Radio frequency identification is an automatic ID system. Like a barcode or the magnetic strip on a credit card, an RFID tag provides a unique identification code that can be read by a scanning device. Unlike other ID systems, RFID uses radio waves to communicate with readers. When a reader picks up these waves, it converts them into digital data that identifies the object that contains the tag. There are numerous benefits to RFID technology, but it comes with some limitations and drawbacks as well.
RFID systems can automatically pick up tag IDs from a distance and, in some cases, through obstacles between the tag and the reader. RFID systems can scan multiple items simultaneously. For example, you could scan incoming goods in your warehouse in the box, allowing you to check all contents at once without having to run individual barcode scans on each item. Other ID systems typically have a single or limited identifier for each object -- RFID tags can contain more information. Some are also read-write, allowing you to add or change data. You can implant tags into objects or use plastic coverings to protect them. This makes them more robust than some other ID tags. For example, barcodes must sit on the exterior of objects, making them prone to damage that may make them unreadable.