Radio-frequency identification (RFID) is the use of an object (typically referred to as an RFID tag) applied to or incorporated into a product, animal, or person for the purpose of identification and tracking using radio waves. Some tags can be read from several meters away and beyond the line of sight of the reader.
The RFID device serves the same purpose as a bar code or a magnetic strip on the back of a credit card or ATM card; it provides a unique identifier for that object. And, just as a bar code or magnetic strip must be scanned to get the information, the RFID device must be scanned to retrieve the identifying information
Most RFID tags contain at least two parts. One is an integrated circuit for storing and processing information, modulating and demodulating a radio-frequency (RF) signal, and other specialized functions. The second is an antenna for receiving and transmitting the signal.
There are generally three types of RFID tags: active RFID tags, which contain a battery and can transmit signals autonomously, passive RFID tags, which have no battery and require an external source to provoke signal transmission, and battery assisted passive (BAP) RFID tags, which require an external source to wake up but have significant higher forward link capability providing greater range.
A smart card, chip card, or integrated circuit card (ICC), is any pocket-sized card with embedded integrated circuits. There are two broad categories of ICCs. Memory cards contain only non-volatile memory storage components, and perhaps dedicated security logic. Microprocessor cards contain volatile memory and microprocessor components. The card is made of plastic, generally polyvinyl chloride, but sometimes acrylonitrile butadiene styrene or polycarbonate . Smart cards may also provide strong security authentication for single sign-on within large organizations.
Smart health cards can improve the security and privacy of patient information, provide a secure carrier for portable medical records, reduce health care fraud, support new processes for portable medical records, provide secure access to emergency medical information, enable compliance with government initiatives and mandates, and provide the platform to implement other applications as needed by the health care organization.
MIFARE is the NXP Semiconductors (a spin-off company formed out of Philips Semiconductors)-owned trademark of the reputedly most widely installed contactless smart card, or proximity card, technology in the world with (according to the producer) over 1 billion smart card chips and 10 million reader modules sold. The technology is owned by NXP Semiconductors, with its headquarters in Eindhoven, the Netherlands, and main business sites in Nijmegen, the Netherlands, and Hamburg, Germany.
The MIFARE proprietary technology is based upon the ISO/IEC 14443 Type A 13.56 MHz contactless smart card standard.