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Can RFID Monitor Multiple Moving Objects?

Posted By RFID Journal, 01.26.2018

Would it be possible to use RFID chips to track the positions of a large number of items in relation to each other as they moved in a tight group?

—Logan

———

Logan,

Probably not. Passive RFID transponders can tell you that a tag (or many tags) is (or are) within a read field. Some systems can give you information about how far away a tag is from an antenna, but passive systems are not very precise in pinpointing an object's location, due to something called multipath. The signal from the tag can bounce off a lot of different things, making it difficult to precisely determine location. When you pack a lot of tags into a small area, the problem is compounded because tags can block a reader's energy from reaching other tags.

Ultra-wideband (UWB) active RFID systems are the most precise in determining location accuracy. These battery-powered tags broadcast a signal at regular intervals and use a variety of frequencies to overcome the multipath problem. The tags are about the size of a matchbox (or larger). These systems are accurate to within 10 centimeters. So if you had a lot of tags in a small space, it would be hard to determine how they were moving in relation to one another.

—Mark Roberti, Founder and Editor, RFID Journal

USER COMMENTS

Steve Tregenza 2018-02-10 09:07:55 PM
Hi This is my first time being a member I am interested in a variation to the question above I need to read multi tags on a truck parked at a gate There would be 60 tags on each side of truck We just want to log the tags on the truck and then register which tags are on the truck The truck will also have a tag to identify it I heard there is a multi tags read algorithm available If this is possible who can I get the equipment from or who could I commission Many thanks Steve

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