Are there any devices that could replace radio frequency identification?
Global Positioning System (GPS) devices have a better range than RFID. You can track goods anywhere on Earth via GPS. However, GPS does not work indoors, so many companies use RFID to track cases stacked on pallets inside a warehouse, confirm that the correct pallets are loaded onto the appropriate trucks and then use GPS to track those vehicles.
Active RFID systems have a longer read range than passive RFID (300 meters or more). A company called Iotera has developed an active tag with a 4-mile read range (see Iotera Develops Active RFID Tag With 4-Mile Read Range). But a longer read range is not always an advantage. If you had 10,000 tagged items in a giant warehouse and all of the tags could be interrogated using a single reader, that would not be useful unless each tag’s location could be determined to within 10 feet or so.
—Mark Roberti, Founder and Editor, RFID Journal
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