Is RFID Feasible for Monitoring Students?

By RFID Journal

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Ask The ExpertsIs RFID Feasible for Monitoring Students?
RFID Journal Staff asked 12 years ago

I hear a lot about using passive or active ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) RFID for tracking students. But do such solutions really work—and if so, how would a school ensure that each student carried only one card?

—Name withheld


Student-tracking technology can work—provided that it is set up correctly.

Active systems are frequently utilized to track people. Passive UHF is a little more challenging, since the human body is mostly composed of water, which absorbs UHF energy. Thus the body can block radio waves from reaching a passive tag, preventing that tag from responding. The system can be engineered to keep the tag far enough away from the body to allow the tag to be read.

One challenge facing these systems involves preventing students from swapping tags. To address this limitation, schools typically print a photo of the cardholder and punish any children caught using another student's tag.

—Mark Roberti, Founder and Editor, RFID Journal

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