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A wealth of information about RFID is available at this site (1), ranging from background material to case studies. A discussion highlighting the myriad of uses for RFID is included. Transponder News (2) offers several articles that explore the technology in greater detail. Two in particular look at current and future trends, while others are editorial essays and technical notes. Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (3) is involved in the development of advanced tags for RFID systems. The project's homepage outlines current research efforts for three different types of radio frequency tags, which are being designed for varying degrees of sophistication and functionality. While RFID technology can be very useful, the fact that information about items is collected remotely raises concerns about privacy and security. This issue is addressed in a research paper from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (4). The authors review current RFID systems and their operation, and then propose a number of security mechanisms that could reduce the risk associated with their use. A paper presented at the 2002 European Wireless Conference (5) compares the performance of RFID systems that use ultra-high frequency (UHF) communications to those that use microwave communications. It is argued that although microwave-based devices, such as Bluetooth, are suitable for worldwide operation, systems that communicate in the UHF range have greater range and less interference. The introduction of RFID smart tags in goods is discussed in this article (6). Now that these tags are cheap enough to be attached to thousands of items, stores will be able to track goods as they are transferred from storehouses to retail shelves, thereby minimizing the possibility of loss or theft. RFID technology has found another use in the war with Iraq. An article from May 20, 2003 (7) describes wristbands embedded with an RFID chip. The status and position of a wounded soldier who is wearing such a wristband can be monitored while he or she is recovering at a medical facility. For additional updates on the development of RFID technology, RFID News (8) maintains current news about emerging standards, innovative applications, and general issues.
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