Is It Possible to Read an RFID Tag’s ID Number Using Any Reader?

By RFID Journal

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Ask The ExpertsIs It Possible to Read an RFID Tag’s ID Number Using Any Reader?
RFID Journal Staff asked 5 years ago

Or would we need a specific type of reader to do so?

—Fredrik

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Fredrik,

It depends on what kind of tag you are referring to and what you mean by “any reader.” If you have a passive ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) tag based on the ISO 18000-6C air-interface protocol standard (the protocol is the language by which tags and readers communicate), then any reader using the same air-interface protocol can read the tag’s ID. If the tag and reader use the same frequency but different air-interface protocols, or if they utilize a different frequency, then the reader would not be able to capture any information from the tag.

So, for example, you could have a passive HF reader that employed the ISO 14443 air-interface protocol standard and a tag that used the ISO 15693 standard. In this case, the frequency would be the same, but since the tag and reader were using two different “languages,” they would not communicate with one another. Or you could have a passive UHF reader and a passive high-frequency (HF) tag. Since they would operate at different frequencies (and use different air-interface protocols), then once again, the tag and reader would not communicate.

—Mark Roberti, Founder and Editor, RFID Journal

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