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RFID: Radio Frequency Identification [Hardcover]

Steven Shepard

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Book Description

Aug. 16 2004 0071442995 978-0071442992 1
With estimates of the market as high as $10 billion over the next decade, RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) is a booming new wireless technology being adapted by retailers to track inventories via a microchip tagged product. This book is a basic introduction, walking readers through the complete implementation and monitoring process, and offers in-depth coverage of related business and security issues.

Contents: Defining RFID * Underlying Technologies * Technological Competitors * Current RFID Applications * Future RFID Applications * RFID/WiFi/3G/Bluetooth Coexistence * Implementations * Potential Roadblocks * RFID Security * RFID Chips, Readers, and Application Sets * Short and Long Term Forecasts


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Review

I hate to say this, because it sounds so hokey in a book review, but this is one book I couldn't put down. Well obviously I could put it down, and I did. But I didn't until after I had read the first 54 pages, Part I of the book.

Part I of this book talks about some applications of RFID that is stretching the limits of the technology as it exists today. He gives a series of examples of how RFID might be used in the future, along with a history of machine identification in the past. Perhaps my interest comes from the years I worked in that area. But that was some time ago, and RFID was just beginning. Now I see the applications he describes and immediately I think of several others. This kind of overview of where we are trying to go is rare in a technical book, and greatly appreciated.

Part II of the book is a description of the current state of the art in RFID. Here is a detailed description of who makes what that you can use to implement what was thought about in Part I.

He finally concludes with a short what-if story about a suspect container on a ship headed to an American port. This is straight out of not the headlines, but the comments made by John Kerry during the debates. This is a technology that is coming, that is needed. (Books-On-Line 2004-10-01)

From the Back Cover

TAG THE HOTTEST GROWTH IN WIRELESS

With a predicted $10-billion market over the next decade, RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) is a booming new wireless technology with an eager new audience—retailers. From global giant Wal-Mart down, RFID is being adapted to track inventories via microchip-tagged products. Popular technology writer Steven Shepard's RFID gives you an inside look at the entire arena, from the technology's staggering capabilities and potential, through insightful coverage of issues from vendors, implementation, and monitoring, to possible technical conflicts, market forecasts, and security.

A must-read for both technical types and retailers, this book's need-to-know contents include:
Defining RFID • Underlying Technologies • Technological Competitors • Future RFID Applications • RFID/3G/Bluetooth Coexistence • Implementation • Potential Roadblocks • RFID Security • RFID Chips, Readers, and Applications Sets • Short- and Long-Term Forecasts


Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
Consider for a moment the staggering chain of events that underlies the movement of mass market products from the producer to the buyer. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  22 reviews
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not worth the cash. March 10 2005
By Review hound - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
If you want a fluffy, executive-level overview of RFID, save yourself $60 and read an inflight magazine article about it. This book's relevant content is about the same.

Fully 1/3 of the book is taken up by a glossary and a list of acronyms, both of which are very clearly regurgitated from previously-published material. The author didn't even bother to cull out the terms that are utterly not relevant to the topic, not mentioned in the text, and not interesting to the target audience. To further pad the book, it's printed with large type on thick paper, with photos of things like container ships to illustrate such highly technical points as "container ships are big." The price is bulked up by adding a hardcover binding, which is inappropriate for a book of this type.

It's obvious to me that this book was a moneymaker for the publisher because they could get it on the shelf fast, so anyone looking for ANY book on RFID wouldn't see much besides this one. You know why it was so quick to write? Because there isn't much actual content in it. Thank goodness there are a few other books on the shelf now, so others won't get stuck with this one like I did.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not comprehensive enough Jan. 24 2005
By Sanjay Chikarmane - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
After buying the book based on the reviews here, I found the book quite disappointing. It is long on providing historical perspective, appendices on terminology, acronyms and glossaries, but short on substance.

Technology coverage is limited to low-level communication protocols and the standard OSI 7-layer model. Those looking for integration of RFID into middleware, business applications and end-to-end architecture will find very little.

The size of the book is on the smaller side but uses a lot of print space for photos, which are not useful. Font size and paper thickness are also on the larger side.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not worth the money! Sept. 27 2005
By Jenny, C. - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
The book seems incoherent, repetitive, almost like glued together with materials from different sources? If the author understand the subject, he is not communicating.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Technology and How It Can be Used. Oct. 26 2004
By John Matlock - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I hate to say this, because it sounds so hokey in a book review, but this is one book I couldn't put down. Well obviously I could put it down, and I did. But I didn't until after I had read the first 54 pages, Part I of the book.

Part I of this book talks about some applications of RFID that is stretching the limits of the technology as it exists today. He gives a series of examples of how RFID might be used in the future, along with a history of machine identification in the past. Perhaps my interest comes from the years I worked in that area. But that was some time ago, and RFID was just beginning. Now I see the applications he describes and immediately I think of several others. This kind of overview of where we are trying to go is rare in a technical book, and greatly appreciated.

Part II of the book is a description of the current state of the art in RFID. Here is a detailed description of who makes what that you can use to implement what was thought about in Part I.

He finally concludes with a short what-if story about a suspect container on a ship headed to an American port. This is straight out of not the headlines, but the comments made by John Kerry during the debates. This is a technology that is coming, that is needed.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good history, confusing technology Jan. 19 2005
By D. Dobkin - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book provides an interesting and sometimes entertaining discussion of the history of automated identification, and a simple and accessible introduction to enterprise resource planning and the management of supply chains. This book also provides a nice if quick survey of recent and prospective applications. The UPC/EAN bar code system's history and operation are well-described.

However, if you're looking for a well-organized, comprehensible introduction to the technology of RFID, you will be disappointed. Mr. Shepard doesn't appear to understand some key distinctions -- for example, the difference in operating principles between 'inductive' systems operating at frequencies of KHz to MHz, and 'radiative' systems in the UHF and microwave bands -- and his discussion of technology focuses almost exclusively on low-frequency technology without explicitly noting this fact. I don't know how anyone who wasn't already familiar with the technology would understand most of the discussion of modulation and coding techniques. He implies that public key cryptography is used to secure RFID communications, which is absurd for passive tag applications given the computational demands of that approach. Mr. Shepard also fails to clearly distinguish between applications that are readily achievable with today's technology and those that would require revolutionary improvements or are just flat physically impossible. So if you're interested in history, pick up this book; if you need to design or implement an RFID system, get Finkenzeller's handbook, which is less accessible but much more thorough and technologically astute.
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