As part of the R&D announcement during Sigfox Connect 2018 a passive Sigfox tag has been introduced. I’ve seen the demo made by Christophe Fourtet and the technology is really promising.
Basically a passive tag is a tag with no battery. The one actually seen it really near to be a passive tag. This tag is receiving power from a radio signal and with this power respond with a radio message. In the Sigfox context this radio message is a Sigfox message. What is really strong with this technology is the low level of power to be provided to get it working. I’ve seen it working with less than a watt and a distance larger than 10 meters with not any radio optimization on the prototypes. The radio message, thanks to the Sigfox communication technology can reach a distant basestation getting benefit of the large Sigfox radio range. The use in conjunction of a micro-gateway sounds a good idea. The global solution looks to be a low cost and easy to deploy solution for asset management & tracking.
The big advantage of a such solution in my point of view could be to create a way to manage the logistic chain across a large number of operators sharing the same technology with a common and centralized database: the Sigfox backend. And basically this is the purpose of the Bubble service. Allowing to tag owner to receive information on its object even when waked-up by third party readers.
The passive tag have a full autonomy, no battery and will costs just some cents. Basically, this technology could be included in a RFID as an optional communication solution or in a dedicated stickable tag. The electronic complexity is really low to allow a such realization.
At this point the technology is prototype. In my point of view the applications related are really large; this is really promising. What is needed: an industrialization and volume to make this technology going from a 1$ to 0.01$