Study About The Technology Of Rfid Computer Science Essay


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The library is a room that stored lots of collection of books and important documents. A library is not only available at the schools, college or in universities, but also in the companies. Most of the libraries that placed thousands of books use the technology of the barcode to record and manage the borrowing and returning process.

However, not all libraries use this technology especially for the small library in industrial companies that keep important documents; technical report, drawings, ISO documents and etc. Besides, the barcode system is less suitable in order to monitor the user and also to track the movement in and out of the documents [1].

Thus, through the technology of the RFID, high security management system can be provided where only the authorized or registered user can review on the confidential and high classified documents. Besides, through the access authorization, unauthorized person cannot enter the room that keeps the documents and the loss of the important documents can be prevented.

On the other hand, through the database development, the number of users enters and review on the documents can be monitored and recorded. This record can be used for revision in the future.

Problem Statement

Nowadays, many companies stored all the confidential and important documents in a small library. Most of the companies used a form of sign in and sign out paper sheet to borrow the documents or the books which appeared to be outdated. Besides, this required the use of lots of papers and space to store all those forms. It becomes a problem to find the record if the user forgot to return the document as this will require lots of time sifting through all the papers.

Some of the companies also implemented the barcode system in the library. The barcode system required line of sight to the read the barcode. It is less security for authorization at the entrance where the user may not scan the barcode identity card on the scanner at the entrance. Besides, a staff is needed to monitor the users to scan their identity cards on the scanner and this will avoid the staff from doing the more professional work [1].

Moreover, by using the fill in form and the barcode system, the borrowing and returning book process take lots of steps and time. Besides, if it happens that a user is forgotten to return the documents back, he would delay others that need to use the same documents from completing their task.

Thus, by using this RFID system, the borrowing, returning and updating record in the database can be in one go [2] and it will be much more easy to track the documents if they were lost.

Objectives of the Research

The objectives of this project are:

To study about the technology of RFID.

To develop an organized and updated security filing record system.

To record and control number of users reviewing the documents in the library as reference for the future.

Scope of work

The scope of this project comprises as the following:

To develop a secured real time tracking system that will trace the movements in and out of the documents.

Access authorization will be implemented to allow only authorized people to retrieve high classified documents.

To avoid unauthorized people from exploring the database system recklessly.

Report Outline

Chapter 1 reviews the RFID technology, problem statement, the objectives of the project, scope of the project. Chapter 2 reviews about the operation and working principle of various types of RFID technology. A brief explanation of RFID system will be discuss including the types of RFID technology and followed by the advantages and the limitation of the RFID technology. Chapter 3 will discuss about the RFID security system and the development of the web application. Chapter 4 presents the result of the web development and lastly, chapter 5 describes the conclusion of the project and some recommendation for the improvement in the future.



2.1 Introduction

This chapter reviews some of the studies related to the project in order to gain more knowledge about the Radio Frequency Identification (RFID), database and Java as the programming language to develop the Graphical User Interface (GUI).

2.2 Radio Frequency Identification (RFID)

2.2.1 The RFID Systems

RFID is actually an older technology compared to the barcodes. RFID has been used for airplane identification during the World War II and also for identification of the rail cars in the United States [3]. Nowadays, the implementation of RFID technology is expanding rapidly in many applications such as supply chain management, transportation, retail, health sector and etc.

Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology provide wireless data transmission between the transponder and the reader [3]. RFID uses the electromagnetic waves to transfer data between the reader and the transponder in order to identify, to categorize or even to track the objects through the unique identifier code contained in the transponder [4]. RFID system is fast and reliable in gathering data without the need of touching or seeing the data carrier or in other word, it is a contactless technology compared to the old technology of barcode. The tag or transponder also can withstand the harsh and rugged environment [5-6].

The RFID consists of three main components which are the tags or transponders, antenna and reader [3, 5, 7-8]. The tags contain the integrated circuit, IC chip used for storing and processing information and modulating and demodulating the radio frequency signal where as the antenna is used for communication between the tag and reader. RFID reader or transceiver retrieves the information from the tag and send the information to the application program [3, 8].

Figure 2.1: The RFID Work Scheme [3].

Figure 2.2: Integrated Circuit of RFID Chip

2.2.2 Tags or Transponders

Tags or also called as transponders come in three basic types; passive, active and semi-passive. The tags are available in two memory types which are read only and read or write.

Figure 2.3: The RFID Tag Passive Tag

Passive transponder has an infinite life since it does not have any internal power source [5]. This tag does not require any internal power source because it only use the electromagnetic field emitted from the reader as the power source to transmit the data between transponder and reader [8]. The power received from the reader is absorb and temporarily stored into the capacitor through the process called inductive coupled [5] before use it as the energy to transmit the data to the reader. The passive tag is much smaller and cheaper and it can be set in anyplace or in anything. Active Tag

The active tag has the battery as the internal power source to constantly power the tag and its radio frequency (RF) communication circuitry [3, 5, 8]. As for that, active RFID tag only need to receive very low level of signals and from the internal power source, it can generate high level of signal back to the reader. However, the active transponder battery life is unpredictable, approximately last to 5 years depending on the frequency emitted and also how often the tag is scanned and operated. Active tag has longer communication range with the reader [3, 8], can be integrate with sensors and it is much more expensive than the passive tag. Semi-passive Tag

Semi-passive implement both systems; passive and active. It has battery to power the tag circuit and use the reflected RF signal for communication [5]. Read only

The memory of the read only tag is programmed during the manufacturing and cannot be modified. The data stored is static and in limited quantity only for about 96 bits. The tag also can easily be integrated with data collection system and the price is cheaper than the read/write tag [4]. Read and Write

The read and write tag is programmable and the data stored can be modified. This tag can store large amount of data from 32 Kbytes to 128 Kbytes and the price is much higher as well.

2.2.3 Antenna

In RFID system, there is at least one antenna used to transmit and receive the RF signals. However, there is also systems that have two antennas; one to transmit the signal and the other to receive the signals. Reader antennas come in variety of shapes and sizes. The function of an antenna attached to the reader is to transmit the electromagnetic wave that will activate a passive tag within the reading range. Once the passive tag is activated, it will use the electromagnetic wave received as the power source to transmit the information from its antenna to the reader.

2.2.4 Reader

RFID reader or the transceiver is a device that can read from and write data to compatible RFID tags [4]. The reader consists of radio frequency (RF) transmitter and receiver that is control by a microprocessor or digital signal processor (DSP). Using the antenna attached, the reader captures the information of the tags and passes the data to the computer a processing [4]. Readers can be affixed in a stationary position for example, at the entrance gate or beside a conveyor belt in a factory or dock doors in a warehouse. It can also be portable by integrating into a mobile computer that also might be used for scanning bar codes or even embedded in electronic equipment such as print-on-demand label printers.

Figure 2.4: Mobile RFID Reader

Figure 2.5: Stationary RFID Reader

2.2.5 Read Range and Tag Frequency

The reading range of the tag can be determine by the frequency of the tag, power of the reader and the material between the tag and the reader [5, 9]. Active tags have larger reading range than the passive because of the internal power source embedded in them. The reading range of the active tags from the reader can reached up to 100 meters in free air [8] compared to the passive reader which only has the reading range up to 2 meters.

There are four classification of frequencies transmission for the tags; low frequency (LF), high frequency (HF), ultra high frequency (UHF) and microwave frequency [5, 8-10]. The low frequency tag is commonly used in many small applications because they can be easily read through the penetration of the materials; tissue, water, wood and aluminum [8] and are not as orientation sensitive [5] as the higher frequency tags. In general, higher frequency do has greater reading range and higher reading speed than the low frequency but they tend to be line of sight dependent, orientation sensitive and require more power levels.

TABLE 2.1: Frequency Classification Table [5, 8-10].

Frequency Classification

Frequency Band (Hz)

Reading Range

Typical Applications

Read Only

Read Write

Low Frequency (LF)

125 kHz - 135kHZ

Up to 1 meter

0.3 meter

Animal identification, Car immobilizer, Control Access Work in progress pallets

High Frequency (HF)

13.56 MHz

Up to 2 meters

0.5 meter

Smart cards, Smart Labels, Domestic electrical goods, Access and Security Systems

Ultra High Frequency (UHF)

433 MHz - 960 MHz

Up to 5 meters


Item level tracking in factory and warehouse, Mass produced consumer durables

Microwave Frequency

2.45 GHz

Up to 10 meters

1 meter

Moving car electronic toll collection, Prepaid travel cards

TABLE 2.2: RFID Tag Properties.


Low Frequency

High Frequency

Ultra High Frequency

Read Range




Data transfer rate




Read/ Write data carriers




Read through water, tissue, wood, aluminum etc




Power Consumption




2.2.6 Advantages of RFID Technology No Line of Sight

RFID tags do not need any physical contact (contactless) between data carrier and communication device [2-3, 5-8, 10-11]. The tag detection not requiring human intervention thus reduces employment costs and eliminates human error from data collection [4]. Robust

RFID tags are rugged and can withstand extreme conditions and temperature.

"They can be used in hostile environments such as down oil wells (heat and pressure) to carry data to remote equipment [10]" . Read multiple of items

Many RFID tags can be read simultaneously at one time. Read speed

Tags can be read from longer ranges especially the active tags and can also be read quickly. This is very convenient when the items that need to identify are moving for example on a conveyor. Security

The RFID tags provide a high degree of security and product authentication as the tag is difficult to be counterfeit due to the unique identifier programmed in each of the tag compared to the barcode. Programmable

RFID tags can have read or write capable and not just read only. The tags also can store large amounts of data compared to barcodes and the tags can be used repeatedly. Thus, it will only cause low maintenance costs.



3.1 Introduction

This chapter describes the methods and procedures used in developing the system. The development of the system consists of the hardware development, software development and the interfacing of both hardware and software developments.

3.2 Hardware Development

The hardware used in this project is the RFID tags and the reader. The tags are passive and operated at the frequency of 125 kHz. Passive tag did not require any external battery as the tag only used the electromagnetic signal emitted from the reader to send back the data to the reader and they are much cheaper compare to other types of tags. The tags used are the read only and each tag has their own unique codes which are programmed already by the manufacturer.

Figure 3.1: The RFID tags

Model IDR-232 is used as the RFID reader. It operates at frequency of 125 kHz as well as the tags with 0.1 time response at the reading range of 2 cm. The IDR-232 has been designed with integrated RFID reader, antenna, LED, power cable and data cable. It uses 9600 baud data rate and RS232 serial interface to PC and fully operates with 5VDC power supply. It also has buzzer as the sound indication and bi-color LED as visual indication activity.

Figure 3.2: The RFID Reader

The RFID reader has been tested to read the unique code from the tags. The RFID reader is connected to the computer (PC) using the RS232 cable. After that, the HyperTerminal is opened and have to be configured as shown in Figure 3.3 below.

Figure 3.3: The Properties for HyperTerminal Configuration

After that, the IDR-232 will read the code of the passive 125 kHz tag if the tag is place nearby the reader in 2cm distance from the reader. The buzzer will sound and the LED will turn to green and in the HyperTerminal, the tag's ID in ASCII will show up.

Figure 3.4: The Tag's Unique Code in ASCII

3.3 Software Development

For software, database is created to store the information while the java is used as the programming language to create the Graphical User Interface (GUI) to interface the system with the device. The database is created using the Microsoft Access 2007 while the GUI is created using the NetBeans.

3.3.1 Database

The database is used to store all the information about the users and the books.

A new database is created with two main tables; "User table" and "Book table". The general information about the users and the books will be stored into the main tables. To monitor the movement of the users and books, the table for the user consists of user's id, user's name, email, job and faculty, time in, time out, status and date while the book consists of the book's id, title, author, book status and the user's id.


Figure 3.5: The User's Table.


Figure 3.6: The Book's Table.

3.3.2 Graphical User Interface (GUI)

The NetBeans software with Java language is used to create the GUI of this system. The flowchart in Figure 3.7 and 3.8 show the flow to build the programming of the system.

The books are tagged with the RFID tag while the user needs to be registered into the system. The RFID reader is installed at the entrance of the room and the reader is then connected to the PC using the Serial port.

Only the registered user will be able to access through the system. When the registered user comes to the entrance of the room, the reader will detect the tag and check whether the user is registered or not. After that, the user can start borrowing the book from the room and the user and book record will be updated automatically.

If an unregistered user entered the room and if a book is taken out without authorization, the alarm will be turn on to alert the security guard. This will prevent the important documents from getting lost or stolen.

Moreover, through this system as well, the tracking of the documents will be much easier. In a condition where a user probably forgot to return back a document, he would delay other user that need to use the same document from completing his task on time. Thus, to solve this problem, other user can go through this system and check who is the last user and email him to return the documents back to the room.


Read user ID


Is user registered?



Display user information

Update User Time In

Return Books?



Read Books ID

Update Book Status


Figure 3.7: User Check In and Returning Process.


Read user ID


Is user registered?



Display user information

Update User Time In

Borrow Books?



Read Books ID

Update Book Status


Figure 3.8: User Check Out and Borrowing Process



4.1 Introduction

This chapter describes the result s for this project.

4.2 RFID Security Management System

The GUI for this system is created and operated successfully according to the proposed application. Details explanation will be discussed below.

4.2.1 Login

The login window is created to ensure the safety of the system as to allow only the administrator that has the correct password to log into the system. The administrator need to key in the correct password which is "123" and click Login to log into the system as shown below.

C:\Users\user\Pictures\picture psm\43.png

Figure 4.1: The Login Window

However, if the user enters the wrong password, error message box will appear to inform that the password is invalid and the user need to enter the right password again.

C:\Users\user\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Temporary Internet Files\Content.Word\40.png

Figure 4.2: The Error Message Box for Invalid Login


4.2.2 Connection

Before starting to use the system, the administrator needs to connect the system with the RFID reader by selecting the Com Port in the combo box and click the Connect button. The Close button is to stop the connection of the reader with the system.

C:\Users\user\Pictures\picture psm\3.png

Figure 4.3: The Connection to the RFID Reader

4.2.3 User Entering and Exiting

After the connection, user can start entering the room by scanning her tag at the reader. If the user in registered, the user's name will be displayed and the time in and status will be updated into the database.

Figure 4.4: The User Entering Window


Figure 4.5: User's Time In, Status and Date Been Updated in the Database.

However, if unregistered user scans the tag, error message box will appear stating that an invalid user entered and the alarm will be turn on to alert the security guards.

Figure 4.6: The Invalid User Message Box

If the user wants to exit, the user needs to scan the tag and the time out and status will be updated.


Figure 4.7: The user's Exiting the Room.


Figure 4.8: User's Time In, Status and Date Been Updated in the Database.



5.1 Conclusion

In the nutshell, the implementation of the RFID technology will provide much more secure and efficient filing management system compare to other technology such as the barcode and also the manual management system. Furthermore, the time spent for the user to find the important documents can be reduce and user can do their work faster and conveniently.

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