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RFID Frequently Asked Question
How does an RFID system work?
An RFID system consists of a reader (sometimes called an interrogator) and a transponder (or tag), which usually has a microchip with an antenna attached to it. There are different types of RFID systems, but usually the reader sends out electromagnetic waves with a signal the tag is designed to respond to. Passive tags have no power source. They draw power from the field created by the reader and use it to power the microchip's circuits. The chip then modulates the waves that the tag sends back to the reader, which converts the new waves into digital data. Active tags have a power source and broadcast their signal. Real time location systems don’t respond to signals from the reader, but rather broadcast at set intervals. Readers pick up those signals and software is used to calculate the tag’s location. For more information on the components of a complete system used in businesses, see Getting Started.
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