Because there are many types of RFID (Radio Frequency IDentification), there are many types of gateways,
routers, readers, and antennas available to collect RFID data. The below guide is designed to help you
understand these differences and select the right fit for your project needs.
Handheld RFID Readers are the simplest way to get started with RFID. Handheld devices
allow for greatest mobility when using RFID within environments which regularly change
or do not allow for mounting of permanent fixed readers. RFID gives advantages over
barcode technologies by allowing digital scanning through a wide range of materials.
Fixed RFID Readers are typically used for creating chokepoints at entry/exit points
of a process or building. While integrated antennas may be used, typical applications
will utilize multiple external antennas to ensure read accuracy.
Overhead RFID Arrays showcase the latest advancements in pRTLS (Passive Real Time Location
Services). High ceiling mounts allow for greater area coverage and real-time updates to
capture location and movement at 3D visibility such that x,y, and z coordinates are
Handheld readers remain the preferred method for in-person asset identification given their portability. Fixed readers are commonly used for doorways, dock doors, work stations, production checkpoints, and forklifts given their high rate of accuracy and limited range. Overhead RFID Arrays are growing in popularity due to the ability to know 3D location, directionality of movement, superior range, and high coverage area.
Most RFID systems utilize both mobile and fixed RFID readers to meet data collection needs. The combination of handheld, fixed, and overhead RFID readers allows for both improvement in overall system performance as well as reduced infrastructure and labor costs. These systems may also be combined with legacy barcode and manual data entry systems as well as active technologies such as WiFi, LTE, Bluetooth, UWB, and LoRa.