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Difference Between RFID, Bluetooth, GPS & LoRa Technology

locating technology

In the past few years, the Internet of Things (IoT) has been growing rapidly in numerous areas with the advancement of low-power and low-cost wireless technologies. With the development of many applications for the IoT, indoor localization has become an important component of smart homes. In the technological areas of the communication field today, wireless communication is the fastest-growing communication system. Information is transmitted from transmitter to receiver that is placed over a limited distance, in the wireless communication system. The transmission and reception of signals are made possible using antennas. In the form of Electromagnetic (EM) waves, the antennas transform the electrical signals into radio signals and vice versa. GPS, Bluetooth, LoRa, and RFID are examples of commonly used wireless communication systems. So, what’s the difference between them?



In the radio frequency portion of the electromagnetic spectrum, RFID incorporates the use of electromagnetic coupling to uniquely identify an animal, object, and person. Readers, antennas, and tags make the backbone of an RFID system. RFID readers have one or more antennas that emit radio waves and receive signals back from the RFID tag. These tags can either be passive or active and they use radio waves to communicate their identity and any other information to nearby readers. RFID technology uses three main frequencies used by passive tags; low frequency (125-134 kHz), high frequency (13.56 MHz), and ultra-high frequency (860-956 MHz).



Bluetooth devices have a limited range, therefore, they only allow local communication. With a transmission range of 10 meters, Bluetooth provides data, audio, and voice transmission. Bluetooth technology is equipped on laptops, mobile phones, and tablets devices. These can be connected to wireless Bluetooth receivers, cameras, or audio equipment.


Global Positioning System (GPS)

With the help of dedicated GPS satellites and receivers, GPS provides different wireless services like location, positioning, navigation, and speed. GPS is a subcategory of satellite communication network which provides worldwide coverage independent of population density. GPS satellites transmit data on two carrier frequencies L1 (1575.42 MHz) and L2 (1227.60 MHz). The primary purpose of GPS is to serve as a radio-navigation system. It has also become the dominant system for the distribution of time and frequency signals.


Long Range Radio (LoRa)

LoRa technology is a new wireless protocol designed for long-range, low-power communications. LoRa is mainly targeted at IoT and M2M networks. To connect several applications running on the same network, LoRa enables multi-tenant or public networks. LoRa gateways can handle many nodes, therefore, the signals can span a significant distance. This means that less infrastructure is required, therefore, making a constructing network is cheaper and faster to implement. Also, to help maximize the nodes’ battery life and network capacity, LoRa has featured an adaptive data rate algorithm. For secure communications, the LoRa protocol includes several different layers including encryption at the network, application, and device levels. LoRa supports the connection of devices that are 30 miles apart and these devices need minimal power to execute their purpose, therefore, they are power efficient. While using low power, LoRa devices support GPS tracking applications.


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