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U Grok It Releases UHF RFID Reader for Phones, Tablets
The Grokker enables small and midsize businesses to read tags via their Android or iOS smartphones or tablets, using an app created for the purpose of collecting, managing and viewing data about the tagged items being read.
Sep 29, 2014—
Two years after developing an inexpensive ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) RFID reader for use with smartphones and tablets, Colorado startup U Grok It has begun filling orders from small and midsize companies throughout the United States and Canada. The solution includes a battery-powered RFID reader (compliant with the EPC Gen 2 standard) that plugs into the audio port of an iOS- or Android-based phone or tablet, as well as a software development kit (SDK), intended for developers to use in creating use case-specific apps.
Initially, the company intended to market its reader, known as a Grokker, primarily to consumers, who could then use the device to locate tagged items around their home or office (see U Grok It Wants to Help Consumers and Small Businesses Find Their Stuff). However, Carrie Requist, the company's CEO, and her husband, Tony Requist, its co-founder and CTO, began hearing from potential customers in the business sector, seeking an RFID solution that would be inexpensive and easy to use.
In the case of enterprises that already used RFID, companies reported that they needed low-cost technology enabling them to expand their existing RFID deployments. For example, if a manufacturer was already tagging products in order to track them through a distribution center via fixed or handheld readers, the Grokker could be used by retailers receiving the products, for instance, or by salesmen working for the manufacturer to read the tags of goods they deliver at a store exhibit.
In addition, U Grok It offers an SDK that its customers can download for free and then use to create their own apps. (Versions of the SDK are available only for Apple and Android devices, since the Grokker is incompatible with phones or tablets that employ the BlackBerry, Microsoft Windows or Google Chrome operating systems.) For example, a storage service provider known as Cubiq developed a phone app enabling its personnel to use the Grokker to facilitate the cataloging, storing and delivering of its clients' belongings (see Cubiq Uses RFID to Create 'Magic Closet').
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