What is Active Rfid Tags?
ACTIVE RFID TAGS
Like passive RFID tags, active tags have both a microchip and an antenna. The chips, however, are usually larger in size and have greater capabilities than the RFID chips in passive tags.
Active tags diversely have two additional components that differentiate them from passive tags: an onboard power supply and onboard electronics.
THE ONBOARD POWER SUPPLY
The power supply is usually a battery, although it can also be solar. The built-in power supply allows the tag to transmit data to a reader on its own, without the need to draw power from the reader itself like passive tags do. In addition, active tags can be read from distances of 100 feet or more, whereas passive tags can only be read from up to about 20 feet.
THE ONBOARD ELECTRONICS
Onboard electronics may consist of sensors, microprocessors, and input/output ports, all of which are powered by the tag’s onboard power source. The electronics allow active RFID tags to be used in a wider range of applications than passive tags.
For example, perishable food products may be tagged with sensors that collect data that can then be used to determine expiration dates and warn the end user that the item may be spoiled. Even though many products have expiration dates printed on them, these dates are valid only if the product is stored under the optimal conditions (temperature, humidity, exposure to light, etc.) for that type of product. Therefore, the product may expire before the printed date if it is not stored properly. An RFID tag equipped with a temperature sensor might be able to predict the actual expiration date of a carton of milk, for example, which may be very different from the printed date.
In short, whether you choose to use active or passive tags in your RFID system will likely depend on both your particular application and your budget. Simple asset tracking that utilizes barcode technology will become obsolete as RFID proliferates through organizations, making them more efficient and better equipped for accuracy.