VOLKER STEGER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY VOLKER STEGER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Intelligent label chip manufacture. Radio frequency identification (RFID) chips being printed. These chips could soon replace barcodes. They consist of a plastic circuit printed onto foil and antennae for receiving and transmitting radio waves. Plastic circuits are cheaper than silicone, although at the moment they are also slower and store less data. While barcodes can only store price, these chips could be incorporated into packaging to give expiry dates and other information. The chips can be read from tens of metres away, making the tracking of products in the supply chain easier and more efficient. They could also be used as anti-theft devices.
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