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I believe you are referring to our 2008 article “Increasing Read Ranges,” in which Hao Min, the lab’s director, discussed research into creating an active RFID tag that could be read by a standard passive UHF RFID reader. There are no such tags on the market, however. I don’t know if the research was abandoned (funding for the labs was cut), or if there was simply no company willing to produce such tags. That being said, there are battery-assisted passive (BAP) UHF tags that work much as Min describes in this piece. The battery provides power to the chip and some energy to reflect back a signal to the reader. These tags can be read from a distance of 50 meters (164 feet) or more.
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