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An IoT Application Service Using Mobile RFID Technology

SeongSoo PARK
Media R&D Center, SK Telecom

Abstract source to provide a wider range of recognition

The RFID system consists of a transponder or tag, Most mobile RFID systems consist of
interrogator, and a back-end host system. The transponders or tags, readers or interrogators, and
mobile RFID service combines the RFID system with back-end host systems. Many studies have been
the mobile communication system for the mobile carried out to secure the security of the wireless
service so that the user can use the RFID application channel between the reader and the tag. Nevertheless,
service using smart phone. This service requires an the RFID tag uses a hash-based XOR function in
RFID reader that is mounted on a user's smart communication to enable simple and cost-effective
phone or is easy to carry, and a device equipped security control.[3] This is because most RFID tags
with an RFID middleware can be linked to the OIS are passive and resource for processing is limited.
and the ONS. In this paper, RFID reader that can be The mobile RFID network is constructed by
easily used in smartphone environment and connecting an existing mobile communication
application service that can manage objects and network and an RFID network. Previously, RFID
verify authenticity by using RFID reader are network was used to manage the distributed or
suggested. moving items, but recently it has focused on
providing various application services to individual
Keywords: Mobile RFID System, IoT Service or dedicated users. This is because it is possible to
provide various independent services using a
1. Introduction personal terminal such as a smart phone or a tablet.
RFID is a wireless communication technology Also, in providing mobile RFID service, a mobile
using an electromagnetic field, and it is one of the device having an RFID reader function can access
core technologies in IoT application as a technology tags and retrieve information, so that security of a
to acquire information without any physical contact wireless signal channel in an RFID section can’t
to a target device. In order to provide the IOT service, guarantee service stability.
the location information and the identification Based on the above discussions, this paper
information about the object should be automatically proposes a small RFID reader for mobile RFID
exchanged through the Internet. RFID is one of service and an example of application service using it.
technologies that can effectively transmit information This paper is organized as follows. Section 2
for identifying and managing objects by utilizing the gives an overview of mobile RFID technology and
electromagnetic characteristics of radio frequency.[1] application service. In section 3, we describe the
RFID technology includes HF RFID technology, implementation of a small RFID reader that can be
which is led by the NFC Forum and standardization, mounted on mobile. Section 4 describes application
and UHF RFID technology, which is standardized by service scenario and results. Section 5 concludes
ISO and EPCglobal.[2] HF RFID technology, called summary of the results of this paper..
NFC, is mainly used in financial and medical fields.
UHF RFID is mainly used in logistics management, 2. Mobile RFID Service Configuration
location tracking, and authenticity verification. A. Mobile RFID Network Architecture
In general, tags used in RFID technology are The mobile RFID network service is equipped
classified as passive, semi-active, and active types. with an RFID reader function in a terminal capable of
These tags consist of integrated circuit, chip, antenna accessing a mobile communication network, and
and memory. In the case of active tags, a battery can delivers EPC information acquired from a tag to a
be added to generate power from the electromagnetic remote server to provide an application service. Fig.
induction. Semi-passive tags have an onboard power 2 shows the overview of mobile RFID network
OIS Server
6. Request Information
of a Tag to URL
1. Request EPC
3. EPC
A. Small RFID Reader
7. Transmit of the Tag
The microSD card is a secondary storage used in
4. Request Information
2. Reply EPC
8. Information of EPC
Mobile RFID
of URL for EPC android smartphones, and communicates with
Base Station
Reader 5. Reply URL smartphone to store user data through the SD
interface. In this paper, we implemented UHF RFID
ONS Server reader on microSD card that can read the UHF RFID
tag information based on the SD interface.
Fig. 1 Mobile RFID Network Architecture Overview A block diagram of UHF RFID reader on
microSD card is shown in Fig. 2.
The RFID tag stores an EPC composed of head
information (8bit), EPC manager(24bit), object
class(28bit), and serial ID (36bit). These tags carry 2.7V 2.7V

the function of transmitting the stored EPC

information when the signal is recognized. The


reader is embedded in the smart phone and stores and UART

processes the information received from the tag and SD
RFID Reader

the function of requesting information from the tag.

Antenna PAD
In addition, the RFID middleware implemented in
the reader or terminal performs a role of retrieving
information on the EPC read from the tag by
accessing the OIS and the ONS through the Fig. 2 A block diagram of UHF RFID reader on
communication module of the terminal. microSD card

The hardware of UHF RFID reader on microSD

B. Previous Studies
card consists of three parts of the SD controller, UHF
RFID technology has got the technical features
RFID SoC and RF components. The SD controller
that enable the radio identification for the individual
controls the file input and output operations through
objects, and provides possibilities and opportunities
the SD interface. In particular, SD controller receives
in various application such as product tracking, smart
RCP message from smartphone to operate RFID
banking, asset management, sports games, logistics,
reader, and transmits it to RFID reader SoC. Also,
security, and health care[5]. In addition, RF
SD controller stores RFID tag information obtained
integrated IC(RFICs) development, the effort of
by RFID reader SoC, and transmits smartphone
performance enhancement through new antenna
design, mass production and cost reduction achieved
by the electronics printing of the RFID has
accelerated the industrial utilization of RFID B. RFID Reader API for Smart Phone
technology[6]. Also, to expand application service Smartphone application obtains RFID tag
area, a variety study such as collision avoidance in a information from RFID reader on microSD card
multiple tag environment[7], the improved tag using file input and output functions. RFID interface
recognition, and interworking with IoT or file stores the tag information read by the RFID
WSN(wireless sensor network) are progressed.[8] reader SoC, and delivers them exactly when there is
In order to expand the RFID application in request the tag information from the smartphone
various fields, as well as to make use of a sensor application. The SD interface functions to
network, a technique for easy connection with a communicate with the RFID reader on microSD card
smartphone is needed. Smartphone with RFID in smartphone application are shown in Table I.
technology can be a bridge to obtain information Table I. SD Inerace Functions
about the offline object from data network. The Function Description
individual object information stored in the RFID tags open( ) Obtain access right for RFID interface file
helps to application services that establish a smart close( ) Release access right for RFID interface file
object environment, a smartphone is a useful control( )
Control RFID SoC and set data transmission
platform for the communications between objects rate
read( ) Read tag information form RFID interface file
and users.[9]
write( ) Transmit RCP message to RFID reader SoC

When a user runs an application for the RFID

service in the smartphone, the application attempts to
access RFID interface files using open(). If the RFID user terminal based on the EPC. The user terminal
interface file does not exist, SD controller makes the displays the information on the screen and
RFID interface file in the specified location, and additionally starts a procedure to check whether the
allows access. When an RFID interface file is object is authentic.
normally open, application waits for a read command
to get RFID tag information. When the RFID tag
read request is made by the user, the application is to
Mobile Network
supply power to the RFID reader SoC and the
Object Mobile Terminal
amplifier in the SoC SD card, and activates the RFID (with RFID Reader)
Application Server
reader function. The application is sent to the SD EPC Request
controller using write() including the RCP (Reader EPC Response
Control Protocol, ISO29173-1) command for reading Query Info(EPC)

the RFID tag. Also, SD controller sends RCP Query Response(EPC, Object Info, Passwd)
Read Info(EPC, Passwd)
message to RFID reader SoC to obtain RFID tag Response(Result)
information. When the tag information is obtained by
the RFID reader operation, the RFID reader SoC is
stored in the tag information through SD controller to Fig. 3 The Mobile RFID Service Process
the RFID interface file.
The smartphone application periodically reads An authenticity check on an object utilizes a
RFID interface file to obtain RFID tag information password stored in a specific area within the tag. The
using read(), and SD controller removes the read tag mobile application transmits the password
information from the RFID interface file to prevent information received from the server together with
data redundancy. After reading all of the RFID tag the EPC information through the RFID reader to the
information, application is cutting off the power tag. The tag compares the stored EPC information
supply to the RFID reader SoC and amplifier in the with the password information and responds to the
microSD card using control(). In addition, the RFID reader. The mobile application displays the
smartphone application is using the close() to return result of the response sent from the tag so that the
the permissions of an RFID interface file. user can check it.

4. A Development of Mobile RFID B. Verification of Mobile RFID Service

RFID reader for the mobile RFID service is
Applications implemented according to a microSD standard
A. Application Scenario specification to be mounted on smartphone. When
In the mobile RFID service, the user must be able mounted to an actual smartphone, the link loss of RF
to acquire the RFID tag information at an arbitrary transmission signal is approximately due to
place by using his / her RFID terminal and obtain smartphone case and the other element. The loss
desired result through connection with the mobile parameters were reflected in the performance test
communication network. To this end, additional process for designing a RFID reader. As shown in
service information mapped with tag information Fig. 4, it is confirmed that stable tag recognition is
should be stored in the service server. Fig. 3 shows possible at 3 centimetres distance.
the configuration and procedure of the system for the
history management and authentication service of the
objects using the RFID technology.
The RF tag is attached to the object used for the
service, including the EPC code. EPC information is
stored in the application service server in conjunction
with the logistics management system at the
production stage of the object.
A user who wants to use mobile RFID service
executes an application program in a smartphone
equipped with an RFID reader. When the application
runs, the RFID reader is activated and acquires EPC
information from the tag. The EPC information Fig. 4 Tagging Disttance Test
obtained from the tag is transmitted to the mobile Fig. 5 shows the result of confirming the
communication network through the application of operation according to the scenario of Mobile RFID
the terminal and transmitted to the application service.
service server. The application service server
transmits the history information of the object to the
Pervasive and Ubiqutous
Cpmputing(SeePerU’07), Sep, 2007, p.p 67-72.
[5] Sangkil Kim, Chiara Mariotti, Federico Alimenti,
Polo Mezzanotte, Apostolos Georgiadis, Ana
Collado, Luca Roselli, and Manos M. Tentzeris,
Fig. 5 Molbile RFID Servic Scenario Test “No Battery Required: Perpetual RFID-Enabled
Wireless Sensors for Cognitive Intelligence
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Xiaolin, “A RFID Anti-collision Algorithm
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In order to activate IoT service, spread of RFID Measurement, Information and Control (MIC)
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In this paper, we describe an implementation of a Apr, 2010, pp. 523-526
small RFID reader and an example of a mobile RFID
service using it to improve the usability of RFID
technology in IoT applications. The small RFID
reader is implemented as a microSD type for
smartphone, and an external flexible antenna is used
to improve recognition distance. In addition,
middleware for RFID service is implemented in
smartphone, so that it can be linked with remote
application service server.

This work was supported by ‘The Cross-Ministry
Giga KOREA Project’ grant funded by the Korea
government (MSIT)(GK17S0300, A Substantiation
of Immersive Media and Application Service base on

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