RSS Platform Updates

Radio-Frequency Identification in IoT

Echolo > RFID  > Radio-Frequency Identification in IoT

Radio-Frequency Identification in IoT

When considering technologies for your IoT project, you often do not even give RFID a thought. When in fact RFID AKA Radio-Frequency Identification is extremely versatile and flexible along with extremely cost effective! It’s one of the best fits, and it checks most of the boxes for an IoT communication method. RFID is often used in large office buildings, you know – the credit card sized white box that dangles from your neck or waist that magically opens and unlocks doors. RFID is also used in less intrusive ways such as in golf balls, casino chips, retail store packaging, and more. This technology is also used in disposable items because they’re incredibly inexpensive costing just a few cents for basic tags.

Reasons to still be using RFID when it comes to IoT:

  1. Its tried and true, its battle tested and used every day in many fields and situations.
  2. The cost to implement passive RFID is so low that you can throw the tags away then you don’t need them!
  3. Some of the latest improvements in Active and Passive readers allow for long-range detection and data collection.
  4. Passive RFID is 100% battery-free, so you never need to worry about power!
  5. Because RFID has been around for a long time you get the benefit of others work – you can pretty much find any form factor you might want or need.
  6. Active RFID solutions can customize the radio frequency they use, and you are not stuck using just one.

If you have not already caught on or know by now, there are two types of Radio-Frequency Identification. Both are very different from one another, and both have particular uses.

    Subscribe to our IoT mailing list

    We believe the Internet of Things has an amazingly bright future and it’s already showing itself in many companies who have adapted to this changing landscape and adopted IoT. If you are a decision maker, IT professional, business owner or just someone that is interested in IoT I encourage you to subscribe to our email newsletter.


    A typical passive RFID tag has an antenna and a very low-power IC chip. When a reader is nearby, the RF waves themselves induce a current in the antenna that powers the circuit. The chip then modifies the RF signal, which is returned to the reader with a unique identifier. Passive tags can also use environmental conditions like moisture, humidity and more to modify what data is sent when activated. Passive RFID tags are waiting to be enabled to transmit data, they do not carry a power source and cannot activate on there own.


    Active RFID tags work in a similar way to BLE beacons. The device uses a small battery that can sleep until activated by a reader or has a set interval that it sends data out giving it a set lifespan. Active tags can carry an array of sensors that can collect and advertise/send data to receivers.


    When choosing to use RFID, you gain some significant advantages some of them as outlined above.

    • Low maintenance costs, system are often set up and running for many years without issue.
    • Quicker realization of return on your investment.
    • Equipment and devices are usually low cost; tags can be pennies per device.
    • Smaller chance for RF interference, Active RFID can be tuned to specific frequencies.
    • RFID has been in the market for 20+ years now and is really reliable and well proved.


    Using RFID for environmental or basic sensors is a great move when it comes to IoT projects. While we love BLE and other technologies you often can not beat the price, assortment of devices and reliability of an RFID system. Connect with us today, and we can help you sort out what technology might be best for your next IoT project!

    Greg Winn

    Greg is a highly qualified software engineer and expert in big data, with extensive experience in the development of guidance and avoidance systems for high-powered rockets. A veteran of the Air Force, he has spent over a decade at the National Association of Rocketry and has also worked in the online gaming industry. In 2002, Greg founded, a community site for the NovaLogic video game Delta Force, which was later acquired by Playnet Inc. He has since launched several web platforms and SaaS products, including Cignal, a big data Twitter sentiment analysis and predictive tool. Greg has worked with leading companies and organizations such as NASA, Ackerman & McQueen,, and the NRA, gaining a reputation as an authority on how to create and scale world-class software products with startup development teams. His expertise in software engineering, hardware engineering, and big data make him a valuable asset to Echolo's IoT products and roadmap.

    No Comments

    Leave a Reply

    Contact us: 214.438.0970

    We’re a team of expert & seasoned IoT consultants. We build custom IoT solutions for large and small companies, from hardware to software we have you covered.

    %d bloggers like this: