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Can I Get an RFID Scanner for My Phone?

RFID technology and smartphones can be easily integrated. When these technologies are linked, an impressive asset-tracking method is created that several industries have found to be instrumental in bettering customer relationships and internal efficiencies.

Pairing an RFID scanner with a mobile phone is done using an RFID sled.

This article will explain how to pair your RFID scanners with a smartphone using an RFID sled; key considerations will also be discussed to help choose the right RFID sled products for your company.

RFID Scanner for Phone: What is RFID Sled?

An RFID sled is an RFID scanner with the same capabilities as a handheld UHF RFID reader; however, it’s also equipped with Bluetooth technology that can connect the RFID sled to mobile devices such as a smartphone or a tablet. It is used to read RFID tags for asset and inventory tracking.

When using an RFID sled, all you need is a compatible mobile device and the sled itself; there’s no need to carry around an extra piece of equipment.

Lowry Solutions provides tracking solutions in a variety of industries including:

Another advantage of investing in an RFID sled is that you can leverage the capabilities of the phone or tablet you’re already using, such as integrating the RFID reader with internal applications that further data clarity and accuracy.

For instance, our software Sonaria links RFID scans to maps. This allows asset location to be entered into your critical data systems within seconds.

4 Efficiency Benefits of an RFID Sled

When tracking assets, time and accuracy are of utmost importance. An RFID sled paired with a mobile phone can help increase time and accuracy efficiencies by:

  • Increasing worker productivity: Mobile asset-tracking solutions like Lowry’s Sonaria app streamline the scanning process and link it to asset-tracking reporting systems.
  • Lowering technology onboarding costs. An RFID sled powered by a phone in your fleet equipped with a familiar operating system and app interfaces means you’ll spend less time and money training employees on new equipment.
  • Decreasing errors in data entry and reporting: By pairing an RFID sled with a mobile phone, you can link a scan to your internal asset-tracking system within seconds. This eliminates manual data entry, reducing the chance of errors in reporting or tracking.
  • Improving read range and ease of use. RFID technology allows users to read tags from far away. Other solutions, such as NFC tags and barcodes require a phone to be very close to the tag or label before it can read its information.

What Mobile Devices Can Pair With an RFID Sled?

The mobile device that can pair with an RFID sled is dependent on the make and model of the sled itself. Some RFID sled products can pair with almost any commercially available device, such as an Android or iOS smartphone or tablet. However, other sleds only work with mobile computers manufactured by the same company that makes the RFID sled.

For instance, the RFD2000 Handheld RFID sled by Zebra is only compatible with Zebra’s TC20 mobile computer.

Zebra’s RFD8500 Handheld RFID/1D/2D Sled is an ultra high frequency RFID reader that will work with other operating systems, such as Android and iOS devices.

When shopping for RFID sleds and cost-effective tracking solutions, there are plenty of options to consider, such as cost and industry demands. Consult with trusted RFID equipment providers, such as the helpful team at Lowry Solutions, to identify which solution is best for your needs.

RFID Scanner for Phone

Can Employees Use Personal Phones With a Company RFID Sled?

Almost any mobile device can connect to an RFID sled that’s designed with multi-device capability. However, that solution is easier said than done and is not recommended for this purpose.

Combining a “bring-your-own-device” strategy with RFID sleds will likely result in decreased efficiencies, technical headaches and an increase in wasted resources.

Additionally, privacy issues and security vulnerabilities could arise when an employee’s personal property is used to read RFID tags.

Instead, a business should invest in a uniform fleet of mobile devices for employees to use during scheduled business hours.

Should I Choose RFID Sleds Over Handheld RFID Readers?

When deciding between RFID sleds or RFID handheld readers, we recommend considering the following:

  • Does your company already have a fleet of mobile devices? For instance, you might already have a fleet of mobile phones and want to avoid the additional expense of RFID readers compared to a sled. If that’s the case, RFID sleds may better fit your needs.
  • Do your employees frequently need access to an RFID reader and a mobile device? Asset management is complex, and it’s common for employees to require simultaneous access to RFID readers and smartphones. The RFID sled is likely a better option for your organization.
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  • Does only a portion of your mobile devices need to be RFID enabled? RFID sleds are a great option if your workforce has designated mobile devices, but only a changing fraction of them are used for RFID scanning at any given time. This allows you to share RFID sleds across multiple devices, economizing on deploying new RFID scanners.

Streamline Asset Tracking With RFID and Lowry Solutions

At Lowry Solutions, we are your trusted partner for track and trace solutions. Our knowledgeable team can help you select the best RFID technology for your needs and budget. Let us outfit your team with RFID sleds and fleet-wide mobile devices in addition to a variety of tracking solutions.

Since 1974 we’ve helped our clients access the most complete and comprehensive data collection solutions available. If you’re seeking data collection solutions to increase your company’s operational and customer service capabilities, contact our expert team. We’re happy to listen to your needs and help find the right solution.


Q1: Can I Copy an RFID Card to My Phone?

A1: Copying an RFID card to a mobile phone involves several considerations, and the feasibility largely depends on the type of RFID card technology and the capabilities of the phone.

Key Considerations:

  • Technology Compatibility: RFID cards use different technologies, including Low Frequency (LF), High Frequency (HF), and Ultra-high Frequency (UHF). It’s crucial to determine whether the phone supports the specific RFID technology of the card.
  • Read/Write Capability: Not all mobile phones can read and write RFID cards. Phones with NFC (Near Field Communication) functionality are more likely to support RFID card interaction.

Security Features: Some RFID cards incorporate security features like encryption to prevent unauthorized copying. Mobile phones must be able to handle such security measures for successful duplication.

Q2: How Do I Turn My Phone Into a NFC Tag?

A2: Turning your phone into an NFC tag involves leveraging your device’s built-in Near Field Communication (NFC) capabilities. While not all phones support this feature, many modern smartphones provide a range of interaction possibilities.

Steps to Turn Your Phone Into an NFC Tag:

  • Check NFC Capability: Ensure your phone supports NFC. This information is usually available in the device’s settings or specifications.
  • Enable NFC: Activate NFC in your phone’s settings. This may involve navigating to the ‘Connections’ or ‘Wireless & Networks’ section.
  • Choose NFC Functionality: Decide whether you want your phone to act as an NFC tag or read other NFC tags. You can typically find this setting in the NFC menu.
  • Download NFC Apps: Explore and download NFC apps from your device’s app store. These apps allow you to customize your phone’s NFC capabilities based on your needs.
  • Configure NFC Settings: Open the NFC app and configure settings according to your preferences. This may include setting up specific actions or transmitting information when your phone acts as an NFC tag.
  • Testing: Test the functionality by bringing another NFC-enabled device close to your phone. Ensure that the desired information or action is triggered successfully.

Q3: What Is an RFID Sled, and How Does It Enhance Mobile RFID Scanning?

A3: An RFID sled is a device designed to enhance mobile RFID scanning capabilities by seamlessly integrating with smartphones or tablets. This compact and ergonomic attachment transforms a standard mobile device into a powerful RFID reader, expanding the range of applications for efficient data capture.

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