Active RFID vs. Passive RFID: What’s the Difference?

Active RFID vs. Passive RFID: What’s the Difference?

Short Answer:

Passive RFID systems use tags with no internal power source and instead are powered by the electromagnetic energy transmitted from an RFID reader. Passive RFID tags are used for applications such as access control, file trackingrace timing, supply chain management, smart labels, and more. The lower price point per tag makes employing passive RFID systems economical for many industries.

Active RFID systems use battery-powered RFID tags that continuously broadcast their own signal. Active RFID tags are commonly used as “beacons” to accurately track the real-time location of assets or in high-speed environments such as tolling. Active tags provide a much longer read range than passive tags, but they are also much more expensive.

Long Answer:

Passive RFID

Generally speaking, three main parts make up in a passive RFID system – an RFID reader or interrogator, an RFID antenna, and RFID tags. Unlike active RFID tags, passive RFID tags only have two main components – the tag’s antenna and the microchip or integrated circuit (IC).

As the name implies, passive tags wait for a signal from an RFID reader. The reader sends energy to an antenna which converts that energy into an RF wave that is sent into the read zone. Once the tag is read within the read zone, the RFID tag’s internal antenna draws in energy from the RF waves. The energy moves from the tag’s antenna to the IC and powers the chip which generates a signal back to the RF system. This is called backscatter. The backscatter, or change in the electromagnetic or RF wave, is detected by the reader (via the antenna), which interprets the information.

As mentioned above, passive RFID tags have no internal power source, and a standard passive RFID tag consists only of an IC and internal antenna; this basic structure is commonly referred to as an RFID inlay. Countless other types of passive RFID tags exist on the market, but all tags generally fall into two categories – inlays or hard tags. Hard RFID tags are durable and made of plastic, metal, ceramic and even rubber. They come in all shapes and sizes and are typically designed for a unique function, material, or application.

A few different groups work to further divide passive hard tags; however, some tags will exist within two or more groups.

High Temperature – Certain industries, like healthcare, track the number of cycles that instruments undergo in punishing autoclaves. Specific passive RFID tags are designed to withstand extreme temperatures and accommodate for those types of applications, among others.

RuggedApplications in outdoor environments or tough warehouses need a tag that can withstand snow and ice, dust and debris, or even the crushing forces felt under a tractor wheel. For these applications, a highly rugged passive tag is needed to make the application successful.

Size – Some applications have specific size constraints when tracking small or large items. Size is one of the more important questions to answer when choosing an RFID tag because there are many different sizes available.

Materials – If an application requires tracking metal assets, UHF metal-mount tags may be the only option. These tags are specifically designed to mitigate the problems UHF RFID faces around metal.

EmbeddableIf tagging an item becomes a problem for specific applications due to significant wear and tear, embeddable tags can fit in small crevices and be covered in epoxy so the RFID tag is out of harm’s way.

Passive RFID tag

A roll of Passive RFID inlays

Inlays are usually the cheapest RFID tags costing as low as $0.12 per tag in high volumes, but the price does not affect the performance. These inlays are grouped into three main types:

Dry Inlays – An RFID microchip (IC) and antenna attached to a material or substrate called a web. These inlays look like they have been laminated and come standard with no adhesive.

Wet Inlays – An RFID microchip (IC) and antenna attached to a material, usually PET or PVT, with an adhesive backing. Most of the time these inlays are clear and can be peeled off their roll and immediately stuck on an item.

Paper Face Tags – These are essentially wet inlays with a white paper or poly face. These are ideal for applications that need printed numbers or logos on the front for identification.

Passive RFID tags do not all operate at the same frequency. There are three main frequencies within which passive RFID tags operate. The frequency range, along with other factors, strongly determines the read range, attachment materials, and application options.

  • 125 – 134 KHz – Low Frequency (LF) – An extremely long wavelength with usually a short read range of about 1 – 10 centimeters. This frequency is typically used with animal tracking because it is not affected much by water or metal.
  • 13.56 MHz – High Frequency (HF) & Near-Field Communication (NFC) – A medium wavelength with a typical read range of about 1 centimeter up to 1 meter. This frequency is used with data transmissions, access control applications, DVD kiosks, and passport security – applications that do not require a long read range.
  • 865 – 960 MHz – Ultra High Frequency (UHF) – A short, high-energy wavelength of about a one meter which translates to long read range. Passive UHF tags can be read from an average distance of about 5 – 6 meters, but larger UHF tags can achieve up to 30+ meters of read range in ideal conditions. This frequency is typically used with race timing, IT asset tracking, file tracking, and laundry management as all these applications typically need more than a meter of read range.

As a general rule, higher frequencies will have shorter, higher-energy wavelengths and, in turn, longer read ranges. Moreover, the higher the frequency, generally speaking, the more issues an RFID system will have around non-RFID-friendly materials like water and metal.

Pros of Passive RFID:

  • Smaller tags
  • Much cheaper tags
  • Thinner/more flexible tags
  • Higher range of tag options
  • Tags can last a lifetime without a battery (depending on the wear and tear)

Active RFID

There are two main frequencies used by active systems – 433 MHz and 915 MHz. User preference, tag selection, or environmental considerations usually dictate which frequency to use for most applications. Companies generally favor RFID systems that operate on the 433 MHz because it has a longer wavelength enabling it to work a little better with non-RF friendly materials like metal and water.

Active RFID systems have three essential parts – a reader or interrogator, antenna, and a tag. Active RFID tags possess their own power source – an internal battery that enables them to have extremely long read ranges as well as large memory banks.

Active RFID Tag

Example of an extremely rugged Active RFID tag

Typically, active RFID tags are powered by a battery that will last between 3 – 5 years, but when the battery fails, the active tag will need to be replaced. As the active tag market matures, replaceable batteries will be a cost saving option. The system’s functionality depends entirely on the type of tag chosen for the application.

Essentially, two different types of active RFID tags are available – transponders and beacons.

Transponders – In a system that uses an active transponder tag, the reader (like passive systems) will send a signal first, and then the active transponder will send a signal back with the relevant information. Transponder tags are very efficient because they conserve battery life when the tag is out of range of the reader. Active RFID transponders are commonly used in secure access control and in toll booth payment systems.

Beacons – In a system that uses an active beacon tag, the tag will not wait to hear the reader’s signal. Instead, true to its name, the tag will ‘beacon’, or send out its specific information every 3 – 5 seconds. Beacon tags are very common in the oil and gas industry, as well as mining and cargo tracking applications. Active tag’s beacons can be read hundreds of meters away, but, in order to conserve battery life, they may be set to a lower transmit power in order to reach around 100 meters read range.

Tasked with weathering harsh environmental conditions such as extreme temperatures and moisture, most active RFID tags are encased in a rugged shell. Because of the size of the enclosed battery, circuitry, and bulk of a durable exterior, active RFID tags are usually much larger than passive tags. Also, some active tags may have on-board sensors that track environmental parameters. These sensors can track moisture levels, temperature, and other key identifiers that a company can use for their application.

Active RFID tag with hardcase

An example of a hardshell Active RFID tag

All these additional features translate to increased costs for the customer, but the return on investment of a system may far outweigh the initial costs. The prices of active RFID tags range anywhere from $20 to $100+ depending on the tag’s ability to withstand harsh conditions and other key functional features of the tag. Given the required investment of an active RFID system, active tags are usually reserved for tracking high worth assets or for items where accurate location tracking is necessary to the success of the system. A few examples of these type of assets are pipes, cargo containers, and machinery.

While new applications for active RFID systems appear daily, these systems are usually used in the oil and gas industry, shipping and logistics, construction, mining, and high-value manufacturing.

    Pros of Active RFID Tags:

  • Extremely Long Read Range
  • Increased tag abilities with partnered technologies (GPS, sensors, etc.)
  • Extremely Rugged tag options
Passive and Active RFID Tag

Size comparison between passive and active RFID tags


While both active and passive RFID technologies use radio frequencies to communicate information, each is very different, and likewise, possess different qualities well suited for varying applications.

If you have any questions about active or passive RFID, please leave a comment below or contact us.

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About Suzanne Smiley

"Suze RFID" writes and manages content at and is a frequent contributor to RFIDinsider. She has two cats and loves riding horses every week.

  • Yasir

    Which will be source of current in passive r.f.i.d ,if we will inject it in any human body for a longer time…?

    • atlasRFIDstore


      Thank you for your question. Due to the amount of water in the human/animal bodies, tags that work on Low Frequencies (with longer wavelengths) are required. These LF tags are typically in the 125 kHz to 135 kHz range and are usually passive tags in that they only respond when interrogated by an RFID reader on the same frequency.

      These passive tags work essentially by harnessing enough energy from the reader in order to excite the tag and enable it to respond. In the case of passive LF tags, the read range is very short (i.e. a few centimeters).

      See our blog post for more details:

  • Sonya Fnkey

    Interesting. The very first question concerns an RFID implant into a human body. And just suppose, for a moment, that the power is jacked up and size is dialed down enough to be injected by hypodermic needle. And just suppose, for a moment, that everyone will be required to have this kind of implant in their hand or forehead, if they want to buy or sell… Do you read me?

    • monarch

      so scary!!

  • Muhammsman

    how to find Acrive Tag Location….?

    • atlasRFIDstore

      Determining an active RFID tag’s location is possible but requires creating some complex software algorithms.

      For example, if you are using an active RFID setup indoors, you could place readers in strategic locations and gather data every time the active tag beacons. With that data and the known locations of the fixed readers, the software program could “triangulate” the tag to give an approximate location. The more readers that are involved and the more tag reads received, the more accurate the assumed location would be.

      This could also be done in a similar fashion outdoors by including data from a third technology (GPS). Currently, this is being utilized to track materials in outdoor laydown yards (

      Of course, as with any RFID setup, you’d want to thoroughly test, adjust, and test again to ensure you will achieve the desired results.

  • silent soul88

    I am currently working on my Capstone project about attendance monitoring system using rfid… can you please help me….

  • What are the largest advantages of using RFID’s to track tools, calibration information, or other Preventative maintenance requirements?

  • Shafawati Abd Malek

    Hi, how can I choose the best rfid passive tag for monitoring c-parts at pallets or bins?

  • rodolfo tuble

    Good day,

    We’re looking for a passive rfid that has a large user memory. That can hold a user profile as information, this would be around 1 to 10 thousand ascii characters.

    Is this possible with the current rfid technology? Since what we’re planning is to create a system that can store valuable health information about the user, this will include your basic information, allergies, and major medical information that might prove usefull in emergencies.

    Thank you

    • Well, active RFID tags have a much larger data capacity, but past one thousand characters will push the upper limits of data capacity.

      If you wanted to use passive RFID, I would suggest encoding the tag with a unique user id that is tied to a secure database which stores the patient information. However, I don’t believe this would be practical in an emergency outside of a hospital setting as no one will likely have an RFID reader.

      • rodolfo tuble

        We will be the one to provide the readers, we also thought of just storing a unique id in the tag but the information will be stored online thus in the event of no internet connectivity the information cannot be retrieved, so we were hoping to find an rfid that can hold that much information, is it possible?

    • Ben Portman

      I work for Fujitsu and we manufacture a high memory passive tag. 8k and 64k. Ther tag can be partition like a disk drive. contact us at 425-466-9651

  • E_Grise

    So, I’ve got an RFID reader that will read my passive RFID tags and control a lock on my back door. But that requires me to take the tag out of my pocket and hold it up close to the reader.

    I’d like to be able to use active RFID tags so that the tag can just stay in my pocket. Are there active RFID tags I can use instead of/in addition to my existing passive ones?

    • Your current RFID tag and reader is probably NFC, which has a short read range of a few centimeters.

      If you’re looking for a read range of several meters, you want to start with UHF RFID first before moving to active RFID, which has a read range of up to 100 meters. That long of a read range isn’t ideal for security reasons, and the cost of installing the system is considerable.

      For your use case, I’d recommend researching home automation hubs, like Smarthings ( or something similar. When the hub detects your phone (or a Bluetooth sensor), you can set up logic that will unlock the door, provided you have a compatible door lock.

  • Erdem Şimşek

    Hi ,
    I will use active rfid tag and active rfid reader .But readers are so expensive for my personal workshop . I am curious on are there any chance to use passive rfid reader instead of active rfid reader .

    Or , do you have any suggestion for my system , It is based on sending sensor data and localisation .

    • I can’t really recommend anything since I don’t have any information about your system, but if you’re just tracking items in a workshop, then I would definitely look at passive systems first.

      Passive UHF tags will have a read range of several meters, but it all depends on the size of the tag, the environment, and several other factors.

      Here’s an article that discusses ways to improve read range:

      • Erdem Şimşek

        I will try to make wristband that includes sensor . The wristband sends data to reader by using rfid system . With my software , i can track the wristband position and sensor values instantenoulsy by using rfid technology

        For now , i am using infrared led trasmitter and receiver . But , it is not a solution because , The wristband have many problem such as being same direction with the receiver and more

        Maybe , bluetooth will be cheaper than RFID

        • Bluetooth will be a solid option, but I wouldn’t rule out passive RFID. The RFID tags themselves will be cheaper, but using sensors does complicate the issue.

          Since you’re developing a very specialized system, you might want to look at Thingmagic’s RFID Reader Module development kits.

  • Shannon Gowan

    I was wondering if the RFID wristbands are able to use both a NFC and UHF chips in the same band, or if it will create incompatible signals? The thought is for large scale events such as concerts or festivals to use the NFC chip for admission/payment, and the UHF chip for photography. Any help would be greatly appreciated! Thanks- shannon

    • Yes, you can have both an NFC and UHF RFID chip on the same wristband. It’s not a standard product, but can custom make the dual-frequency wristbands for you.

      The one caveat is that the human body will sometimes limit the read range of UHF tags, so testing will be important.

      A sales engineer can provide more in-depth answers here:

  • Chandara

    I am using passive RFID tag with Fix RFID reader. I think RFID is not good to use once the tag item in box that have items up to 300. The reader cannot receive all the tags in the box.
    Can you help to solve this issue for RFID reader to read hundred item in the same time with accuracy?

    Thank you.

    • It’s not an issue for most readers to read hundreds of tags at the same time.

      However, in your case, since all of the items are being stacked on top of each other inside of a box, the radio frequencies are effectively being trapped and blocked. Also, if there is a lot of metal present in either the items or the box, the effectiveness of the passive RFID system will be reduced further.

      You can experiment with different tags designed for metal environments:

      Also, you could review your processes. For example, would it be possible to read the tags as they are placed into or removed from the box? Could you use different boxes?

      Hope this points you in the right direction.

      • Chandara

        Hi James,

        Yes, all the item are being staked on the top of each other inside of a box but there is no present of metal in the box.

        I have tested with items out of the box to see the effectiveness of the reader and the tags. It still not help the issue, even I keep very close to the items to the four antennas. It is still not work. the result from the reader is only around 100 counts. I use Motorola FX9500 with 4 Antennas.

        It is strange to me.
        Could you please share you the same experiences on this matter or
        any equipment could help or maybe I need to increase up to 8 antennas?

        Thanks you.

        • Chandra,

          The Zebra FX9500 should be able to handle a high volume of reads. You may want to consider testing different antennas or tags. I would suggest testing different tags first since that’s generally the cheaper option.

          Also, You probably know this already, but thick plastic materials and the presence of liquids will affect performance as well. You would want to test on-metal RFID tags if that is the case.

          If you would like to test the strength and coverage of the RF field, you may want to use something like this RF Power Mapper:

          Hope this helps.

  • Alpesh Dnk

    if i can choose UHF rfid device 15 meter range..and 5 people 15 under range with UHF card and some people card on hand,some people card on wallet,pocket,bag and in this scenario can read UHF reader this people UHF card tag data..
    please suggest this scenario i can preferred UHF devices or ACTIVE card reader devices

  • Cristian canales


    I need to read a box with about 400 tag inside of it.
    I want to use UHF pasive chips, and active readers.

    The idea is that a box with the tag passing throw the VC-420T gate and this will be capable to read de id of the chip without colision.
    Is that possible?

    • In order to read UHF passive chips/tags, you need a UHF reader. An active RFID reader will not be able to read those chips/tags.

      Also, if the reader does not have an integrated antenna, you will need to purchase an antenna separately.

      Are you trying to read all the tags inside the box, or just the box as it passes through the gate?

      • Cristian canales

        im trying to read all the tags inside the box while this is passes through the gate.
        the dont really need to be 400, it just a case, but with 200 will be enough

        • If you decide to use passive UHF tags and readers, you’ll need to choose the right type of tags depending on the material of the box.

          You’ll want to test first, because depending on what you’re tagging and the material of the box, the performance could be impacted.

          Here’s an article discussing on-metal RFID tags:

  • Prajnamaya Dass

    Can the passive tag generate the current time and date after getting the RF signal from the reader ?

    • It would happen in reverse. Whenever the RFID reader interrogates the RFID tag, the reader could note the time of the read.

      • Prajnamaya Dass

        thanx for the reply.
        According to you an rfid passive tag doesn’t have a clock generator inside it.
        It will send the time if and clocking device connected to it or the reader will have to note the time it get response from the tag.
        Am I correct ??

        • Yes, the passive RFID tag doesn’t perform any functions on its chip. Generally, the tag just stores information.

          The reader will have to note the time.

          • Prajnamaya Dass

            Thank you.

          • Prajnamaya Dass

            in rfid security authentication protocols, it is mentioned that rfid tags can perform hash operation , random number generation in them. These are possible.So I am just confused whether it is possible to generate current time and date in the tag or not.

  • gabby ajibola

    Hello I have a RFID implant inside me as somebody has injected it into and I wasn’t aware, I think it’s a RFID microchip for animals and somehow it works on humans or it might just be a RFID implant for humans. I don’t know where it located but I would like to know how to destroy the frequency or the device. I can hear the people who are doing this and they can see and hear what I’m thinking, it sounds absurd but this is the case. How would you suggest going about this?

  • Peter

    Hi James, do you know if active or semi-passive RFID technology is currently in use with any of the airline baggage tracking or is approved for (flight) luggage bag trackers? Thanks! Pete

  • Rajesh Bhuwalka

    Hi, I want to use UHF chips for school students entering & leaving the school to record their attendance. Read Range should be at least 10 mts and students will be entering or leaving in groups…not necessarily in a straight line so we may not have line of vision at all times. Please suggest which UHF chip & Reader should be used for best results.

  • Amit Anand

    So how would you be able to block a reader by using either passive or active solution?

    • Amit, I’m not sure I understand your question. What do you mean by “block”?

    • Steve Koerner

      Look at beacon tags made by RF Code. They are able to utilize a group code feature that directs tag signals only to specifically programmed readers. They also allow a huge number of tags to operate simultaneously in the reader environment and the battery lasts for many years.

  • Godie

    I’m wondering if the active RFID’s can be used for scoring of fast vehicles passing an appr. 100m long finish line. Is that possible only with 2 antennas at the ends of the line and no cable or other receiving gear digged in the ground?

    • Active RFID systems are used for scoring in vehicle racing applications, but I’m unfamiliar with the specific hardware setup.

      It’s my understanding that the antenna loops are buried under the track in many applications.

      • Conventional systems use a wire embedded in the ground. You could also use an arch and have antennas beaming down at the track. The wider the track, the more number of antennas you’d have to use.

  • rod

    Simple question: can Pasive UHF RFID tags be re-writable? we want to manage WIP and the number of products is very high per day so we either recycle tags and re-write them or relate the unique tag number with the unique part number?

    • Yes, generally, UHF tags can be rewritten with new data. Since you’ll be reusing tags, you will probably want something more rugged than the typical tag. You may want to look at some of these tags:

      • rod

        thks for quick response. saw the tags but the number of wire bundles (WIP of cut wire bundles) is very high and does not have a flat surface to attach. I have seen a sticker put into a plastic card and that card attached to the bundles by a rubber band. could you send link of re-writing equipment? and re-writable stickers? thks again!!

        • All RFID readers both read and write:

          Some readers come with an integrated antenna, but for others, you’ll need to buy the antenna separately:

          As far as the tags go, since you’re placing the tags around metal, you’ll likely need an on-metal tag:

          Alternatively, we may want customize some tags that fasten around the wire bundles. Also, due to the nature of RFID around high-metal environments, it might make sense to use a tag that juts away from the wire bundle, much like a flag.

          Before you make any purchases, I would strongly encourage you to contact one of our sales engineers. They will be able to recommend equipment unique to your application. Also, they can customize a sample pack of RFID tags to test, as testing is the most important factor when launching an RFID application.

          Contact us:

  • Ryma Bylka

    Can we say that an active RFID is a wireless sensor??

    • Although, I believe most people would say that an active tag isn’t a sensor, by the broadest of definitions, an Active RFID might be considered a sensor in that the tag beacons a signal, which is then used to report its position.

      However, some active tags also include standard sensors that measure changes in the immediate environment.

  • jung soo

    I’m still working for my final year project which is Bus Alert System that can located bus location up to 500 meter then send the location to the passenger whose waiting for the bus. My question is do I need to use active tags either transponder or beacon? Can you give me some guidance?

  • postedhere


    We have 200 classrooms with computers in them. We keep computers for about 7 years.

    We were hoping that with RFID, we could simply go to the entrance of a classroom, click a button on a portable scanner, and get the inventory of the entire room without going to each computer.

    We were hoping that, due to costs and because the battery only lasts 5 years, we could use passive tags rather than active tags. Battery replacement would erode most of the labor savings we would gain from RFID, and it’s also just generally a pain.

    Based on your article, is it fair to say that RFID really isn’t the solution for us?



    • I wouldn’t rule out passive UHF RFID just yet.

      With the correct tags and tag placement, you could still get around 5m of read range with a hand-held reader. You might still have to walk into the classroom, but you wouldn’t have to worry so much about line-of-sight like you would with barcodes.

  • sai sandeep

    Can we use same reader for both active and passive tags

    • Not really. Depending on the tag, you can read/write information to the active tag with an UHF reader, but the UHF reader won’t be able to communicate on the active tag’s long range frequency.

  • Diane Amon

    Do you have any links to the active RFIDs that have on-board sensors to them? Can you tell me more about those?

  • Mitchell

    I was wondering would UHF RFID and NFC interfere with each other? My initial thoughts after reading your article is no because NFC operates at 13.65 MHz whereas UHF operates at 860+MHz. We’re trying to incorporate UHF into our product at the manufacturing level for security purposes and NFC for consumers after retail. In addition, is possible to implement a kill switch into the UHF so that they wouldn’t interfere with retail stores’ RFID scanners?

    • They shouldn’t interfere, but I’d highly recommend testing your specific use case.

      Most tag manufacturers have a kill password that renders the tag permanently disabled.

  • gibran iqbal

    hi, how can i sense rfid tag continuously? I have passive rfid reader and tag. when i move the tag in the reader field, it detects the tag, but i keep it still, it doesn’t. I want to continuously detect the card.

    • Suzanne Smiley

      That’s a great question. Typically motion has nothing to do with the reader detecting a tag, but I would have to have a little more information in order to answer the question. Can you tell me the reader, tag, tag IC, and software (or SDK) you are using?

      In some sessions on readers, we see a tags ‘time-out’, but those are based on time in the read field, not motion. How long is the tag normally in the read field before you are no longer continuously detecting the tag?

  • Paul Boyden

    I am wondering if it is possible to boost a signal from a transponder (acting as a toll tag) so that it does not need to be positioned on the windscreen to guarantee the transaction at the toll booth.
    Ideally I’d like to position the transponder in the glove compartment or in the well between the driver and the passenger.
    If I connect the transponder to the car power supply will this extra power enable a stronger signal to be created.

    • Suzanne Smiley

      Hi, while you definitely cannot plug the transponder in, or boost signal/read range, it might be possible to still read the tag from the glove compartment. It depends on the type of toll tag you are using, Some toll tags are actually tuned to use the glass from the windshield to strengthen the read range of the tag; while older model tags just rely on the battery to achieve the read range desired.
      I would suggest looking at the type of tag you are using and trying to see if you can look up the manufacturer’s suggestions online.

  • Prajnamaya Dass

    Is it possible for an RFID reader to send some useful information like random number or encoded information to the for security purposes. If it is possible then can the tag decode using the stored algorithm in the tag.

    • Suzanne Smiley

      Hi, I would love to assist you with your application but I think you are missing some key words above that is making it a little difficult.

      If you are looking for information about what type of security methods that Gen2 RFID readers/tags have on them currently – take a look at the post below.

      Let me know if you have any additional information so I can help you further!

      • Prajnamaya Dass

        I need to run a security protocol in between the reader and tag. So, while tag sends its data, it is encrypted and the text becomes unintelligible to attackers. Is it possible for the tag to run this kind of protocol in which it will get some request (a random number) from reader and send its data after encryption techniques.


    Hi there, were looking at doing a project which would have objects moving at high speeds (up to 90km/h) and require high accuracy. We are considering a passive system. We also may have situations where there may be lack of line of sight. Would a system like this be achievable through RFID?

    • Suzanne Smiley

      This could be achievable with significant testing. Because there are a lot of variables with an application like this, i would suggest contacting us and just talking through your project with a member of our sales team. For an application like this that is a little more complex than normal, it helps to walk through it with someone on the phone to nail down some specifics.

      With regard to applications with fast moving tagged items – one of the keys is trying to keep the RFID tag in the antenna’s read zone long enough for the antenna to energize the tag and receive the tag’s reply. From a high level view – i would suggest using 2 -4+ antennas in order to make the read zone as large as possible. That way, if you don’t catch the read in one antenna’s read zone, you can catch it in the next zone.

      Some variables to consider are: How wide is the read field? How big are the tagged items? Is there metal near/in the application? Will the items be passing through at the same height?

  • Mehran Dirvi

    I am working on a project and want to know how maximum read range can be attained with passive tags, if the tag is used inside a product that contains metals, like electronic products. The situations be like, I want to trace the product inside the house while I would be outside on the street. I don’t need exact location but a signal that show the existence of the product inside the house would be enough for me.

    • Suzanne Smiley

      Thanks for the question! The answer depends on a couple things. First, if the tag will be inside a metal object, it would definitely need to be a metal mount tag, and also it probably shouldn’t be completely encased in metal. It’s usually best to have it surrounded by metal on only two or three sides. If the tag wasn’t metal mount it would probably not get much read range, if any.

      Also, would you would have the reader(s) and antennas inside the house, or be holding the reader outside the house? If all the equipment was inside the house and networked, and the reads were able to come to your phone or computer (on the same network) outside the house, this would probably work. You would have to do alot of testing on where to put the equipment inside the house so that you would get the best read range for the objects.

      If you were outside the house with a handheld reader trying to read, the chance of reading a tag would be very slim. The wood, concrete, or brick along with the metal that makes up the house would make reading near impossible with all the multipath effects.

      Let me know if you have any additional questions!

      • Mehran Dirvi

        Thank you so much for your detailed answer, i am sure this gonna be helpful. Can we discuss some important features and the price by email?? please contact me on I would provide all the details.
        Thank you

        • Suzanne Smiley

          Mehran,I’ll have someone reach out to you as soon possible.


  • gyaneshwar lilhare

    i have LF tag Can i replace it with HF tag ,i have no problem related to size ,

    • Suzanne Smiley

      While you can replace it depending on the tagged item and application, the two frequencies are not compatible. If you already have an LF tag and reader you would have to purchase an HF tag and HF reader/system in order to switch. LF systems usually communicate between 125 kHz and 134 kHz bandwidths, while HF systems usually communicate on the 13.56 MHz bandwidth.

      Checkout this eBook on our site about the two different types of technologies and their bandwidth. Let me know if you have any additional questions!

  • Joe muggeo

    I would like to know what the distance is and if the RFID will track around bends inside a tunnel? The transponders and Beacons would both be in motion and i am trying to see if we could identify people working as the equipment approaches from a distance of about 650 feet or more.

    • Suzanne Smiley

      Joe, thanks for the question!

      Are you talking about for an Active RFID system? In active RFID you can either use a transponder or a beacon tag – which one were you thinking about using?

      Usually active tags only read up to around 100 meters or 330 feet but GPS tags can read much longer distances. What problem were you trying to solve for this application?


    • Suzanne Smiley

      Joe, thanks for the question!

      I assume you are talking about an Active RFID system? Have you decided on transponders or beacons for your system? Unfortunately, typical Active RFID tags have only around 100 Meters or 328 Feet of read range. If you are interested in GPS tags, they have enough read range to accomplish this but because they are operated via satellite, they would have to be tested inside the tunnel to make sure they have a good signal.

      Because passive nor active will work for your distance requirements, I think GPS tags would be the only remaining option for this application. Like I said above, even with GPS tags, a lot of testing would still need to be done to make sure that the tag is properly communicating.

      If you have any additional questions, comment below or contact us!