Do Tags and Readers All Have Unique ID Numbers?

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Ask The ExpertsDo Tags and Readers All Have Unique ID Numbers?
RFID Journal Staff asked 6 years ago

Does every RFID tag have a unique ID number? Suppose person X scans his or her RFID tag at location 1, while person Y does the same at location 2. If this scanning process is recorded in a database for all people using RFID, is it the case that all tags recorded in the database will have different identities? The same question, but for RFID readers—do they have a unique identity as well (or, if nothing else, does each reader have its own unique MAC address that is different from any other RFID reader)? If the answer to the previous question is "yes," then is it possible to fetch the MAC address of the reader via coding?




Tags can be purchased with a unique ID number. You can also encode tags yourself. If you encode two tags with duplicate IDs, then they will obviously not be unique, so tags should be programmed with their own unique numbers. Each reader has a unique ID of its own. Typically, a reader will send the ID of the tag read, the date, the time and the reader's own unique ID to a database. This allows you to know where every item is located, by telling you which reader interrogated the tag.

—Mark Roberti, Founder and Editor, RFID Journal

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