What are RFID wristbands? “CTFAC” gives you the full picture

A Radio Frequency Identification system, as the name indicates, uses radio frequency to transfer data. This technology is used by RFID Wristbands to transmit information to a back-end computer. They have been widely used in music festivals, water parks and even conventions and to say that they’re popular is a clear understatement.

To have a better understanding about this revolutionary invention that has evolved from a strategic tool in World War II to a way to enhance an event’s experience, this article will comprehensively introduce the “CTFAC” of RFID wristband to give you a deeper understanding of it, including the components of an RFID wristband, the technology inside them and its main functions. 

We will also provide several examples of their applications, specially on the entertainment and recreation industries. Finally, we’ll list the different types of wristbands, based on their frequency and the way they obtain their energy.

Composition of an RFID Wristband

Composition of an RFID Wristband

An RFID Wristband contains both an RFID chip and an antenna, which comprises the smart tag. They use low-power radio waves to receive, store and transmit data. On the outside, the tag is covered by a substrate or protective material layer, which sustains all the components and can be embedded in silicone or cloth.

The wristband in question often comprises an inner and outer surface with equidistant top and bottom edges. It also contains a groove on its inner surface, which has an RFID chip and antenna. An overmold covers all these components to keep them at the same distance. RFID wristbands are often decorated to match the colors of the company that is holding the event.

Technology of RFID Wristband

RFID wristband is the product of RFID technology development. RFID is short for Radio Frequency Identification. It is a kind of automatic identification technology, using radiofrequency for contactless two-way data communication and for reading and writing to recording media (electronic tags or radiofrequency CARDS)

To achieve the purpose of identification and data exchange. RFID is considered one of the most promising information technologies of the 21st century as well as RFID wristbands are also considered a revolutionary smart product that is changing the way we live.

Technology-of-RFID-Wristband

Upon reading the encoded information, an RFID scanner transmits the information. The tag then receives the transmission and provides an identification number. The information on an RFID wristband can be modified in real-time and protected by encryption and passwords.It is important to keep it safe, since the smart tags can store from credentials to social media profiles.

One great thing about RFID wristbands is the fact that they can be read from every direction. Also, the smart tags are able to function inside non-conductive materials.

On the other hand, since most RFID wristbands operate at high frequency, they’re only able to locate an attendee inside the venue, therefore, they can’t be use as a tracking device, despite the advantages this would represent for the security staff.

RFID wristbands can be reprogrammed in case they’re lost or stolen. They can also be linked to other wristbands to keep children from entering certain areas, Another interesting aspect about an RFID wristband is that their storage capacity depends on the type of tag.

A passive RFID tag can store up to 3.72 kilobytes, which is enough to store names, addresses and credit card numbers. However, ultra-high frequency tags that are used for the aerospace industry can reach up to 8 kilobytes, whereas the RFID tags for access control are typically 3 kilobytes or smaller.

The technology inside an RFID wristband is practical for event organizers. One of the reasons is its read rate. Unlike barcode wristbands, RFID wristbands have a high throughput, allowing the personnel at the entry to scan multiple tags in a matter of minutes. On the other hand, they don’t require line of sight, since they can be scanned at a reading distance.

Functions of RFID Wristband

Many of you should have used RFID wristbands, but in your impression, it is just a bracelet that allows you to enter a concert, theme park, hotel, etc., without in-depth understanding of it. It is certainly more than that.

  • Payments: wristband’s technology allows customers to pay without cash, similar to credit cards. Attendees can add their payment information to the RFID tag before the event.
  • Self-Check-In: RFID systems speed up the entry process, since they can be pre-authorized before being sent to the customers, allowing them to check-in once they get to the premises.
  • Access ControlAn RFID wristband can be scanned at the entrance, reducing the need of carrying tickets to participate in an event.
  • Real-Time Analytics: An RFID system can be of great help for organizers. They allow them to keep track of busy periods, queue times and popular attractions.
  • Data Transfer: RFID scanners have an encoded radio signal that identifies the tag, which is linked to a database with information about the customer.

Applications and Benifits of RFID Wristbands

An RFID wristband has many uses. Since its discovery on World War II to identify if a plane was friend or foe, this technology has been used to process payments, supply chain management and even brand authentication. The main application environment is as follows:

Hotel Management: Used for payment, access control and activity areas. A hotel on the Spanish island of Ibiza, known as the summer night bar capital of Europe, has introduced a new initiative: letting guests wear RFID wristbands. The wristband is not only a room card, but also has a quick payment function. Guests can also upload pictures of the hotel and activities to Facebook with the help of RFID technology, which brings extraordinary exposure to the hotel and provides guests with a valuable interactive experience.

Medical Industry: Hospitals are used to accurately identify patients, to prevent medication and nursing errors, to avoid medical errors and medical disputes, and to improve efficiency and save lives.

For example, the wristband chip can first determine the condition of a patient’s injury. In the case of a large number of injured people at the scene of a disaster, the wristband scan can help doctors determine which patients need immediate surgery and which can be transferred to the back for treatment. 

By scanning the chip and sending the information to the mobile hospital in advance, it can help doctors determine the surgical plan in advance. After arriving at the mobile hospital, the operation can be carried out in the first time.

As you know, every second saved in the disaster relief can save many lives. Preliminary calculations suggest the system could more than triple the efficiency of traditional disaster surgery.

Event Management: For concerts, sporting events, conferences and other large-scale events, RFID wristbands are not only a smart and convenient ticket, but also play an important role in other aspects.

Among the benefits of using RFID technology during events is the fact that attendees are able to enter quickly, since the organizers are able to scan multiple wristbands at once, and they would only have to wave it over a sensor. 

This also makes things easier for the managers because they don’t have to train personnel to operate and interpret scanning equipment anymore. Using RFID for events also means that the event won’t require more staff on the entrance.

Another benefit event organizers can get from RFID wristbands is the fact that it eliminates fraud. They can’t be replicated because each chip has an unique code that is almost impossible to duplicate, unlike traditional tickets which can be easily printed and counterfeited. RFID wristbands can also help them find out how many people are attending and plan accordingly.

Entertainment Center Management: Recreational centers such as swimming pools, gyms, water parks, amusement park and theaters also prefer RFID wristbands. Because RFID wrist band can greatly improve work efficiency and management level, effectively eliminate financial loopholes, ensure the economic benefits of enterprises, and implement all-round real-time monitoring and management.

Earlier this year, a regional Disney World resort introduced RFID wristbands. Visitors can interact with the resort’s facilities by simply swiping their wristbands. This wristband could replace paper tickets, serve as a hotel room keys, payment accounts, a quick queue to book and record information about visitors’ interactions with cartoon characters and their locations, according to the report.

Campus Security Management: The RFID wristband can be written into the location function to know exactly when students arrive and leave school. When students are taken away from the campus under rape and coercion, or leave the school during school hours, the system will send out a warning to inform relevant personnel, do immediate management and disposal measures, effectively master the whereabouts of students, prevent students from being persecuted, so as to supervise the safety management of students.

Transportation Application: The RFID wrist band has a payment function, so it can be used directly as a bus or metro card. It is very convenient for transportation, and you don’t have to worry about losing it like a card.

Social Media Interaction: Customers can link their social media accounts to their wristbands, allowing organizers and brands to introduce their event and improves the wearer’s experience. Among other things, it enables them to check-in, like and tweet.

One interesting thing about RFID wristbands are RFID enabled photo booths, which is a way to engage attendees on-site. They allow the wearer to email their pictures from the event to themselves, improving their experience during the event, which will bring us to another benefit of RFIDs: An elevated customer service. This technology not only can allow the managers to resolve customers’ requests on-site, as well as using handheld devices to replace wristbands as soon as issues arise. A quicker response means a happy client, which might reduce the times a manager is requested by situations like long lines or an unhappy attendee in general.

Of course, in addition to the above application environment, you may find the use of RFID elsewhere. With the development of RFID technology, RFID wristband is bound to be applied to more fields.

Classification of RFID Wristbands

RFID wristbands can have different designs. According to the material of the wristband, it can be divided into the following categories:

Silicone wristbands: They are very soft and comfortable, non-toxic and waterproof, heat-resisting and durable, very suitable for swimming pool, hospitals, hotel management, amusement parks, exhibitions, carnival, and other environments. A good silicone wristband is bright in color and will not fade, which will not cause any damage to the skin.

Fabric wristbands: These wristbands are known as festival wristbands in general, fashionable and energetic, favored by many young people. Bracelet and RFID tag can be any combination, label surface and bracelet both can be printed on the sponsor’s brand information, which is a perfect marketing method to make your brand visible to more people.

PVC wristbands: It is made of multi-layer PVC material, which has the characteristics of tensile resistance, comfort, and durability. PVC wristbands are relatively inexpensive. Compared with ordinary paper wristband, it is better waterproof and more durable. The medical field prefer to this wristband. It is also often offered in water parks, attractions tickets, carnivals, children’s parks and much more.

Paper wristbands: They are disposable wristbands, light and low-cost. It is an economical choice to achieve intelligent identification, tracking, and access control, very suitable for large-scale events or projects with tight budgets, such as amusement parks, concerts, sports events, exhibitions, etc. Good paper wristband support full color printing, and color reduction of up to 95%.

The core component of the wristband is the RFID tag, which can be divided into the following categories according to the mode of signal transmission:

Active Wristbands: Active RFID wrist band is through the built-in battery to actively send signals to achieve a long distance to receive and read. It is often used in the baby security, warehouse goods batch management, and other applications which need to read and locate the occasion of remote management. Its reading distance can go to more than 100 meters and the general operating frequencies are 433MHz, 900MHz, 2.45GHz, 5.8GHz.

Passive Wristbands: Passive RFID wristband is relative to active RFID wrist band. Because there is no built-in battery, the wristband tag gets its energy by induction current when it enters the magnetic field to send a signal. The reading distance is within 10 centimeters, and the dedicated device can go to about 1 meter. The operating frequency is mainly 135KHz and 13.56MHz.

Semi-passive Wristbands: The one between active and passive makes up some of the shortcomings of both. Inside the battery, but the battery only to the internal circuit of the label power supply, do not actively emit signals, its energy transfer mode is similar to the passive system, so its service life is much longer than the general active system label.

The most common RFID wristband system at parks and festivals tends to be the passive tag, since a low power wave activates the chip to identify the wearer.

Aside from the abovementioned tags, RFID wrist band can be classified by their frequency. The list goes as follows:

Low Frequency: Its frequency goes from 125 to 134 kHz. Their read range is minimum, as well as its storage capacity. Their data transmission speed is low and just a few tags can be read at the same time. It is commonly used for access control and personal identification.

High Frequency: With a frequency of 13.56 MHz, it has a short reading range but a larger memory and medium-speed data transfer. The High-Frequency RFID band is suitable for applications with high requirements of confidentiality and security.

Ultra-High Frequency: The fastest of them all. It has a frequency that goes from 433 MHz (Active) and the 856-960 MHz range (Passive), being able to read up to 70 feet and it has large data capacities with high data transfer rates. It is often used in applications that require remote identification and reading.

In short, RFID wristband is another packaging form of RFID tag, which can choose different materials and chips according to the needs of the application to achieve different functions, making our life more intelligent and convenient.

If you have any questions about RFID wristbands, please feel free to contact us. We are happy to answer for you!