ID Pos - Large Areas for RFID Identification, Positioning and Interaction

In 2020 there will be up to 50 billion devices connected to the Internet. A growing part of these devices are RFID- and NFC technology. Today a RFID systems have the ability to determine the presence and ID-number of a tag. In this project researcher want to investigate how a RFID system can accurately determine unique position of tags distributed over a specific area or volume.


EU’s Digital Agenda for Europe estimates that by 2020, between 22 and 50 billion devices will be connected to the Internet. A steadily growing part of these devices emerges from recent advances in Smart Systems Integration and RFID- and NFC-technology, where everyday objects carry ubiquitous functions and continuously act unnoticeably in the background. A future commonly referred to as the Internet of Things.


One of the issues that are commonly addressed in literature related to architectures for RFID systems is the ability to not only determine the presence and ID-number of a tag, but also to accurately determine unique positions of tags distributed over a specific area or volume. For large volumes, this is most often carried out by utilizing multiple RFID reader antennas that are specifically positioned for tag localization and by applying mathematical methods to geometrical and time-based data of the radio signals. Another option, that is the main objective with this project and that is less explored, is when RFID reader antennas that is relatively thin but of significantly large area is used to identify and position RFID tags placed upon the reader area.

The project utilizes previous built-up expertise in printed electronics and RFID at Mid Sweden University to explore the possibilities of significantly extending previous work by studying new functionalities and developing interactive RFID areas with sizes in the order of square meters. The work targets solutions for UHF RFID, HF RFID (i.e. NFC tags) and interactive possibilities for NFC-equipped cell phones.


Realization of cost effective large interactive sensor areas provides new business opportunities for industries that for example are active within the areas of printing with functional inks, metal foil processing, plastics, paper and cardboards, manufacturers of machines for component mounting, industries targeting new IT services and last but not least industries acting as users of the end products and tomorrow’s industrial designers. Project results will provide information to the academic and engineering society comprising of design guidelines for distributed RFID reader antennas with answers to constraints concerning issues such as:

  • How many reader antennas are feasible to be communicated with by a single central unit attached to proposed matrices of RFID reader antennas? The answers should contain constraints for total amount of units and maximum density.
  • How large geometrical areas can be covered by a single central unit? Is TLs or 2DWGs to be preferred if the area is to be maximized? Which services can be provided within relatively small areas as compared to relatively large areas?
  • What materials are more and less suitable for realizing large area RFID reading and positioning?
  • Will our proposed approach for NFC phone interaction actually work?


Through our collaboration with industry, it is possible to ensure the usefulness and interest for the research that is conducted. In this project collaboration we have included partners from different backgrounds and who are acting on different markets. The consortium consists of material suppliers, material processors, industrial designers and industries with interest to adapt to research outcomes. The selected partners are all working in areas that in different ways interface the project.

IDAG Design Studio AB
Ovako Tube & Ring AB
Sandvik Materials Technology AB
Skultuna Flexible AB
Sweprod Graphics AB


Research group


Project leader
Johan Sidén
+46 60-148488
+46 70-6717171

Henrik Andersson
+46 60-148457

Project period