"In the last year or two, RFID performance has definitely gotten a lot better. It used to be 10 feet [read range] was the goal, and you'd be happy to get 12," Simply RFiD president Carl Brown was quoted saying in an RFIDUpdate story. "Now we're seeing 20 feet without any issues at all. You can even have the tag in strange orientations and you're still going to get the read. This technology is moving fast. Antenna, readers, cables, tags are all changing every six months." The story details how they arrived at their figures. Not so sure it's all realistic, but the details make for some interesting reading.
At least one RFID vendor is arguing that they are. That vendor, SimplyRFID, is arguing that read distance targets that used to be 10 feet are today as far as 40 feet.