Solutions, Modules, Connectivity, Platforms

RFID in IoT: What You Need to Know

March 15, 2023

Start the First Mile of IoT with OneEdge. Request a project review.

What Is Short-Range Wireless Communication?

Short-range wireless communication uses radio frequency (RF) signals to enable communication between computers and devices or products and scanners. RF signals can transmit data at high speeds with low power consumption. They can travel up to 100 meters from the source, depending on the technology.

What Is Radio Frequency Identification (RFID)?


RFID technology, which has been used for decades, utilizes a chip to enable short-range communication in various applications. The chip, either placed in or attached to an object, stores information. This information is “unlocked” when a scanner reads the object.

Most of us use this technology every day, as it’s found in:

  • Credit cards
  • Passports
  • Retail clothing tags
  • Hotel card keys
  • Pet chips (to store health and owner information)
  • Warehouse inventory

What Is the Difference between RFID Chips and Wireless IoT Devices?

In terms of RFID’s use in Internet of Things (IoT) devices, RFID chips can be complementary to IoT applications. However, they do not accomplish the same goals as short-range wireless IoT devices.

While RFID chips store information, wireless IoT devices, which use embedded sensors, enable communication and data relay between machines and networks. This capability is a key feature of industrial IoT (IIoT). IIoT mission-critical applications rely on real-time data collection and analysis to improve productivity, decision-making and worker safety.

What Are the Use Cases for Wireless IoT Devices?

Smart Agriculture and Hydroponics

Smart irrigation helps growers conserve natural resources with sustainable practices.

Smart farming and precision agriculture incorporate this technology to make farm-to-market more efficient and productive. They deploy IoT sensors, or edge endpoints, to connect everything from irrigation systems to soil and animal production.

Some endpoints depend on short-range wireless technologies, such as Wi-Fi and Bluetooth® wireless technology. Others use cellular due to distances and RF coverage needs.

With a goal to maximize food production, the technology empowers farmers with data to make good business decisions related to:

  • Reducing resource consumption (e.g., water, grain, fertilizer, pesticides)
  • Minimizing runoff and soil erosion
  • Adding efficiency to overall operations and product distribution

Deep Rooted, formerly Clover, is an India-based greenhouse agritech startup supplying farm-fresh local produce direct to consumers in Bangalore. It deploys wireless sensors to monitor plant growth in its greenhouses. Aggregating data from many locations within the greenhouse campus allows them to improve growth protocols. This enhancement yields healthier plants and a more plentiful harvest.

From orchards to cattle ranching, farms are utilizing IoT solutions to monitor multiple drivers affecting their bottom line, including:

  • Temperature
  • Soil conditions
  • Contaminants
  • Water quality

These capabilities can be applied to other industrial settings in which the entire process can be monitored within a closed-loop environment.

Smart Construction

Smart construction solutions optimize efficiency and cost-effectiveness.

GreenVibe, an Israel-based startup, sought to spearhead a global construction industry revolution by maximizing precision and efficiency in concrete making. The company utilizes embedded IoT modules for its sensors in addition to IoT connectivity solutions and platforms. The total solution enables GreenVibe’s customers to collect real-time data from the concrete, including:

  • Strength
  • Temperature
  • Workability
  • Density
  • Humidity

The IoT sensors are left in the concrete after serving their purpose. They are inexpensive and consume little power yet contain robust communication ability during (but not after) the hardening process. These sensors are cost-effective and valuable for such a robust environment.

Start Your Journey on the First Mile of IoT

Every IoT deployment journey begins with the First Mile of IoT, which consists of edge devices and their data. The First Mile is often overlooked and underestimated by IoT platform providers. We have over 23 years of IoT experience and can help you traverse the First Mile.

The OneEdge software IoT edge orchestrator provides the resources needed to hasten time to market and reduce the total cost of ownership and risks. OneEdge supports enterprises through the entire First Mile journey, from prototyping to mature, massive solution deployment.

Speak with our IoT experts today and take the first step.