RFID tags costs range depending on the application of the tag. Furthermore, the type of RFID tag will influence the price. Due to this, they are not able to be purchased at general supermarkets and homewares stores.
RFID tags are categorised as either passive or active, meaning that passive RFID tags require a scanner to be activated whilst active ones continually transmit information to a receiver. Passive RFID tags rely on electromagnetic fields produced by the scanner at a particular frequency and a short range to gain enough power to transmit the required information. Uses may include security tags, shipping labels or file trackers.
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Active RFID tags continually transmitting information need to have access to a power source. The receiver, which can be in the form of a beacon, obtains real-time information from the RFID tag. These scenarios may include buoys, GPS monitors, and exercise trackers.
Because of these uses, RFID tags need to be customised to the needs of each user. The information must be provided to the manufacturer so that the RFID tag can be embedded with the required data and programmed to the correct frequency. These are then manufactured to the correct specifications and dispatched accordingly. When activated by the end-user with a scanner or receiver, the information is then transmitted and interpreted by computer software.
Due to the unique application and information requirements of each RFID tag, they are unable to be purchased as an off-the-shelf product. They are required to be manufactured specifically for their purpose and with the exact information.