Can RFID Tags Be Used for Proximity Detection?

By RFID Journal

  • TAGS
Ask The ExpertsCan RFID Tags Be Used for Proximity Detection?
RFID Journal Staff asked 9 years ago

Can I utilize the tags like closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras in a room, to detect each other's presence?

—Name withheld


Tags cannot actually detect anything. They are pieces of silicon with a radio antenna attached. Sometimes, they have a battery enabling them to broadcast a signal. And if they have an onboard sensor, they can sense temperature, humidity, movement and so on.

Depending on the type of RFID system you chose, you might be able to put tags on several items and determine their locations within a room. Active real-time location systems have tags that emit a signal every few seconds or minutes, and readers employ a variety of means to determine each tag's location.

Passive systems can tell you that a tag is within a read field. And some new antenna arrays can tell you relative information, such as that a particular tag is within the read field's northwest quadrant. If you had readers with antennas in the four corners of a 20-foot by 20-foot room, pointing out from each corner, you would be able to obtain information about the locations of tagged objects within that room.

If I understood better what you were trying to do, I could probably give you a more informed answer.

—Mark Roberti, Founder and Editor, RFID Journal

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