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What Types of Tags and Readers Should We Use to Monitor Race Horses?

Posted By RFID Journal, 03.15.2013

We are a software provider based out of India. One of our customers in the Middle East requires an RFID reader and tags to be integrated with our software application, in order to track horses moving on race course, with live data. We are evaluating various products for the solution, and request that you suggest to us an appropriate type of reader, preferably one that can transfer data via a Wi-Fi connection using the TCP/IP protocol. We also need a recommendation for tags. Would ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) work?

—Name withheld


There are many different types of RFID, and the right one for your needs depends on what you are trying to achieve. If you want to indicate at what moment a horse passes a particular point, then that might involve one type of system. If, however, you wish to provide real-time tracking of the animas as they round the track, that would necessitate something entirely different.

In general, I would say that passive UHF RFID technology could be used to indicate a horse has passed a specified point at a particular time. It would not be able to show the horses moving around the track, however, unless you used a phased array antenna system—and even that might not be precise enough for your needs. For real-time tracking of each horse's location, an ultra-wideband (UWB) system might be a better choice.

Here are some stories we have published about tracking horses:

USDA Approves Implantable RFID Tag to Track Horses

RFID Is a Winner in the Sports Arena

Can RFID Time Race Horses?

—Mark Roberti, Founder and Editor, RFID Journal

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