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Netc Launches EmbraceRF Solutions for Tracking Storage Media and Other Assets

The solutions include a version that will work on smartphones and tablets paired with a Bluetooth-enabled handheld EPC Gen 2 RFID reader.
By Claire Swedberg

Since Netc began developing EmbraceRF, the company has been speaking with customers interested in employing the technology to monitor other assets beyond storage tapes. For example, potential customers have suggested utilizing the system to track IT assets, such as computers and monitors, or furniture and other office equipment. They would simply need to purchase the tags and Bluetooth reader (newly manufactured for Netc by a third-party for this application), and pay for server access to retrieve data on their phones or other devices, says Joseph Stonoha, Netc's other co-owner.

To date, EmbraceRF has been put to use at nine locations to track storage tapes, all located within the United States. Netc expects some customers to begin using the technology on a limited basis as a trial, with a small number of tags tracking specific assets, and to then build the system out in the future, to include additional assets with more tags.

Tape cartridges fitted with Netc's bar-coded labels made with Impinj Monza 4e RFID chips
The Bluetooth reader costs approximately $1,200, while the RFID labels cost $0.99 apiece. An EmbraceRF startup application tracking 100 assets in the cloud costs $29.95 per month, or $359 annually. This includes access to data about each tag and its reading history, as well as reporting functions in the event of an exception requiring that an alert be sent.

Customers can begin with a 100-asset program and then add additional readers and software as necessary. For example, the monthly fee for 500 tagged assets would be $53.35.

The EmbraceRF solution can also be used with Netc's N-Case, a tagged box for transporting data tapes. The tape cartridges within the case are associated with that case's RFID tag, thereby making the tagging and tracking of individual assets less expensive. For instance, the items stored within the case could have only bar-code labels, and be linked to the case itself.

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