Lately we have some requests asking us about which technology is better for real time location systems (RTLS).

In order to make it clear, let me summarize the main difference between these technology as follow:


  • It’s a pretty old technology
  • Works with cheap Tags (active or passive) and requires specific “antennas” to detect them.
  • Passive RFID works by “checkpoints”​ (think about the anti-theft tags inside stores), while active RFID is more about real location tracking, but it usually very expensive when it has to be precise.


  • It is one of the most recent location technologies
  • It is extremely precise 10cm.
  • Tags are quite expensive
  • It’s a technology that works well in “empty” environments, without people or assets moving around. Interference can play an important role and significantly affect the accuracy.
  • The Tags are battery powered, and the battery lasts a few hours/days at most


  • It is a recent technology, and has been improved during the years
  • Tags are inexpensive, and the battery can last years
  • The accuracy is lower than UWB, but usually enough for most of the applications (2-3 meters)
  • The deployment is easy and fast, like UWB and unlike RFID
  • It can provide good results in most of the environments, and is not significantly affected by the presence of obstacles or people

Generally speaking, UWB is the most precise technology you can find at present, however the Tags are usually expensive and their battery lasts too little to make them really useful in most of the cases.

BLE is less precise but is more flexible, and easier to deploy than RFID. The Tags are cheaper than UWB, and the general cost for the “receivers” and technology is similar to UWB’s.​

RFID is a technology that has been on the market for decades, and still does its job, however, while being a great option for “check points” detection, it is not considered as a good option for real time location tracking.

See all this information in the next image:

I hope this brief description brought a bit of light on the different technologies for RTLS (Real Time Location Systems).

And, if you have more doubts, don’t hesitate to contact us.

Anna Herrera | CEO