To compare GPS vs. RFID for asset location purposes, you first need to understand the following technology:
The number one thing that should be on your mind if you’re thinking about handling asset location through GPS or RFID technology (whether it’s active or passive) is energy, energy, energy.
GPS is very energy-intensive for two reasons:
RFID-based location systems, on the other hand, are not quite as power-hungry. Passive RFID system tags don’t require power at all, and active RFID systems like AirFinder use low-energy tags. The readers for RFID systems are either powered by D batteries or are connected to AC power, providing an abundant energy supply.
One of the primary uses for GPS-based asset location is vehicle location. As previously mentioned, the GPS unit on the vehicle can sometimes use the vehicle battery, giving it the power it requires.
Passive RFID is ideal for tracking assets that can be read through a choke point. For example, some airlines are integrating passive RFID into luggage tags, and some delivery services are adding tags to shipping crates and boxes. The tags are extremely inexpensive (pennies when bought in bulk), which makes these applications possible.
Active RFID is a very inexpensive RTLS option (even though the tags are more expensive than passive RFID tags), and it’s ideal for tracking assets in parts of or an entire building. It can be used to manage chain of custody, ensure quality control, or enhance vendor risk management practices.
We’re happy to help you figure out whether RTLS or GPS technology is best suited for your industry or application.