December 27, 2013 at 9:53 am #5260
We are three high school students that are working on our final school project. Our project is based on an android app that communicates with passive tags. Our primary intention was to use NFC that is becoming available on android phones. The main problem is that we need quite a large communication range between the Smartphone and the passive tags (the ideal would be 1 meter, but also 20 cm is something). We were wondering if you have a product/ can create one (the flojack or any other product), that can enlarge the android’s NFC communication range? (Maybe with a large diameter of the antenna, with more rounds of the antenna’s coil or with a larger amount of voltage supply to the antenna)?
If all this is not possible, do you have any other suggestions for us on how to enlarge our NFC communication range?
Looking forward for your reply,
firstname.lastname@example.orgDecember 27, 2013 at 10:00 am #5261
Also – if there is a possibility of combining NFC and BLE in a tag in order to get a larger communication range it can really help us!
Thank you!January 6, 2014 at 11:33 am #5286
Hi, enlarging the NFC communication range is directly associated to the antenna and tags that you are using. The theoretical maximum of the NFC physical link is like 22ft (one wavelength of a 13.56MHz waveform), but the practical max is more like a few inches. The ISO15693 protocol, for instance, calls for about 7in in ideal conditions (these are known as Vicinity Tags). The more data intensive ISO14443 protocol only reaches a couple inches. For the ranges you requested you would have to move to a different RFID technology knowns as UHF or EPC Gen2. Because of the increased complexity of a reader of this type, cell phones don’t integrate it.
A BLE tag would be effective in getting that ranges you mentioned, but this would no longer be “passive” since BLE devices require a battery. Also the cost of a BLE tag would be much higher at $20/ea vs NFC tags at $0.25/ea (in bulk).
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