Could I Use RFID and Google Maps to Track Documents?

By RFID Journal

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Ask The ExpertsCould I Use RFID and Google Maps to Track Documents?
RFID Journal Staff asked 4 years ago

I would like to an embed RFID tag into a document, send it to a recipient, and then view on Google Maps where that document is located. Is this possible?

—John

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John,

It would only be possible if there were a reader at the location where you sent the document and if it was running a program, or was linked to a computer running a program, that could display the reader’s location on Google Maps when the tag was interrogated.

RFID is a short-range technology. Passive tags can be read from a few inches to 30 feet away, depending on the type of RFID system being used. Active tags, on the other hand, can be interrogated from 1,000 feet to 3,000 feet away, since they have a battery that emits a signal like a cellphone. So the tag’s location could not be determined unless there were a reader at the location where you sent a tag.

One way to accomplish this would be to attach a passive Near Field Communication (NFC) sticker (you could order these off the internet) to each document. Once someone received a document, he or she could read its sticker tag using an NFC reader in an Android phone, and an app could indicate the phone’s location at the time of the read on Google Maps. Note that while the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s contain NFC readers, these are closed to all apps except for Apple Pay.

—Mark Roberti, Founder and Editor, RFID Journal

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