Improving RFID to Near Perfect Accuracy
Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) is one technology that seems to become more common all the time, as it is embedded in credit cards, passports, and more. Despite how pervasive it is in many of our lives, the technology is not without flaws. Researchers at the University of Cambridge are working to remove at least some of those flaws with their distributed antenna system (DAS).
One of the wonderful things about RFID systems is that they do not necessarily require power. The radio waves from a reader can provide the power necessary for the RFID tag to be read. To reliably read the tag though, it cannot be more than two or three meters away from the reader and it cannot be in a dead spot where reflected radio waves cancel each other out. The Cambridge system addresses these issues by multicasting the signals across multiple antennas, shifting the dead spots away from the tag. In a 20 by 15 meter area, roughly half of it would be dead spots with traditional RFID, but with the DAS RFID system, none of that area is a dead spot.
Along with improving accuracy, the distributed antenna system also increases the range of the RFID tags to roughly 20 meters. Currently the researchers are looking to use DAS to identify where the tag is located in a space and ways to commercialize the technology.
Source: University of Cambridge