Radio-frequency identification, or RFID, technology provides identifying information about a person or an object, much like barcode technology does. The RFID inlay — which can be as small as a grain of rice — is the functional part of an RFID tag’s label that encodes the identifying information. The RFID inlay uses radio frequency waves to relay information to a computer system via an RFID reader.
The RFID inlay consists of two components. An integrated circuit or microchip that stores personal identifying information attaches to a small coil of aluminum, copper or silver wires called the antenna, which transmits and receives radio frequency signals. The microchip and antenna are then placed on a label, and the entire unit is encased in plastic.
Data from the microchip passes to the RFID tag’s antenna, where it is read by the antenna of an RFID reader and passed onto a host computer system for archival purposes, processing or analysis.
RFID inlays are classified as “wet” or “dry.” RFID inlays are considered “wet” if an adhesive is applied to the inlay to adhere it to a pressure-sensitive liner that comprises the label. Inlays are considered “dry” when the inlay is attached to the label without the use of an adhesive.