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Printed Antennas for Combined RFID and 2D Barcodes

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The adoption of RFID and Near Field Communication (NFC) Devices, while slower than the optimistic projections of several years back, is nevertheless relentless, to the effect that large retailers such as Wal-Mart are willing to place RFID labels costing roughly 0.10 per package on products which retail for less than US 7. The advantage of the RFID adoption is initially in inventory management (“just in time” stocking) and re-ordering, sales analytics, etc. However, by combining the printing of the RFID antenna with the printing of other consumer features, significant cost benefits can result. We have tested combining an RFID antenna with the printing of a 2D barcode, and demonstrated that we can replicate the 96-bit GS1 SGTIN (Serialized Global Trade Item Number) information of the RFID chip in the 2D barcode, while using the reference (“L” shaped outline of two of the four sides of the 2D barcode) of the 2D barcode for the RFID antenna. Properly crafting the antenna can result in a significant increase in RFID reading range (up to 100X in our experiments), and the antenna can also be crafted to fit the form factor of the product tag. Our paper will discuss some of the implications this work has on hybrid (printing + sensors) smart labels and tags and their use in various retail, industrial, government and manufacturing workflows.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2011

More about this publication?
  • For more than 25 years, NIP has been the leading forum for discussion of advances and new directions in non-impact and digital printing technologies. A comprehensive, industry-wide conference, this meeting includes all aspects of the hardware, materials, software, images, and applications associated with digital printing systems, including drop-on-demand ink jet, wide format ink jet, desktop and continuous ink jet, toner-based electrophotographic printers, production digital printing systems, and thermal printing systems, as well as the engineering capability, optimization, and science involved in these fields.

    Since 2005, NIP has been held in conjunction with the Digital Fabrication Conference.

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