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MonsoonRF Shines a Light on RFID
The California startup seeks to make EPC UHF RFID reader installations cheap, easy and invisible, by offering light fixtures and LED bulbs with built-in RFID readers.
Feb 17, 2016—
One of the obstacles facing radio frequency identification deployments is the cost and time required to install an RFID infrastructure. Companies wishing to try out a system within a specific area—in order to test the ability to capture tag reads and determine what they can do with that data—must first go through the hassle of installing RFID readers and running cables that connect those devices to reader antennas, to the Ethernet and to a power source.
The three founders of MonsoonRF have developed RFID readers that they say serve to make reader installation as easy as screwing in a light bulb—literally.
John Armstrong, MonsoonRF's CEO, says he and his company's two other cofounders (Charles Lim, the company's COO and CMO, and Carlos Morales, its CSO), launched MonsoonRF in February 2015 to provide a solution that was easier to install than existing RFID technology. The company envisioned a system that a store employee could easily install, and that could be trialed and removed without the commitment of having to run cables or drilling recesses in ceilings. Not only would the readers be easy to install, he says, but they would also be invisible.
As users of Impinj products and partners of several member companies of the RAIN RFID Alliance, Armstrong, Lim and Morales opted to name their company in keeping with the precipitation theme. Monsoons, Armstrong explains, are downpours that tend to prove beneficial by soaking a drought-stricken area.
The RFID Lantern employs an RFID transceiver with an Impinj R2000 reader chip and two built-in antennas (one for receiving RFID transmissions from tags and another for sending data back to the server), embedded in a canister that can be mounted on a ceiling by either screwing it into a light socket or attaching it to a track-lighting strip. An LED bulb is then installed into the canister's lamp socket.
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