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Can I Track Something 30 Feet Away Using a Tag Smaller Than an Inch in Diameter?

Posted By RFID Journal, 12.13.2012
I would like to be able to install an RFID ampule or chip in something smaller than 1 inch in diameter, and have it be traceable up to 30 feet or so away. The antenna would have to be able to stay inside the item and not have an antenna sticking out of it. Is this feasible, and if so, what would it cost? I assume some type of reader would be required, and I would like to be able to track it using a handheld phone or other device.

—Name withheld

I do not believe what you are describing is possible. An RFID transponder in an ampule would be a low-frequency (LF) device, with a read range of no more than 18 inches, and there is no way to obtain 30 feet of read range via a tag smaller than 1 inch. A smaller tag has a shorter read range since the tag antenna is smaller and can capture less energy. If the tag has less energy, then it emits a weaker signal that can be interrogated from a shorter distance.

—Mark Roberti, Founder and Editor,
RFID Journal

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