First of all a simple overview of the RFID technology can be found in the post by the RFID Technology Research Project.

Then there is an RFID journal article by Mark Roberti and another really good introducing reference is the IEEE article by Jeremy Landt, which sums the histroy of the RFID technology. A few fundamental works he talks about are:

  • “Communication by Means of Refelcted Power” by Harry Stockman, 1948
  • “Radio transmission systems with modulatable passive responder” by D.B. Harris, 1950s.
  • “Theory of Loaded Scatterers” by R.F. Harrington, 1964
  • “Remotely activated radio frequency powered devices” Robert Richardson, 1963
  • “Passive data transmission techniques utilizing radar echos” by J.H. Vogelman, 1968
  • “Short-Range Radio-Telemetry for Electronic Identification Using Modulated Backscatter” by Alfred Koelle, Steven Depp and Robert Freyman, 1975

Two good statements by Landt are:

The impact of RFID is lauded regularly in mainstream media, with the use of RFID slated to become even more ubiquitous. The growing interest in telematics, article tracking, and mobile commerce will bring RFID even closer to the consumer.

[…]

At first glance, the concept of RFID and its application seems simple and straightforward. But in reality, the contrary is true. RFID is a technology that spans systems engineering, software development, circuit theory, antenna theory, radio propagation, microwave techniques, receiver design, integrated circuit design, encryption, materials technology, mechanical design, and network engineering, to mention a few. Increasing numbers of engineers are involved in the development and application of RFID, and this trend will likely continue. At present, the shortage of technical and business people trained in RFID is hampering the growth of the industry.

And then there are several articles by Roy Want, which are very informative and well written,

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