In recent years, we hear a lot about RFID and BLE. These are part of the IoT revolution that is gearing up for its revolution. We use RFID in so many versatile applications. Like, the fashion industry and tracing the location of children. While BLE(Bluetooth Low Energy) is very young compared to RFID. So, they both have their advantages and shortcomings. In this blog, we will explore how BLE beacons and RFID technology compare with each other. And how they help asset management system software to function.
What is RFID asset tracking?
RFID uses radio frequencies to identify the tags on the products. When an employee scans the RFID tag on the package, the database gets automatically updated. There are three main types of RFID tags in use:
a. Active: Many a time, this kind of RFID device gets paired with a GPS temperature monitoring device. They have a broadcast range of up to 100 m, making them suitable for long-range identification.
b. Passive: These RFID tags are very affordable. Furthermore, they do not require any power source to operate. They just reflect the incoming signals from the reader.
c. Semi-passive: This kind of RFID comes in handy when you have to monitor the status of your shipments and not actively track their location.
Any kind of RFID device has three main components in total. They are RFID reader, antenna, and RFID tag. These three work together to send and receive information.
What are BLE beacons and receivers?
BLE uses Bluetooth to send information over long and short distances. Similar to the RFID tags, these also have a tag and a reader. Here, it goes by the name BLE beacons and receivers. Many people choose BLE due to its pocket-friendly price. Also, the technology focuses on saving power. Hence, you can insert a battery and forget about it for a long time. Moreover, using Bluetooth gateways, it can regularly send the information to the asset management system software.
RFID vs BLE in asset monitoring
- Active RFID:
Active RFID offers you a longer range than any other RTLS. These kinds of tags are suitable for larger assets. Hence, this is a solution for someone transporting costly products.
- Passive RFID:
Passive RFIDs are much cheaper than their active counterparts. You won’t be spending any extra cash for years once you install it.
By far the most affordable option for pairing with an asset management system software. Also, almost every mobile device can pick up BLE beacons signals enabling flexibility.
As we said, both have their ups and downs, making them equally valuable. Furthermore, everything comes down to the budget and the type of processes your supply chain is going to experience.