In a recent test, the Defense Department compared Axcess Internationals active RFID against two varieties of passive RFIDoperating at high and ultra high frequenciesfor visitor tracking, disaster management and access control to high security areas. RFID tags were integrated into ID badges that were worn in a variety of configurations: in a wallet, in a computer bag, and hanging as a pendant from a chain necklace, for instance.According to Griebenow, the active ID cards performed much better in a number of situations: when the employee passed through the center of a doorway; when the card was held against the body; and when multiple tags needed to be read simultaneously, for example. On a related note, Axcess recently announced the integration of its active RFID technology with both ammonia sensors, for detecting gas leaks, and radiological sensors. Other government users of Axcess active RFID include the U.S. Marines in Guam; the U.S. Navy in Hawaii; and the U.S. Immigration Services, Griebenow told eWEEK.com. Other applications are already integrating both types of RFID, according to Griebenow. In truck shipments, for example, drivers sometimes wear active ID cards, whereas passive RFID is used to identify the contents of the load, he said. Some day, large retailers such as Wal-Mart and Target might also adopt hybrid active/passive RFID applications, he said. "I predict that some of the higher-level palettes and cartons will ultimately be tagged with active RFID," Griebenow said. Beyond homeland defense, Axcess also plays in the supply chain, sensing and wireless security spaces. Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest news and analysis of enterprise supply chains.
Full-scale RFID could take a decade. Read why here.