The Electronic Product Code™ (EPC) is syntax for unique identifiers assigned to physical objects, unit loads, locations, or other identifiable entity playing a role in business operations.
EPCs have multiple representations, including binary forms suitable for use on Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags, and text forms suitable for data sharing among enterprise information systems.
GS1's EPC Tag Data Standard (TDS) specifies the data format of the EPC, and provides encodings for numbering schemes -- incuding the GS1 keys -- within an EPC.
When unique EPCs are encoded onto individual RFID tags, radio waves can be used to capture the unique identifiers at extremely high rates and at distances well in excess of 10 metres, without line-of-sight contact. These characteristics of RFID can be leveraged to boost supply chain visibility and increase inventory accuracy.