What is RFID technology and how it works?


RFID technology


RFID means Radio frequency identification. It is used to track objects, people, and animals. A RFID system consists of three elements: a RFID tag (smart label), a RFID reader and an antenna. RFID tags contain memory and antenna which transfers data in the form of radio waves when in contact with to RFID signals.

What is difference between active and passive RFID?

Active vs passive RFID

The difference between the active RFID and passive RFID is power source. The active RFID have power source which is used to power the circuitry and broadcast signal. Passive RFID doesn’t have a power source. The passive RFID tag gets activated in the presence of RFID readers.


What is meant by RFID tag?

RFID tag

A RFID tag is a small sensor that is attached to objects, people or animals for tracking purposes. A RFID tag can be active or passive based on power source. A RFID tag contains memory and antenna. If it is passive it becomes active in the presence of RFID reader while active RFID is always on and broadcasts signals.

Can RFID tags be reused?

Resusable RFID

People have confusion regarding the reuse of the RFID tags. If  RFID is used in logistics tracking, after the object have been used, tags can be reused to track other objects.


What is RFID tracking?

RFID Tracking

RFID tracking uses RFID tags to track object. The radio waves are used to read data stored on the tag attached to the objects.  The tag can be read from a far distance too, and it doesn’t need to be the line of sight of the reader.


What is RFID scanner?

RFID scanner

RFID scanner is used to scan RFID tags attached to the objects in order to categorize, identify or track assets. It does so by broadcasting radio frequency waves directly, to which the RFID tags present in the range of the scanner gets activated, and send back data.


How far can RFID be read?

The high range frequency tags such as UHF RFID tags can be read over 1 meter to 3 feet. Latest generation tags such as Gen2 tags can read upto 12 metres, and some IC’s plus antenna can be read at the maximum distance of 15 metres!.

How much a RFID tag cost?

RFID tags cost

The cost of RFID tags starts from few rupees to four thousand rupees depending upon the type of tag, where it needs to deployed and the volume of tags needed. Generally, the smart labels and tags needed to track cases and pallets cost around Rs10- Rs100 depending upon the volume.

How much does a RFID reader cost?

RFID reader cost

UHF RFID readers can cost anywhere between $500 and $2000, depending upon the features in the device. You also need to buy antenna, cables and tags separately to make complete RFID system. Antenna can cost around $200 each. The cost of UHF readers is constantly dropping due to increase in adoption of RFID technology.

What blocks RFID?

RFID blocking

RFID can be blocked with many materials which are poor conductors of electromagnetism. RFID blocking can be achieved with the help of aluminum foils. These foils will do the work; you just need more foil sheets to achieve this.

Where are RFID tags used?

RFID uses

RFID tags are being adopted in many industries and in many applications. For example, in automobile industry, the vehicle is tagged with RFID tag, to track its progress across the assembly line; RFID tagged medicines can be tracked through the warehouse, and the hospitals and pharmacies; animals tracked with RFID can be tracked with more productivity.

What is RFID frequency?

RFID frequency

The various frequencies have been assigned to RFID technology. The low frequencies RFID systems work in the assigned band of 125 or 134 kHz and high frequency RFID systems work in the range of 13.56 Mhz. UHF RFID are being used since mid 1990s and the frequency range for this have been agreed upon by the countries.

Can you read NFC with RFID?


An NFC device can act as both a reader and as a tag. NFC devices read the NFC passive tags and some NFC devices can read the passive HF RFID tags that are compliant with ISO 15693.

Can phones read RFID?

RFID and mobile phones

Some android phones can read passive high frequency (RFID) tags under the Near Field Communication Protocol. Company known as Zebra Technologies that makes a sled that works with android phones and can read UHF RFID passive tags.

What’s the difference between RFID and NFC?


RFID is the technology through which items are uniquely identified with the help of radio waves. NFC technology is the specialized subset technology of RFID technology. We can say that NFC is a branch of HF (high frequency) RFID. Both NFC and HF RFID operate at 13.56 MHz frequency.


Do phones have RFID?

No phones don’t have RFID feature when you buy them. Some phones have technology called NFC (Near Field Communication) capability, which can be used to read RFID. The RFID and NFC are similar in range and process, but these two technologies are not always compatible with each other.

How is barcode different from RFID?

Barcodes are designed to read one at a time whereas many RFID tags can be read at a single time. Also bar-codes requires being in line of sight, while RFID is “near field” technology, where tags only need to be in the range of the RFID to be scanned.