Handheld RFID Reader Claiming 25-Foot Read Range, 400 Tags/Sec. Read Rate

Written by Evan Schuman
October 28th, 2008

A Hong Kong RFID vendor is boasting about a new $1,950-$2,500 handheld UHF reader “with a read range exceeding 25 feet with standard dipole passive tags and a throughput reaching 400 tags per second.” That claim is usually reserved for fixed readers, a very sharp claimed performance boost.

Convergence Systems Limited has dubbed it the CS101, and it eked out an endorsement from the normally publicity-shy folk at Boeing. Boeing Research Engineer Steve Villa praised Geiger counter mode. “In this mode, the reader’s ability to singulate and locate tags, even in a highly reflective environment, is excellent.”


2 Comments | Read Handheld RFID Reader Claiming 25-Foot Read Range, 400 Tags/Sec. Read Rate

  1. Allison Says:

    What prevents a hacker from buying and reading RFID credit cards from further away?

  2. A Reader Says:

    The difference between RFID credit cards and these RFID tags is in the frequency of the two systems and the physics of radio wave propagation at those different frequencies.

    RFID tags are available in several frequencies. The ones read by the equipment in this article are based on UHF. Hackers have already demonstrated homebrew equipment that can read UHF RFID tags from 69 feet.

    Most credit cards are based on ISO-14443, which uses a much longer wavelength than UHF tags and typically claims a maximum read distance of a few inches. Hackers have demonstrated low-cost reading equipment with a range of about a foot.

    The gear in this article is newsworthy for its impressive read-rate performance at these distances, and not just for its long distance reach. Something like this could work well covering an entire loading dock, for example.


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