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 Wireless Technologies Overview icon-battery-free-40-pix   icon-battery-40-pix   icon-wireless-40-pix

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Phase IV is the only wireless sensor company that offers products, custom design services, and expert help with every wireless technology. We’ve built 20+ year relationships with our partners by offering them the latest cutting-edge wireless option for each sensing need. We can help you, too.

Wireless Technologies Include:

Phase IV also provides hybrid technologies such as battery-assisted passive RFID sensors and battery-free energy-harvesting active transmitters.

Each wireless technology has its advantages and disadvantages – read more below.

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Questions about Phase IV Engineering's RFID & wireless sensor technology? Need a quote for a specialized wireless sensor solution? Talk to one of our wireless sensing experts today.

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 RFID Battery-Free (Passive) Wireless Technology – Advantages & Disadvantages battery free RFID sensor

Advantages of Battery-Free RFID Sensors

Ultra Long Life
Ideal to be embedded
Ultra Small
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Extreme temperatures - high or low
Multiple RFID sensors can be read
Metal Mountable

Disadvantages of RFID Sensors

Short wireless transmission distances
Requires an RFID Reader, that can be expensive
Large antenna size
Custom, non-standard RFID commands
Sensor types may be limited
Custom sensor antennas

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  • Phase IV invented RFID battery-free sensing and is the recognized world’s expert in the technology.  We continue to push the technology to new levels of performance.
  • Phase IV is the only wireless sensing company that offers every type of RFID wireless technology including – Low Frequency (LF), High Frequency (HF), Ultra High Frequency (UHF-EPC), Near Field Communication (NFC), and Custom Proprietary Protocol RFID sensors.
For more detailed information on RFID sensors – and the different types of RFID sensors, see the RFID battery-free (passive) systems page.

Battery-Assisted Passive (BAP) RFID Sensors – “The Compromise”

Battery-Assisted Passive (BAP) RFID sensors use a small battery to power the sensor. While not as small as battery-free (passive) RFID sensors, the trade-off is a longer read-range and longer life. BAP RFID sensors are ideal in hard-to-reach applications where it’s not possible to get a reading from 3-foot distance. Phase IV has developed a cutting-edge BAP technology with a  10-year life, making our RFID-BAP sensors practically battery-free™. Learn More about our Battery-Assisted Passive RFID Sensors.

Battery-Powered Radio Transmitters (Active) Systems – Advantages & Disadvantages icon-battery-40-pix

Advantages of Battery Powered (Active) Wireless Sensors

Long wireless transmission distances
Ultra-long battery life - Practically Battery Free™
Constant monitoring
Wide variety of sensors are available 'off the shelf'
Regularly transmitted data can be seen in real time
One inexpensive receiver
Web interface supports text and email alerts
'Anywhere Monitoring' with a web connected device
Configure and manage sensors remotely
Add sensors to existing equipment
Quick & easy installation.
Practical with a low cost and rapid ROI

Disadvantages of Battery Powered (Active) Wireless Sensors

Batteries need to be replaced
Large size
Difficult to embed inside objects
Requires an internet connection or dedicated PC
Generates a great deal of data
Data transmissions are subject to rare but occasional interference.
Radio transmissions cannot pass through metal.

 

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Phase IV offers an easy to use and practical “off the shelf” Wireless Sensor Network (WSN) system with a wide variety of sensors. We also offer some very specialized custom active sensor systems for application that have unique or demanding requirements.

For more detailed information on RFID sensors see the Battery-powered (Active) Wireless Sensors page.

 RFID Battery Powered Data Logger Technology – Advantages & Disadvantages icon-wireless-40-pix

Advantages of RFID Data Loggers

Process monitoring in areas where wireless transmissions are not possible
Sensing in places where active sensors or receivers are too large
Long-term sensor monitoring in remote locations
Monitoring sensors over very long distances
Small size and density allows RFID data loggers to emulate objects

Disadvantages of RFID Data Loggers

Sensor data is not seen in 'real time'.
Data download requires a special reader
Ultra-small sealed data loggers have a limited life
The sensors must be read one at a time
Short read distance

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Data loggers are devices that periodically take a sensor reading and then store the time-stamped sensor data to on-board memory.  At a later time, the data is downloaded to a computer for analysis.

Phase IV offers several data loggers with a wireless RFID interface. A computer is connected to a RFID reader – and the reader communicates with the data logger to download data and control how the data logger collects data (start time, stop time, sampling interval…). The RFID interface is very advantageous over other non-RFID data loggers because no battery power is required for the data logger to transmit data or commands to the PC. Because RFID data loggers do not use any battery power to transmit data, they use batteries that are much much smaller than active wireless data loggers. We leverage our expertise with RFID sensing to create several versions of the world’s smallest sealed data loggers.  

For more detailed information on RFID sensors – and the different types of RFID sensors, see the RFID Data Logger page.

 

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