Radio-frequency identification (RFID) is used in traceability to track and control objects using radio frequencies and radio frequency readers. Each product with an RFID tag gets a unique identity associated with their RFID tag that can be read by RFID readers. RFID is used more often in situations where establishing a line of sight between a traditional barcode and bar code reader is difficult to obtain, and/or when batch processing/identification is required. RFID technology allows manufacturers, suppliers, distributors, and retailers to identify all products within a batch at the same time instead of identifying each product in a batch individually like they would using traditional bar code technologies.
RFID tags are used to label each product and a RFID reader is required to identify items with RFID tags and relay identified information to a computer system for viewing and record keeping purposes. RFID readers can be both a static or portable devices connected to a power supply, such as an outlet or battery, with an integrated or attached radio frequency antenna. An example of when static RFID readers are commonly used is in distribution centers where they load and unload products, and an example of when portable RFID readers are used when a retailer needs to identify products on display in their retail store.