RAIN RFID: 9 Common Questions & Answers


As RFID technology continues to grow as a contributor to the emerging IoT solutions market, more and more people are becoming familiar with RFID and how it works. Anyone looking into RFID as a solution can tell you that there are many terms and definitions that can be perplexing, especially to those who are new to the technology.

To add to the list, one of the newest terms of note in the world of RFID is ‘ RAIN RFID’. Both RFID beginners and experts frequently ask atlasRFIDstore team members what RAIN RFID is and how it differs from other types of RFID.

If you are new to RFID systems and applications, RAIN RFID might be an unfamiliar concept to you. You might have questions like what is RAIN RFID, who created it, and how does it differ from other types of RFID?

To help clarify these questions and more, here are 9 common questions and answers about RAIN RFID.

1. What does RAIN stand for?

The term ‘ RAIN’ derives from RAdio frequency IdentificatioN, also known as RFID. The term RAIN is also a reference to cloud-based infrastructure, where RFID data can be stored, managed, and shared via the Internet.

2. What kind of RFID is RAIN and how does RAIN differ from other types of RFID?

RAIN is a branded term for Passive Ultra-High Frequency (UHF) RFID technology. There are five common frequency ranges that RFID technology uses: Low-Frequency (125-134 KHz), High-Frequency and NFC (13.56 MHz), Active UHF (433 MHz), Passive UHF (860-960 MHz), and Microwave (2.45-5.8 GHz).

RAIN falls in the Passive UHF range, which is one of the largest, standardized frequency ranges.

3. What is the origin of RAIN?

The term ‘RAIN’ was originally created by a group of companies with an interest in the potential widespread use and adoption of Passive UHF RFID. These companies later branded the term ‘RAIN’ and formed the RAIN Alliance.

4. What is the RAIN Alliance?

The RAIN Alliance is an organization made up of companies vested in the promotion and growth of Passive UHF RFID solutions, or RAIN. Established in 2014, RAIN’s original members were Google, Intel, Impinj, Smartrac, and AIM. Since then, they have expanded to include 166 members and counting.

5. What is the goal of the RAIN Alliance?

The goal of the RAIN Alliance is to promote the awareness, education, and use of RAIN technology. The RAIN Alliance hopes that by expanding the use of RAIN technology, the world will eventually become more connected.

6. Can anyone become a RAIN Alliance member?

Yes, anyone can become a member. Though the RAIN Alliance’s regular members must be corporations involved in the production or sale of RFID technology, there are other membership options available. These options include nonprofit, academic, limited, and user memberships.

7. What is the difference between Passive UHF RFID and RAIN?

There is no real difference, except that RAIN RFID is Passive UHF RFID that has been certified by the RAIN Alliance. Similar to the branded terms ‘Wi-Fi’ and ‘Bluetooth’, RAIN is a patented term that simply means that certain Passive UHF RFID products and software are RAIN-certified.

In order to have a Passive UHF RFID product RAIN certified, the manufacturer must be a regular member of the RAIN Alliance. Only RAIN members in good standing who have completed the Logo Use form found in the RAIN Alliance member forum may use the RAIN label.

8. What improvements has RAIN made to standard UHF Passive RFID?

While RFID technology provides everyday objects with the basic capability to become networked, RAIN connects the dots for a complete system, especially through the RAIN Reader Communication Interface.

9. What is the RAIN Reader Communication Interface (RCI)?

The RCI is an open-source and developer-friendly interface between RFID applications and RAIN RFID readers. This interface uses JSON in place of a standard SDK to help RAIN RFID providers create systems that can communicate with any make or model of RAIN RFID reader.


If you are considering RAIN RFID as a solution, check out our available RAIN RFID products.

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To learn more about RFID basics, check out the links below!