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Checkpoint Partners With Mojix to Offer Passive RTLS in Stores

The system, using Checkpoint software and Mojix's OmniSense UHF reader and antenna array, is being tested by a high-value apparel retailer to make inventory tracking for replenishment and business analytics "hands-free."
By Claire Swedberg
Apr 16, 2014

In response to retailer customers seeking real-time RFID solutions to free employees from having to conduct audits via handheld readers, Checkpoint Systems is partnering with passive real-time location system (RTLS) technology provider Mojix to offer a "hands-free" RFID system using Checkpoint's software and Mojix's OmniSense RFID reader hardware. The two companies announced their global partnership at the RFID Journal LIVE! 2014 conference and exhibition, held last week in Orlando, Fla.

For much of its history, Checkpoint Systems focused on providing electronic article surveillance (EAS) stickers and hard tags that retailers attach to merchandise, as well as the antennas that detect those stickers and tags. In recent years, however, demand has been growing not only for Checkpoint's EAS products and services, but also for RFID technology, says Alan Sherman, Checkpoint's senior director of global marketing for merchandise visibility and RFID. "We're seeing a marked increase in activity level across number of requests for proposal, customers, project size, number of tagged items, deployment sophistication and business value," he states, "as the apparel retail industry increasingly adopts RFID solutions."

At last week's RFID Journal LIVE! conference, Checkpoint announced the Zephyr 2, its new EPC Gen 2 RFID label for the retail market, made with NXP's Ucode 7 chip.
In 2008, to meet the growing demand for item-level tracking in the apparel sector, Checkpoint began providing a solution called Merchandise Visibility. The system includes RFID readers, EPC Gen 2 passive tags and labels, software, integration and all deployment and maintenance services. With the continued growth in apparel and other retail business areas, the company is expanding further into alternatives for tracking inventory via handheld readers or RFID portals deployed at multiple stores to collect data regarding the movement of merchandise through those portals. While some retailers are opting to install portals at dressing-room entrances or other doorways, others are seeking a more real-time solution that reduces the need for personnel to conduct periodic audits by carrying a handheld around a store or backroom—which can be a time-consuming process, the company notes. RTLS solutions enable management to know, in real time, which products are in which portion of the store.

For that reason, Checkpoint is partnering with Mojix to offer a hands-free alternative to RFID tracking for the retail sector. For Mojix, this is an early foray into a new market. The company has offered its STAR 3000 system for passive ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) RFID tracking in real time, predominantly for manufacturing and distribution purposes (see Mojix Announces the Availability of Its Next-Generation RFID System). The system consists of Mojix STAR receivers, eNodes and reader antennas, and exciters that enable users to view the locations of items tagged with passive EPC Gen 2 RFID labels, in real time, within about 1 meter (3.3 feet), 24 hours a day.

Now, says Mike Kastner, Mojix's senior VP of global sales, the firm has introduced its OmniSense solution, which includes a version of the STAR 3000 system that uses algorithms modified to enable the tracking of goods in the retail market. For that sector, he says, Mojix's solution also provides a software platform enabling users to switch between new modes specifically designed to support various retail use cases.

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