Biometric Passport With Rfid Information Technology Essay

Radio-frequency identification is the use of an object typically referred to as an RFID tag applied to or incorporated into a product, animal, or person for the purpose of identification and tracking using radio waves. Some tags can be read from several meters away and beyond the line of sight of the reader.

Radio-frequency identification comprises interrogators (also known as readers), and tags (also known as labels).

The RFID device serves the same purpose as a bar code or a magnetic strip on the back of a credit card or ATM card; it provides a unique identifier for that object. And, just as a bar code or magnetic strip must be scanned to get the information, the RFID device must be scanned to retrieve the identifying information.

RFID Works Better Than Barcodes:

A significant advantage of RFID devices over the others mentioned above is that the RFID device does not need to be positioned precisely relative to the scanner. We’re all familiar with the difficulty that store checkout clerks sometimes have in making sure that a barcode can be read. And obviously, credit cards and ATM cards must be swiped through a special reader.

In contrast, RFID devices will work within a few feet (up to 20 feet for high-frequency devices) of the scanner. For example, you could just put all of your groceries or purchases in a bag, and set the bag on the scanner. It would be able to query all of the RFID devices and total your purchase immediately.

RFID technology has been available for more than fifty years. It has only been recently that the ability to manufacture the RFID devices has fallen to the point where they can be used as a “throwaway” inventory or control device. Alien Technologies recently sold 500 million RFID tags to Gillette at a cost of about ten cents per tag.

One reason that it has taken so long for RFID to come into common use is the lack of standards in the industry. Most companies invested in RFID technology only use the tags to track items within their control; many of the benefits of RFID come when items are tracked from company to company or from country to country.

Figure 2: Types of RFID tags

Figure 3: RFID scanners

History and technology background:

Mario Cardullo’s U.S. Patent 3,713,148 in 1973 was the first true ancestor of modern RFID; a passive radio transponder with memory. The initial device was passive, powered by the interrogating signal, and was demonstrated in 1971 to the New York Port Authority and other potential users and consisted of a transponder with 16 bit memory for use as a toll device. The basic Cardullo patent covers the use of RF, sound and light as transmission media. The original business plan presented to investors in 1969 showed uses in transportation (automotive vehicle identification, automatic toll system, electronic license plate, electronic manifest, vehicle routing, vehicle performance monitoring), banking (electronic check book, electronic credit card), security (personnel identification, automatic gates, surveillance) and medical (identification, patient history).

An early demonstration of reflected power (modulated backscatter) RFID tags, both passive and semi-passive, was performed by Steven Depp, Alfred Koelle, and Robert Freyman at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in 1973. The portable system operated at 915 MHz and used 12-bit tags. This technique is used by the majority of today’s UHFID and microwave RFID tags.

The first patent to be associated with the abbreviation RFID was granted to Charles Walton in 1983.


RFIDs are easy to conceal or incorporate in other items. For example, in 2009 researchers at Bristol University successfully glued RFID micro transponders to live ants in order to study their behavior. This trend towards increasingly miniaturized RFIDs is likely to continue as technology advances. However, the ability to read at distance is limited by the inverse-square law.

Hitachi holds the record for the smallest RFID chip, at 0.05mm x 0.05mm. The Mu chip tags are 64 times smaller than the new RFID tags. Manufacture is enabled by using the Silicon-on-Insulator (SOI) process. These “dust” sized chips can store 38-digit numbers using 128-bit Read Only Memory (ROM). A major challenge is the attachment of the antennas, thus limiting read range to only millimeters.

Potential alternatives to the radio frequencies (0.125-0.1342, 0.140-0.1485, 13.56, and 840-960 MHz) used are seen in optical RFID (or OPID) at 333 THz (900 nm), 380 THz (788 nm), 750 THz (400 nm). The awkward antennas of RFID can be replaced with photovoltaic components and IR-LEDs on the ICs.

Figure 4: Miniature RFID tag

Modular Decomposition

Our system requirements are very clearly and not expect to change frequently.

So, we will use in our system “Waterfall model”.

And because the requirements are well understood.

Project Activities


Duration (week)




-Feasibility study of the system



-Requirement analysis

-Requirement specification



-System design

-Code programming

-Interface design



-System testing

-Feedback on system testing

-validation of system

Risks Management

Risk type

Possible risks


– Not all system familiar with

RFID hardware’s and software’s.


-Key staff is ill and unavailable at critical times

(Only one employee work in this system).


-Customers fail to understand the impact of

Requirements changes.


-The time required to develop the software is underestimated.

-The rate of defect repair is underestimated.

-The size of the software is underestimated.

Risks Analysis
















Risk Management Strategies

Risk type



Will choose the software & hardware



-Gave every task over-days, and some days will

Have overtime of work.


-After every task there is a feedback,

The costumer will see it.

-Investigate buying-in components.


-Replace potentially defective components

With bought-in components of known reliability.

RFID Tools:

Most RFID tags contain at least two parts. One is an integrated circuit for storing and processing information, modulating and demodulating a radio-frequency (RF) signal, and other specialized functions. The second is an antenna for receiving and transmitting the signal.

There are generally two types of RFID tags:

1. Active RFID tags

An RFID tag is an active tag when it is equipped with a battery that can be used as a partial or complete source of power for the tag’s circuitry and antenna. Some active tags contain replaceable batteries for years of use; others are sealed units. (Note that it is also possible to connect the tag to an external power source.)

Advantages of an active rfid tag:

1- It can be read at distances of one hundred feet or more, greatly improving the utility of the device

2- It may have other sensors that can use electricity for power.

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3- Longest communication range of any tag.

4- The capability to perform independent monitoring and control

5- The capability of initiating communications

6- The capability of performing diagnostics

7- The highest data bandwidth

8- Active rfid tags may even be equipped with autonomous networking; the tags autonomously determine the best communication path.

Disadvantages of an active RFID tag:

1- The tag cannot function without battery power, which limits the lifetime of the tag.

2- The tag is typically more expensive, often costing $20 or more each.

3- The tag is physically larger, which may limit applications.

4- The long-term maintenance costs for an active RFID tag can be greater than those of a passive tag if the batteries are replaced.

5- Battery outages in an active tag can result in expensive misreads.

2. Passive RFID tags:

A passive tag is an RFID tag that does not contain a battery; the power is supplied by the reader. When radio waves from the reader are encountered by a passive RFID tag, the coiled antenna within the tag forms a magnetic field. The tag draws power from it, energizing the circuits in the tag. The tag then sends the information encoded in the tag’s memory.

Advantages of a passive tag:

1- The tag functions without a battery; these tags have a useful life of twenty years or more.

2- The tag is typically much less expensive to manufacture.

3- The tag is much smaller (some tags are the size of a grain of rice). These tags have almost unlimited applications in consumer goods and other areas.

Disadvantages of a passive rfid tag:

1- The tag can be read only at very short distances, typically a few feet at most. This greatly limits the device for certain applications.

2- It may not be possible to include sensors that can use electricity for power.

3- The tag remains readable for a very long time, even after the product to which the tag is attached has been sold and is no longer being.

Figure 5: Active and Passive RFID tag

Current uses of RFID:

1- Biometric passport:

A biometric passport, also known as an e-passport or ePassport, is a combined paper and electronic passport (hence the e-, as in e-mail) that contains biometric information that can be used to authenticate the identity of travelers. It uses contactless smart card technology, including a microprocessor chip (computer chip) and antenna (for both power to the chip and communication) embedded in the front or back cover, or center page, of the passport. Document and chip characteristics are documented in the International Civil Aviation Organisation’s (ICAO) Doc 9303. The passport’s critical information is both printed on the data page of the passport and stored in the chip. Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) is used to authenticate the data stored electronically in the passport chip making it virtually impossible to forge when all security mechanisms are fully and correctly implemented.

Note that the USA Passport card is not a biometric passport. The passport card does not follow the ICAO’s Doc 9303, can only be used in a limited number of countries and uses a simple RFID chip instead of the contactless smart card technology that is used for biometric passports. Contactless smart card technology includes a microprocessor, data access control, communications security and other functionality as programmed.

2- Microchip implant (human):

A human microchip implant is an integrated circuit device or RFID transponder encased in silicate glass and implanted into a human’s body. A subdermal implant typically contains a unique ID number that can be linked to information contained in an external database, such as personal identification, medical history, medications, allergies, and contact information.


The first reported experiment with an RFID implant was carried out in 1998 by the British scientist Kevin Warwick. As a test, his implant was used to open doors, switch on lights, and cause verbal output within a building. The implant has since been held in the Science Museum (London).

Since that time, at least two additional hobbyists have placed RFID microchips implants into their hands or had them placed there by others.

Amal Graafstra, author of the book “RFID Toys”, asked doctors to place implants in his hands. A cosmetic surgeon used a scalpel to place a microchip in his left hand, and his family doctor injected a chip into his right hand using a veterinary Avid injector kit. Graafstra uses the implants to open his home and car doors and to log on to his computer. Neither implant was the VeriChip brand.

Medical records use:

The PositiveID Corporation (previously known as The VeriChip Corporation; Applied Digital Solutions, Inc.; and The Digital Angel Corporation) distribute the implantable chip known as the VeriChip. The company suggests that the implant could be used to retrieve medical information in the event of an emergency, as follows: Each VeriChip implant contains a 16-digit ID number. This number is transmitted when a hand-held VeriChip scanner is passed within a few inches of the implant. Participating hospitals and emergency workers can enter this number into a secure page on the VeriChip Corporation’s website to access medical information that the patient has previously stored on file with the company.

Building access and security:

The VeriChip Corporation has also suggested that the implant could be used to restrict access to secure facilities such as power plants. Microchip scanners could be installed at entrances so locks would only work for persons with appropriately programmed chips.

The downside is the relative ease with which the 16-digit ID number contained in a chip implant can be obtained and cloned using a hand-held device, a problem that has been demonstrated publicly by security researcher Jonathan Westhues and documented in the May 2006 issue of Wired magazine, among other places.

A nightclub in Barcelona offered a chip implant for identifying VIP guests.

Figure 6: Biometric passport with RFID tag

Figure 7: Microchip human implant

Technical problems with RFID:

Problems with RFID Standards:

RFID has been implemented in different ways by different manufacturers; global standards are still being worked on. It should be noted that some RFID devices are never meant to leave their network (as in the case of RFID tags used for inventory control within a company). This can cause problems for companies.

Consumers may also have problems with RFID standards. For example, ExxonMobil’s SpeedPass system is a proprietary RFID system; if another company wanted to use the convenient SpeedPass (say, at the drive-in window of your favorite fast food restaurant) they would have to pay to access it – an unlikely scenario. On the other hand, if every company had their own “SpeedPass” system, a consumer would need to carry many different devices with them.

RFID systems can be easily disrupted:

Since RFID systems make use of the electromagnetic spectrum (like WiFi networks or cellphones), they are relatively easy to jam using energy at the right frequency. Although this would only be an inconvenience for consumers in stores (longer waits at the checkout), it could be disastrous in other environments where RFID is increasingly used, like hospitals or in the military in the field.

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Also, active RFID tags (those that use a battery to increase the range of the system) can be repeatedly interrogated to wear the battery down, disrupting the system.

RFID Reader Collision:

Reader collision occurs when the signals from two or more readers overlap. The tag is unable to respond to simultaneous queries. Systems must be carefully set up to avoid this problem; many systems use an anti-collision protocol (also called a singulation protocol. Anti-collision protocols enable the tags to take turns in transmitting to a reader.

RFID Tag Collision:

Tag collision occurs when many tags are present in a small area; but since the read time is very fast, it is easier for vendors to develop systems that ensure that tags respond one at a time.

Security, privacy and ethics problems with RFID:

The following problems with RFID tags and readers have been reported:

The contents of an RFID tag can be read after the item leaves the supply chain:

An RFID tag cannot tell the difference between one reader and another. RFID scanners are very portable; RFID tags can be read from a distance, from a few inches to a few yards. This allows anyone to see the contents of your purse or pocket as you walk down the street. Some tags can be turned off when the item has left the supply chain.

Zombie RFID Tags:

One of the main concerns with RFID tags is that their contents can be read by anyone with an appropriately equipped scanner – even after you take it out of the store.

One technology that has been suggested is a zombie RFID tag, a tag that can be temporarily deactivated when it leaves the store. The process would work like this: you bring your purchase up to the register, the RFID scanner reads the item, you pay for it and as you leave the store, you pass a special device that sends a signal to the RFID tag to “die.” That is, it is no longer readable.

The “zombie” element comes in when you bring an item back to the store. A special device especially made for that kind of tag “re-animates” the RFID tag, allowing the item to reenter the supply chain.

RFID tags are difficult to remove:

RFID tags are difficult to for consumers to remove; some are very small (less than a half-millimeter square and as thin as a sheet of paper) – others may be hidden or embedded inside a product where consumers cannot see them. New technologies allow RFID tags to be “printed” right on a product and may not be removable at all.

RFID tags can be read without your knowledge:

Since the tags can be read without being swiped or obviously scanned (as is the case with magnetic strips or barcodes), anyone with an RFID tag reader can read the tags embedded in your clothes and other consumer products without your knowledge. For example, you could be scanned before you enter the store, just to see what you are carrying. You might then be approached by a clerk who knows what you have in your backpack or purse, and can suggest accessories or other items.

RFID tags can be read at greater distances with a high-gain antenna:

For various reasons, RFID reader/tag systems are designed so that distance between the tag and the reader is kept to a minimum. However, a high-gain antenna can be used to read the tags from much further away, leading to privacy problems.

RFID tags with unique serial numbers could be linked to an individual credit card number:

At present, the Universal Product Code (UPC) implemented with barcodes allows each product sold in a store to have a unique number that identifies that product. Work is proceeding on a global system of product identification that would allow each individual item to have its own number. When the item is scanned for purchase and is paid for, the RFID tag number for a particular item can be associated with a credit card number.

Goals of the project:

Many students skip more than 20% of their lectures, and using an embed RFID tags in their student card will help to keep track of attendance.

It can be a reference to the doctor in keeping records of attendance.

It can also be used to provide any extra information to the doctor or the department without the need to type in the student number.

It can be upgraded to include money amounts to be used around the university campus.

Provides better management for the doctor in his lecture.

Reduce the use of paper to keep track of the students.

User Requirements:

Any user can use the system.

Students are able to see their attendance online and almost in real time.

Ordinary student cards can be implanted with an RFID tag.

DATA Flow Diagram:

Figure 8

Scenario Diagram :

The first step , the user scans his card

The user opens the website. { For example Just website }

The user chooses if he will log-in like member or visitor.

Figure 9

If he clicks sign in Button, the system asks him to insert his ID and the Password, and then the system checks the validity of the inserted information and then asks him to rescan his card to match it with that ID.

Figure 10

If the password valid and is a match with the card, the system redirect him to the member page.

Figure 11

– If a doctor has logged in , the system ask him if he would like to open the attendance list of his lectures , or opens the student list of a certain lecture to have the students check for attendance .

– If a student has logged in, the students will be able to view a list of his lecture absence or check for a certain lecture attendance

– By rescanning the card, the member signs out of the system.

If he clicks the Visitor button,

– He can view a guide on how to obtain an RFID tagged card.

Figure 12

Information sources:

RFID tags are a new technology and few companies support it, one of these companies that provide support to RFID tags is TOUCHATAG. So we tried to collect as many information from the touchatag website about it and about the RFID hardware before we start using it and these resources are:

1- Touchatag webpage: we entered Touchatag webpage to read about how to use touchatag device, tags.

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2- Taking the website tour: we took a tour about touchatag DIY.

3- Reading books and tutorials: we read many tutorials and online books about RFID tags and hardware.

Software Requirements:

To do this project we needed some hardware to help us in the building:

1- Touchatag RFID scanner: we must have touchatag rfid scanner to do this project, so we obtained it.

2- RFID tags from Touchatag Company: these tags are used with the scanner to have a working RFID environment.

3- A programming software: Programming software is required to implement the project, then uploading it to the touchatag website and attach it with the account associated with the RFID scanner.

System Requirements:

As Touchatag application is a software attached to the touchatag server, client must satisfy these requirements to run the application, here we are using this application under Windows (requirements vary depend on OS machine):


Minimum requirement


Internet Connection:

Cable or DSL

Cable or DSL

Operating System:

2000, XP, or Vista

XP or Vista

Computer Processor:

800 MHz Pentium III or

Athlon, or better

1.5 GHz (XP), 2-GHz (Vista) 32-bit (x86) or better

Screen Resolution:

1024×768 pixels

1024×768 pixels or higher

Graphics Card for XP/2000

NVIDIA GeForce 2, GeForce 4 MX or better

NVIDIA Graphics cards

GeForce Go Series: 7600, 7800, 7900

ATI Graphics Cards

X2600, X2900

X3650, X3850

Graphics Card for Vista (requires latest drivers)

NVIDIA GeForce 6600 or better

OR ATI Radeon 9500 or better

OR Intel 945 chipset

NVIDIA Graphics cards

GeForce Go Series: 7600, 7800, 7900

ATI Graphics Cards

X2600, X2900

X3650, X3850


For the implementation part, and due to the lack of possibility to develop my application directly on the Touchatag device, I took the approach of developing two things and link them together, first I’ve created the website and the data base using and C#, stored the data and performed the operation that I’ll explain later on, and the second part was creating a visual basic script, that is attached to each tag and performs the task needed when it is called by the tag. :

I’ve started the project with programming on using C#, to accomplish the following tasks:

Create a Doctor ID for login.

Create a Doctor Password for login.

Save the Doctor ID and Password in the database.

Login as a Doctor and open the Student attendance system page.

Check lectures where this function do the following :

Upon clicking the button the system checks the time on the system and then scan the database for any lectures that is in this time and then return the tables ID which matches the time of the system and then store it in a hidden label, then the program checks the hidden label for the ID of the lecture and goes to the database to retrieve the students who are attached with that ID, along with two fields for the Time in and Time out.

Upon clicking one of the four buttons which are labeled {Open Sign in, Close Sign in. Open Sign out, Close Sign Out} the values of a hidden label are changed to specific values.

When the student types in his Student ID and Student Password , then press the login button , the system checks the student ID and the password if they are stored in the data base , once he found the data it checks which button of the four was clicked by the doctor first by checking a hidden label that stored the values of the button that was clicked , then based on that value it stores the time when the Login button was clicked, and by doing so it also updates the Database at the same Time.

Visual Basic Script :

The visual basic script is what links the website to the Touchatag card; it is implemented through statements that do the following:

Each Tag is assigned to a script of its own.

The Tag when scanned activates the script that is assigned to it.

The script is constructed with few simple statements that opens the web page, writes the user ID and Password in the cross ponding field, and the press the login button.

Touchatag reader and Tags :

The Touchatag reader is connected to the Touchatag server which does the specific task you have assigned it already on the Touchatag Server, and by scanning each tag the specific Tag ID goes to the Server and retrieves the function that is assigned to that specific Tag.

Screen Shots:

Doctor Login Page :

Figure 13:

Student Login Page , with Check Lectures and other Prompts:

Figure 14:

Visual Basic Script:

Figure 15: Visual Basic


Figure 16: Touchatag

Figure 17 Figure 18 : Touchatag

Figure 19: Touchatag



Rfid ID tags provided by touchatag have several security measures which include:

1- Account’s password: Every user has a password to access his account in the webpage and the server. This password is created when the user signs up.

2- IPs: touchatag server changes its IP from time to time to avoid hacking.

3- Report Abuse: This feature allows any user to report any object or person if they abused them.

4- Unique tags ID: each tag has a unique tag provided by the tag itself.


The touchatag RFID tags are copyright protected and can’t be used without a reference from touchatag.

Performance Testing:

Each tag is scanned effortlessly without any problems, the website might crash sometimes but it is restored without any problems.

Unit Testing:

I’ve tested the tags, they work fine even after being placed in a wallet for more than 6 months and the wear and tear process is slow, and the tags are durable.


This project is the first step towards building Jordan University of Science & Technology fully automated attendance system; JUST administration can take this step further, build on it to reach a better-enhanced project and can add more features and services to staff, officers, and students. Furthermore, the administration can also use this new technology to improve student’s attendance services and activities.

I faced many problems during this project. The first problem is when I have to work in this system alone. Really, this problem gave me a big challenge to complete the project, but with the help of Dr. Qutaiba Al Thebyan, Dr. Qusai Abu Ein, Mrs. Alaa Mestarihi and the department, I could complete it.

Finally, RFID tags is the future and every day services now a day require more interaction , but with those tags , many services and jobs can be done effortlessly without the ever getting your hand out of your pocket.

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