Getting Started with RFID by Tom Igoe; O’Reilly Media

Getting Started with RFID1 is a very short “book” on RFID (Radio Frequency Identification), a way to tag and identify objects over varying ranges, and how to use Arduino to create a few interesting RFID projects. The book assumes that you have some experience with Arduino and micro-controllers (i.e., do you know what a breadboard, jumper wires, and circuits are?).

We start with a very brief introduction to RFID, follow up with two introductory technical tutorials on Arduino, and end with a fairly simple home automation project:

Between my officemate and me, we have dozens of devices drawing power in our office: two laptops, two monitors, four or five lamps, a few hard drives, a soldering iron, Ethernet hubs, speakers, and so forth. Even when we’re not here, the room is drawing a lot of power. What devices are turned on at any given time depends largely on which of us is here, and what we’re doing. This project is a system to reduce our power consumption, particularly when we’re not there.

When either of us comes into the room, all we have to do is tap our key fobs on a reader mounted by the door, and the room turns on or off what we normally use. Each of us has a keyring with an RFID-tag key fob. The reader by the door reads the presence or absence of the tags.

The book is only 28 pages, so it’s more of a long tutorial than a book, but it still acts as a good introduction to RFID.

Disclaimer: I received this book for free through the O’Reilly Blogger program.


  1. You can buy the book at O’Reilly 

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