Where can I find inexpensive passive RFID tags for clothing and property that I can locate via an iPhone or an iPad—applicable for memory-care assisted-living centers?
The latest iPhones contain a Near Field Communication (NFC) reader. This is a short-range (10 inches) passive high-frequency (HF) RFID reader (see An iPhone With NFC—at Last!). No iPad model has a built-in NFC reader yet, however.
You can purchase NFC tags as labels for about 50 cents each in low volumes (I’m assuming you don’t need millions of tags). If you want something that is washable, it will cost more. Click here for information about a washable NFC laundry tag.
You can buy passive ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) readers that work with Android phones and tablets. Microelectronics Technology Inc. (MTI), for example, makes the Mini Me RFID reader, which plugs into the audio port of many Android devices (see RFID News Roundup: MTI Releases New Products in Its RFID ME Family). The read range here is also fairly short, due to power constraints. You can buy 25 laundry tags from Fujitsu at Amazon.com for approximately $40 (click here). The Mini Me reader costs $199 at Amazon (click here).
—Mark Roberti, Founder and Editor, RFID Journal
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