We manufacture laptops, and wish to supply RFID labels to customers that have deployed RFID reading solutions. However, as there are multiple standards out there, is there any system that would allow labels built to some of these varying standards to be used across the board?
Good question. A few years back, people talked about mutli-protocol readers. The idea would be to build an interrogator that could read a variety of high-frequency (HF) and ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) protocols. That concept has fallen out of favor, however, because most users want a lower-cost interrogator, and having the capability of reading both UHF and HF tags increases cost considerably. (An HF interrogator that reads more than one HF protocol, or a UHF interrogator that reads more than one UHF protocol, on the other hand, is not appreciably more expensive.)
You could ask your customers which type of systems they use, then provide the appropriate labels. But if you seek a one-size-fits-all tag, then you will need to understand how that tag will be utilized. HF or LF tags would be fine for inventorying purposes, for instance, if a corporation sends someone to each office or cubicle to capture information regarding IT assets. The read range in such a scenario would be a couple of feet.
Some businesses might wish to monitor laptops that enter and leave a building, or specific areas of that location. If that is the case, most would choose a passive UHF or battery-assisted UHF system. Right now, EPCglobal's Gen 2 air-interface protocol standard (ratified by the International Organization for Standardization as ISO 18000-6C) is the most widely used passive UHF protocol, so I would expect this to be what most of your customers want.
—Mark Roberti, Editor, RFID Journal
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