Can RFID Track RF Guns?

By RFID Journal

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Ask The ExpertsCan RFID Track RF Guns?
RFID Journal Staff asked 11 years ago

Our readers seems to frequently disappear. Is there any tracking software available that we can utilize on the gun itself, to locate it within our building?

—Name withheld


The short answer is yes, but you would need to affix tags to the RF guns, if they don't already have them. Motorola began placing passive ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) tags in its handheld RFID products in 2010 (see Motorola Embeds RFID Tags in Its Handheld Computers).

You would also need to think about whether passive tags would be able to locate the guns. Passive UHF tags have a read range of about 10 to 20 feet. If you have a facility containing workshops, then you could outfit the shop doors with portals, so you would be able to read the tags as any handheld RF readers were brought into or out of the shop.

However, if you operate a large, open factory with stations but no walls, the only way to locate RF guns with passive tags would be to walk around holding a reader equipped with a Geiger counter function (the handheld would beep louder and more frequently as it got closer to a tagged object). If walking around with a handheld reader wouldn't meet your needs, then you would have to employ active tags, which tend to be larger, bulkier and more costly. Active tags have a longer read range, and you would be able to locate a tagged object to within 10 feet in a large open facility.

—Mark Roberti, Founder and Editor, RFID Journal

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