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ODIN Debuts RF Analysis Software

Trifecta is designed to allow companies to quickly determine the best place to put an RFID tag on a particular product.
By Mark Roberti
Sep 29, 2004ODIN Technologies, a Reston, Va.-based RFID systems integrator, has introduced a new product that enables companies to test the radio frequency properties of a particular product and determine the best tag and best tag placement for that product. The company says it calls the software Trifecta because the goal is to enable customers to determine scientifically the right tag, the right location and the right orientation.
Patrick Sweeney

"We've been doing a lot of testing on individual SKUs [stock-keeping units] for our customers, and we developed this software to help us bring a scientific approach to that," says ODIN's president and CEO, Patrick J. Sweeney. "There is no other product in the market like this, and we felt it would be of great value as people try to meet RFID mandates from their customers."

The software comes in a package that includes a server, a reader and tags, plus a 21-step process—based on an International Organization for Standardization methodology—to follow for determining the best place to put a tag on a particular product. The software controls the reader and has device read the tag 5,000 times in each channel the reader can operate in within the allowed UHF frequency range of 902 to 928 MHz. As the reader receives back a signal from the tag, the software does a statistical analysis and provides a graphical representation of the product’s RF signature.

The system creates a report with visual graphs that show how often a tag was read in each channel. It recommends the best tag for that particular SKU and the best tag placement and orientation to receive back a signal from the tag.

"In some cases, you will be able to read the tag 100 percent of the time in the range of 915 to 917 MHz, but not be able to read it in other bands," says Sweeney. "You'd be better off with a tag placement that gets read 10 percent of the time across all the channels because that placement gives you a better chance of having the tag read as the product moves across a conveyor at 540 feet per second in a retailer's warehouse."

ODIN says that it typically costs a supplier $1,000 to $3,000 to test an individual SKU to determine the right tag placement to meet a customer's mandate and that the Trifecta software will greatly reduce that figure. The company has not released pricing for the product, which is available immediately, but says that it will be based on the number of SKUs a company needs to test.

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