An active tag is an RFID tag that is powered by an internal battery that provides part or all of the tag's power. The batteries used in active tags can be replaceable or sealed into the unit. These tags can also be connected to an external power source. See also passive tag.
Advantages of an active tag:
- Active tags have a very long read distance, typically 100 feet or more.
- Active tags may have other sensors that can use electricity for power.
Disadvantages of an active tag:
- The tag is limited to battery power, which limits its lifespan.
- Active tags are more expensive than passive tags.
- Active tags are larger than passive tags, limiting their useful applications.
- There are more maintenance costs associated with active tags that don't have replaceable batteries.
- Battery outages in an active tag can result in expensive misreads.
Features of an active tag:
- Have the longest communication range of any RFID tag
- Capable of performing independent monitoring and control
- Capable of initiating communications rather than only being able to be initiated by a reader
- Capable of performing diagnostics
- Highest data bandwidth
- Can be equipped with autonomous networking, enabling the tag to determine the best communication path.