What’s the Difference Between Active and Passive RFID?

Passive RFID systems use tags with no internal power source. They are powered by the electromagnetic energy transmitted from an RFID reader. Passive RFID tags are used for applications like access control, file tracking, retail, race timing, supply chain management, smart labels, and more. The lower price point per tag makes employing passive RFID systems economical for many industries.

Active RFID systems use battery-powered RFID tags that continuously broadcast their own signal. Active RFID tags are commonly used as “beacons” to accurately track the real-time location of assets or in high-speed environments such as tolling. Active tags provide a much longer read range than passive tags, and they are also much more expensive.