Active RFID

What Is Active RFID?

Radio frequency identification (RFID) is a technology for tracking items and accepting customer payments. Equipped with an antenna and a computer chip, it’s a great replacement for a barcode system.

Now, there are two primary types of RFID, active and passive, and we’ll look at both kinds below.

RFID Vs. Barcodes

A barcode system individually scans each item a consumer buys. This process can be time-consuming, especially when the scanner isn’t quite working up to speed and a store employee must scan each product manually, perhaps multiple times. Checkout lines can then become long and slow-moving.

An RFID unit can instantly scan a whole bagful or cartful of products. The machine’s reader sends an electromagnetic message to the products’ tags, and each tag responds with the name and price of the item.

The reader then transmits all of that information to the processor. The processor tallies and displays the total cost, and it enters data about each purchase into the computer system’s databases.

For a customer, this whole process happens in the blink of an eye. Every item he or she has is immediately recognized, and the cost appears right away. Thus, checkout times can be dramatically reduced.

Active RFID Vs. Passive RFID

With active RFID, the tags have their own batteries or other sources of power, and they can send messages on their own to active RFID readers. For instance, such a tag could tell a reader that its location has changed.

This type of RFID is generally used for large, expensive products and for tracking and processing items that are as far as 328 feet away from the reader.

For example, if you manage a used car lot, your vehicles could all have active RFID tags. Industrial warehouses, medical complexes and other sprawling facilities can also use active RFID to keep track of their valuable assets.

By contrast, a passive RFID system has a reader with a power source, but no other components have their own power. Instead, the reader emits electromagnetic waves that activate each of the tags. The tags must be within several feet to receive the waves.

As a final note, RFID technology has been around for decades, but it’s only now making headway in the business sector. Whether active or passive RFID is right for you, you’re sure to find it fast, useful and convenient. And, for active RFID news, please be sure to check back here frequently.