inLogic RFID Asset Tracking Blog
Passive UHF RFID Is Not Ideal For Securing Assets
August 11, 2010
RFID is a great technology for tracking assets, but there are some exceptions. Passive UHF RFID in particular should typically not be implemented to secure assets. Because of the frequency that it operates at, it cannot penetrate metal or liquid.
If you want to secure laptops for instance from leaving a building, there are too many ways to circumvent passive RFID. The most obvious method to circumvent the technology is to just remove the tag. Simply putting the laptop in a metal briefcase and walking past a reader would prevent the tag from being read. Even in a nylon or leather laptop bag, there many environmental variables that can cause interference. A cell phone, PDA, iPod or other electronic device with a lot of metal purposely or inadvertently being placed near or on the RFID tag on the laptop can prevent the tag from being read. Even something as simple as placing your hand over the tag will typically prevent it from being seen by the reader. There is enough saline (liquid) in the human hand to prevent the RF from penetrating.
Although there are numerous applications where Passive UHF RFID is well suited for tracking items, technologies like Active RFID are better suited for applications where security is a requirement. Some of the Active RFID systems operate at frequencies that are less susceptible to interference from metal and liquid. Because they have a battery, the signal is typically much stronger and more difficult to shield. Many of the Active RFID tags also have tamper detection capabilities, so you know if someone tries to remove the tag from the asset. These capabilities make Active RFID a much better choice for securing assets.
For more information about RFID Asset Tracking solutions please visit www.inlogic.com.
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