Identification At Its Finest: A Guide Between Active and Passive RFID Technology

RFID TagRFID technology is starting to show up in different applications and people are reaping its benefits. But like any other type of technology, you need to know how RFID works so you can use it more efficiently.

Active and Passive RFID are strictly different technologies. While both use radio waves to communicate data between the tag and the reader, their methods of powering tags are different.

Read on to know their distinctions.

The Active

An active RFID tag possesses its own transmitter and power source, enabling the tag to air its signal. It’s capable of reading longer ranges and houses greater memory capacities as compared to passive RFID tags. Still, before achieving satisfactory efficiency, it requires more power. Military labels and packing, for one, use active RFID technology to make logistics and packing process easier.

While these features translate to increased investment costs, the return on investment may far outweigh the total amount you’ve spent. Given the innovative features of an active RFID technology, you can use them for tracking critical assets where location tracking is necessary to your business process.

The Passive

Passive RFID tags depend entirely on the reader as their main power source. These tags can read up to six meters away, and have low production costs, making it ideal for less costly merchandises – from train tickets to shampoo bottles.

Passive RFID tags, however, require stronger signals from the reader. Unlike active RFID technology, passive technology has low-level signal strength, making it less ideal for complex usage such as medical care, engineering, and military packing.

In the world we live in today, technology is becoming more and more prevalent in our daily activities. Specifically, RFID tags, a development once restricted to tracking livestock, are now increasing in number and tracking consumer products worldwide. And while both active and passive RFID tags use radio waves to communicate data, each is different – and possesses different features well suited for different applications.