Where Can I Find RFID Readers Able to Scan an Entire Room for Tags?

By RFID Journal

  • TAGS

I'm interested in purchasing tags and interrogators, and would like to have approximately 20 to 30 people within a room, each with a passive tag. The room would be about 30 feet in length, 9 feet in width and 8 feet in height, and the tags would be located within a person's bag or pocket. I would like the readers positioned around the room, each separately polling a specified area for tags. After a few seconds, I would like the polling to stop. Can you provide any suggestions as to which readers and tags would be appropriate for such a task? And would the power emitted by the devices pose any risk to human health?

—Name withheld


Just about any ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) system could be set up to cover a room. Passive UHF readers could be set up around the room, and could start and stop reading as directed. However, there would be no way, using a conventional UHF system, to determine precisely where someone was located within a room. You could not, for instance, divide the room into four quadrants and know for certain that a person was in one quadrant and not another, if people were standing near the border of two quadrants.

Mojix offers a phased-array antenna that allows a user to more precisely locate tags within three dimensions (see Mojix Takes Passive UHF RFID to a New Level). The system is accurate to within 3 feet, so if you needed to precisely know that a person was on one side of a line or another, that would not work. If you were willing to utilize an active system, you could try ultra-wideband (UWB) technology, which can locate tags to within a few centimeters.

—Mark Roberti, Founder and Editor, RFID Journal