I work on a very large project, and am interested in purchasing an RFID solution. We need a system that can show the locations of our materials, a lot of which end up lost or stolen—our construction site is so large that we cannot store everything in warehouses. We need something cheap, as some of our materials are not very valuable. My question is this: Can a passive tag show the materials' exact location, or can only an active tag do that?
Most passive ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) solutions can tell you only that a tag is within a reader's proximity, and not its precise location. However, phased-array antenna systems, from such companies as Mojix, can tell you an item's location to within approximately 10 feet (3 meters), which is equivalent to the location accuracy of most active RFID system. For low-cost goods, this type of solution might be your best option. You might also look into reusable tags. These would cost more up-front, but might be cheaper in the long term.
—Mark Roberti, Founder and Editor, RFID Journal
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