Posts Tagged ‘Proximity Cards’

How Does a Proximity Card Work?

Thursday, March 31st, 2011

Proxmity CardsAt ABC Office we sell a wide variety of employee time clocks, designed to keep track of employee time worked for payroll purposes. One popular technology used with many of our time cards is proximity cards. So how exactly does a proximity card work? I’ll explain in this article.

To begin with, you may have noticed that proximity cards are a little thicker than your standard ID badge or credit card. This is because integrated circuitry is embedded and sandwiched between several plastic layers. This circuitry communicates with other devices such as time clocks using a special radio / wireless frequency.

Most proximity cards are powered by using resonant energy transfer in conjunction with a passive chip that is found inside the proximity card itself, although some are powered using small batteries. Non-powered proximity cards typically have a smaller storage capacity than powered cards.

Resonant energy transfer, used in non-powered proximity cards, is very similar to RFID technology and transponder technology found in many modern car keys. This allows the card to operate without have any battery inside. The proximity card reader emits pulses of a wireless radio frequency that the built-in passive chip uses to power the proximity card.

One of the biggest advantages of proximity cards is convenience. They operate by holding the card anywhere from 0-3 inches in front of the card readers. There is no password or special keypad interaction. It is that easy, and for that reason, proximity card are huge for use with building security, time cards and for a variety of business applications.

Proximity cards use special chips that are embedded into the circuit board that contain unique identifying data. This unique identifying data, embedded on the proximity card, can then be tied to a specific person or employee. In the situation of a time clock, the proximity card may contain unique information identifying the employee. When waved in front of a proximity-based time clock, that employee is logged in or out.

Setting up a proximity card is pretty easy. In the instance of an employee time clock, a blank proximity card can be read and then linked with a specific employee. This is typically the case with a building security system as well.

So how do pictures and ID information get placed on a proximity card? This is often done by using a 10-mil CR-79 ID card with an adhesive back. Basically the employee’s picture, company logo, ID number and other information is printed on the CR-79 card using a digital ID card printer. This thin 10-mil card is then stuck onto the surface of the proximity card. You can find our blank CR-79 adhesive cards here.

So there you have it. Proximity cards are extremely handy and utilize some pretty unique technology. You can find our entire selection of time clocks, including proximity time clocks, here.

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