Can RFID Tags Be Turned On and Off via External Devices?


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Ask The ExpertsCategory: QuestionsCan RFID Tags Be Turned On and Off via External Devices?
SURESH BABU asked 1 year ago

Are there any passive UHF RFID tags or ICs that could be enabled or disabled by an external circuit or printed circuit board? Would that be possible?


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There are multiple UHF RFID chip and tag models designed to be disabled by authorized and compatible readers. This feature is commonly used to either "kill" or simply turn down the RF transmission sensitivity of a card to "short-range mode" at a store's point of sale, so that it will not be read by an RFID-based EAS system at the exit, or by other readers outside the store. It could then be switched on again in the case of a returned product. Yet another option is an offering that comes with RFID chips to block unauthorized readers, with the chips responding only to authorized readers. Impinj is an example of a company that makes a product with a security and privacy feature to remain silent around RFID readers until an authorized reader transmits a PIN.

Claire Swedberg
Senior Editor
RFID Journal


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