An active tag is a wireless device equipped with a battery that can be used as a partial or complete source of power for the tag's circuitry and antenna. Some active tags contain replaceable batteries for years of use; others are sealed units.


  • It can be read at distances of one hundred feet or more, greatly improving the utility of the device
  • It may have other sensors that can use electricity for power.


  • The tag cannot function without battery power, which limits the lifetime of the tag.
  • The tag is typically more expensive, often costing $20 or more each
  • The tag is physically larger, which may limit applications.
  • The long-term maintenance costs for an active RFID tag can be greater than those of a passive tag if the batteries are replaced.
  • Battery outages in an active tag can result in expensive misreads.


  • longest communication range of any tag
  • the capability to perform independent monitoring and control
  • the capability of initiating communications
  • the capability of performing diagnostics
  • the highest data bandwidth
  • active rfid tags may even be equipped with autonomous networking; the tags autonomously determine the best communication path.