Standards ensure interoperability, economy of scale, safe practice and much else besides. If they are employed too early, they may inhibit technical improvement. If they are employed too late they may prevent applications being widely exploited and cause danger and unnecessary expense. In RFID there are many standards concerned with specific applications such as non-stop road tolling, identifying pets, freight container tagging and smart cards. There are evolving ISO standards for RFID on returnable freight containers, returnable transport items, transport units, product packaging, product tagging and electronic container seals. A vast number of organisations are involved in RFID standards from the World Trade organisation WTO to national and local organisations and sectorial organisations such as the US IEEE and AIM Global.
There is no universally agreed definition of RFID and matters are now made more complex by the practicality thet WiFi, WiMax, Bluetooth, ZigBee, DSRC and other short range wireless protocols are being used for RFID or incorporated in devices with RFID. In addition the "interface of interfaces" near Field communication NFC has its origins in RFID and uses the favourite RFID frequency, often in RFID devices.
Using the analysis employed by standards expert Richard Rees, Chief Executive of Scanology, we can say that, in the context of RFID, standards mainly divide into those dealing with
- Technology - such as interfaces and transference
- Performance - notably data structure and content
- Battery assist and sensors - convergence
ISO-IEC covers the basic building blocks, air interface, data structure. And performance methods.
EPCglobal has concerned itself with
- System - data carrier/ content
- Minimum performance
- Network standards Object Numbering System ONS
- Sectoral application ISO/IEC
ISO Technical Committees and Joint Working Groups deal with the level of trade applications of ISO/IEC such as freight containers and packaging.
Societal standards include:
- Radio regulations - ETSI, FCC etc
- Human health ICNIRP
- Privacy - the consent principle
- Data security - OECD
Best practice standards include:
- Mandates - Wal-Mart etc
- Installation - ETSI TG34
- Requirements of Marks & Spencer, Tesco etc.
- AIM REG