Radio Frequency Identification Technologies

A Workshop Summary

Committee on Radio Frequency Identification Technologies

Computer Science and Telecommunications Board

Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences

NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES

THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS
Washington, D.C.
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Radio Frequency Identification Technologies: A Workshop Summary Radio Frequency Identification Technologies A Workshop Summary Committee on Radio Frequency Identification Technologies Computer Science and Telecommunications Board Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS Washington, D.C. www.nap.edu

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Radio Frequency Identification Technologies: A Workshop Summary THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS 500 Fifth Street, N.W. Washington, DC 20001 NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance. Support for this project was provided by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the agency that provided support for the project. International Standard Book Number 0-309-09543-3 (Book) International Standard Book Number 0-309-54778-4 (PDF) Cover designed by Jennifer M. Bishop. Additional copies of this report are available from: The National Academies Press 500 Fifth Street, N.W., Lockbox 285 Washington, DC 20055 (800) 624-6242 (202) 334-3313 (in the Washington metropolitan area) http://www.nap.edu Copyright 2004 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America

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Radio Frequency Identification Technologies: A Workshop Summary THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES Advisers to the Nation on Science, Engineering, and Medicine The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Bruce M. Alberts is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Wm. A. Wulf is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Harvey V. Fineberg is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy’s purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Bruce M. Alberts and Dr. Wm. A. Wulf are chair and vice chair, respectively, of the National Research Council. www.national-academies.org

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Radio Frequency Identification Technologies: A Workshop Summary COMMITTEE ON RADIO FREQUENCY IDENTIFICATION TECHNOLOGIES GAETANO BORRIELLO, University of Washington, Chair DANA CUFF, University of California, Los Angeles CHRIS DIORIO, University of Washington BILL SCHILIT, Intel Corporation STEVEN SHAFER, Microsoft Corporation PAUL ZIPKIN, Duke University Staff LYNETTE I. MILLETT, Senior Program Officer DAVID PADGHAM, Research Associate (until May 7, 2004) PHIL HILLIARD, Research Associate (until June 4, 2004) JANICE SABUDA, Senior Program Assistant

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Radio Frequency Identification Technologies: A Workshop Summary COMPUTER SCIENCE AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS BOARD DAVID LIDDLE, U.S. Venture Partners, Co-chair JEANNETTE M. WING, Carnegie Mellon University, Co-chair ERIC BENHAMOU, Benhamou Global Ventures, LLC DAVID D. CLARK, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, CSTB Member Emeritus WILLIAM DALLY, Stanford University MARK E. DEAN, IBM Systems Group DEBORAH ESTRIN, University of California, Los Angeles JOAN FEIGENBAUM, Yale University HECTOR GARCIA-MOLINA, Stanford University KEVIN KAHN, Intel Corporation JAMES KAJIYA, Microsoft Corporation MICHAEL KATZ, University of California, Berkeley RANDY H. KATZ, University of California, Berkeley WENDY A. KELLOGG, IBM T.J. Watson Research Center SARA KIESLER, Carnegie Mellon University BUTLER W. LAMPSON, Microsoft Corporation, CSTB Member Emeritus TERESA H. MENG, Stanford University TOM M. MITCHELL, Carnegie Mellon University DANIEL PIKE, GCI Cable and Entertainment ERIC SCHMIDT, Google, Inc. FRED B. SCHNEIDER, Cornell University WILLIAM STEAD, Vanderbilt University ANDREW J. VITERBI, Viterbi Group, LLC CHARLES BROWNSTEIN, Director KRISTEN BATCH, Research Associate JENNIFER M. BISHOP, Program Associate JANET BRISCOE, Manager, Program Operations JON EISENBERG, Senior Program Officer RENEE HAWKINS, Financial Associate MARGARET MARSH HUYNH, Senior Program Assistant HERBERT S. LIN, Senior Scientist LYNETTE I. MILLETT, Senior Program Officer JANICE SABUDA, Senior Program Assistant GLORIA WESTBROOK, Senior Program Assistant BRANDYE WILLIAMS, Staff Assistant For more information on CSTB, see its Web site at <http://www.cstb.org>, write to CSTB, National Research Council, 500 Fifth Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20001, call at (202) 334-2605, or e-mail CSTB at cstb@nas.edu.

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Radio Frequency Identification Technologies: A Workshop Summary Preface The day when each discrete manufactured object in our everyday environment comes with an embedded computer chip is arguably getting closer. Radio frequency identification (RFID) technology is currently one of the most powerful forces moving us in that direction. RFID technology uses three main components: (1) a microchip with a radio antenna (often referred to as an RFID tag), (2) a device to send and receive a signal from such tags (called an RFID tag reader), and (3) the hardware and software environment that enables useful information to be derived from the interactions of tags and readers. The technology has already shown promise in uses involving transportation (for example, SmarTrip and E-ZPass for parking fees or transit fares and highway tolls) and commerce (for example, Mobil's SpeedPass). A number of other uses for the technology are under development and in some cases deployed, including applications such as real-time inventory management and “smart” checkout in stores and libraries. Current technical issues with the technology include such matters as the size and production cost of individual tags, interference between readers and other devices in their spectrum range, and the effective range of tags and readers. Many industry leaders look forward to the benefits and cost savings that RFID technology might bring to their operations. However, on the consumer and regulatory side, there are many concerns and unanswered questions about the technology—for example, what are the ramifications for personal privacy of embedding RFID tags in consumer products? Indeed, more than one company has had to change or rethink its plans for RFID technology because of the concerns of consumers and privacy advocates about how the technology would be used. Currently, RFID technology seems to be at a crucial point—in the development of the technology itself, on the one hand, and in the development of the policies and standards that will affect its use and deployment, on the other. In addition, with the recent entrance into the RFID arena of two major participants—the U.S. Department of Defense and the nation’s largest retailer, Wal-Mart—the technology may be on its way to becoming ubiquitous in American society. As a follow-on activity to the project that produced the report Embedded Everywhere: A Research Agenda for Networked Systems of Embedded Computers,1 the Computer Science and Telecommunications Board (CSTB) of the National Research Council (NRC) conducted a short workshop that explored RFID technology and related technical and policy issues. Workshop participants included representatives from industry, academia, government, and relevant non-governmental organizations. 1   See National Research Council, 2001, Embedded, Everywhere: A Research Agenda for Networked Systems of Embedded Computers, National Academy Press, Washington, D.C.

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Radio Frequency Identification Technologies: A Workshop Summary To conduct the workshop, the NRC appointed a steering committee—the Committee on Radio Frequency Identification Technologies—with expertise in the following areas: technical and engineering aspects of RFID and related technologies; the practical and business uses of these technologies; the implications of RFIDs for personal privacy, anonymity, and so on; and the policies, standards, and regulations surrounding RFIDs. The committee developed the workshop agenda, participated in the workshop, and composed this workshop summary report. The committee met in person twice (during and immediately after the workshop), as well as via teleconference. Committee members also did a great deal of work electronically via e-mail. This report is the committee’s synthesis of key points made in presentations by the workshop panelists and in subsequent discussions. Although the summary is a report prepared on the basis of presentations and discussions at the workshop and among committee members, the comments do not necessarily reflect the views of the committee, nor are they findings or recommendations of the National Research Council. The committee thanks the individuals who contributed to its work, including the workshop panelists (listed in the workshop agenda in Appendix A) and participants. The committee appreciates their willingness to address the questions posed to them and is grateful for their insights. The reviewers of the draft report provided insightful and constructive comments that contributed significantly to the clarity of the report. Neither this report nor the workshop itself would have been possible without the dedicated and professional efforts of CSTB staff. David Padgham was involved in organizing the event and was instrumental in bringing the excellent collection of panelists together. The logistics of the event were flawless, thanks to Janice Sabuda. Phil Hilliard provided excellent notes on the workshop discussions. Dorothy Sawicki from the Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences’ editorial staff made significant editorial contributions to the final manuscript. Extra special thanks go to Lynette Millett, who developed the idea for this workshop and went beyond the call of duty in keeping overcommitted members of the steering committee on task. Without her, none of this would have been possible. Gaetano Borriello, Chair Committee on Radio Frequency Identification Technologies

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Radio Frequency Identification Technologies: A Workshop Summary Acknowledgment of Reviewers This report has been reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise, in accordance with procedures approved by the National Research Council’s (NRC’s) Report Review Committee. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the institution in making its published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. We wish to thank the following individuals for their review of this report: Bruce Eckfeldt, Cyrus Innovation Deborah Estrin, University of California, Los Angeles Randy H. Katz, University of California, Berkeley Ravi Pappu, ThingMagic Gregory J. Pottie, University of California, Los Angeles Sumit Roy, University of Washington Fred B. Schneider, Cornell University William Stead, Vanderbilt University Although the reviewers listed above have provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the conclusions or recommendations, nor did they see the final draft of the report before its release. The review of this report was overseen by Richard Rowberg, Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences, National Research Council. Appointed by the National Research Council, he was responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with institutional procedures and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content of this report rests entirely with the authoring committee and the institution.

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Radio Frequency Identification Technologies: A Workshop Summary Contents     OVERVIEW   1 1   TECHNOLOGY AND APPLICATIONS   3      RFID VARIABLES   4      Tags,   4      Readers and Reader Infrastructure,   6      COORDINATING CAPABILITIES AND SYSTEM CONSIDERATIONS   10      STANDARDS BODIES AND STANDARDS   11      APPLICATIONS AND BUSINESS   13      The Supply Chain and Beyond,   16      Consumer-Centered Applications,   18      Ongoing Challenges,   20 2   SOCIETY AND CULTURE   21      CHARACTERISTICS OF RFID TECHNOLOGY IN SOCIAL TERMS   23      TYPOLOGY OF RISK—PRIMARY SOCIAL CONCERNS   25      ESTABLISHING PUBLIC TRUST   27     APPENDIXES   29     A    WORKSHOP AGENDA   31     B    BIOSKETCHES OF COMMITTEE MEMBERS   35     WHAT IS CSTB?   39

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