Omni-ID Unveils the Ultimate Passive Tag with 135 foot read range

Omni-ID claims the Omni-ID Ultra, an EPCglobal Class 1 Gen 2 or ISO 18000-6C compliant passive UHF RFID tag a can be read 100 feet away – further than any other passive RFID tag on the market. In this RFID Network Benchmark test, we’re going put that claim to the test and see if the Ultra really is the ultimate passive RFID tag.

During the past several years, we’ve have heard many people say, “RFID does not work with metal and liquids” in the context of passive UHF technology, more specifically with EPCglobal Class 1 Gen 2 or ISO 18000-6C. This unfortunate misconception has been perpetuated by misinformation from vendors with competitive offerings in other frequencies. In reality, anyone can now achieve tag reads on metal from over 100 feet away and 2½ feet away submerged in water if the proper tag, reader, and antenna is used.

On a regular basis, our team evaluates commercially available durable asset tags – passive RFID tags designed to be mounted directly on metal, operate near metal, or submersed in water. We define Durable Asset Tags as RFID tags that are specifically designed to withstand a variety of challenging environmental operating conditions. In order for a tag to be included in this category it must have an IP Rating which provides a standardized measure for durability. Based on our tests, the best overall performing tags came from Omni-ID.

The durable asset tracking tags we’re going to test are from Omni-ID. Omni-ID tags do not contain batteries, they are passive. However, unlike other passive RFID tags that use large metallic antennas to achieve longer read ranges, Omni-ID’s tags capture RF energy using something called a plasmonic structure, which is totally unique and even patented.

How the Plasmonic Structure Works

Inside of every Omni-ID tag is an integrated circuit with a small loop antenna. As RF waves are transmitted from a RFID reader towards the tag, the plasmonic structure captures those waves and concentrates the energy from them around the integrated circuit, as you can see here. The red shows where the greatest amount of energy is located inside the tag. The concentrated energy activates the integrated circuit which allows the tag to respond to the RFID reader and provide the data stored on the tag, such as an electronic product code or other unique information. Based on our tests, the plasmonic structure makes the Omni-ID tags extremely energy efficient.

Our Passive RFID Durable Asset Tag Performance Benchmark Tests

All tests are designed based on real-world scenarios that a tag will encounter. At least three trials of every test is performed. When possible, a different tag is used for each test in order to account for production variances. This also eliminates having a really good tag or a really bad tag that skews the results. Although tags may read briefly at further distances, each tag must maintain a 3 second read before the distance results are recorded. In some cases a tag would be read very briefly at a much greater distance than the recorded result demonstrates. Our team selected 3 seconds because it helps to eliminate tags reads resulting from stray reflections. After several weeks of extensive testing by our team of experts at RFID Global Solution, the results were captured and the averages are calculated and published below.

Tag Read Performance with Hand-held RFID Reader

In our handheld RFID Reader tests, all three tags performed better on metal than on cardboard, which is to do be expected given that is how they are designed. Keep in mind that the Ultra and Max HD are global tags, meaning they are balanced to for operation in all regions of the world. The Max Pro we tested is designed for operation in North America. All reader equipment used in the published tests below are for North America. What we found most astonishing is that we were able to read the Ultra from 90 feet away using our handheld.

In our stationary RFID Reader tests, the Ultra was read 135 feet away. Our team has never seen this kind of read distance from a passive tag, only semi-passive and active tags. Remember, the Ultra has no battery which makes it ideal for transportation, logistics, cargo and container tracking. Given this kind of performance, we have to say Omni-ID really has created the Ultimate Passive RFID tag.

About Our Testing Protocol

Our tag testing protocol comes straight from the engineering lab of RFID Global Solution, Inc. one of the industry’s leading passive and active RFID deployment experts. RFID Global has unparalleled passive RFID solution design and field installation experience, and more hands on, “in the trenches” experience making passive tag solutions perform, than anyone in the industry. RFID Global Solution leverages its extensive relationships with engineering teams across the industry to get access to the latest product innovations. These new products are put through their paces in a series of performance tests and application scenarios, allowing RFIDGS to gauge how products will perform in real world situations.