John Callaham: What is RFID and what is it used for?

15/04/2019 - 08:52

If you have bought a wallet that claims to have RFID blocking features, you may be concerned about the security of your debit or credit cards that have RFID chips. But what is RFID, anyway? How does it work and what does this term even stand for anyway? If you have these questions, we can supply you with the answers.

What does RFID stand for?
Let’s get the easy question out of the way first. RFID is a rather clumsy acronym for Radio Frequency Identification. The full name is a clue into how this technology works. It uses radio waves to send information to very small and simple hardware devices. While papers and theories about systems similar to RFID were first published in the 1940s, the first real practical applications and RFID products launched in the early to mid-1970s, according to a paper on the history of this technology. In some ways, RFID is a simpler version of the NFC (Near Field Communication) technology that many Android smartphones use for digital payment systems like Samsung Pay and Android Pay.