transponders.
Animals and livestock have been tracked using RFID technology for decades.
Recently, RFID has become a technology of choice for tracking humans too,
by means of smart tags the size of credit cards, buttons, bracelets, and even
tiny chips embedded in the skin [20][21].
Many researchers have demonstrated over the years that RFID technology
can significantly contribute to the realization of augmented reality systems,
where technology is seamlessly integrated into the environment.
Owing to its cost-effectiveness and easiness of use and deployment, RFID
is more and more used as enabling technology to provide humans with useful
services for their everyday lives, ranging from interactive guides [22][23], to
indoor navigation systems [24], and social interaction [25]. Most existing
solutions, moreover, employ a single specific technology, or are based on
simple querying dedicated web pages.
This chapter was written with the contribution of the following students who
attended the lessons of 'Grids and Pervasive Systems' at the faculty of
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