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Impinj Aims for Smaller, Custom RFID Installations With Latest Reader

The Speedway R120 RAIN RFID reader has only one port and is geared toward companies in the retail, health-care and logistics sectors, in which a single fixed reader installation is all that's needed.
By Claire Swedberg
Jul 05, 2017

Impinj has released a new fixed RAIN RFID reader with just a single port, designed for smaller, specific applications for which a lone antenna is a better fit for retailers, health-care companies and logistics providers. The offering, the company says, signals a growing need for a broader choice in deploying custom installations.

The Speedway R120 RAIN RFID reader is intended to compete with handheld readers in small installations or in very specific locations, at a price competitive with the handheld devices: $795.

The Speedway R120 reader
The new reader is Impinj's solution to the increasing flexibility required by its partners (systems integrators) and their customers, which are often smaller retailers, health-care facilities or logistics companies that need a single read point for a very specific purpose. The R120 comes with a hub unit to enable up to eight antennas if a user scales up its use case, according to John Frederiksen, Impinj's senior director of product management.

Impinj already sells two other members of its Speedway reader family designed for a variety of use cases: the R220, with two ports, and the R420, with four ports. "Impinj's reader components are used to build custom solutions," Frederiksen says, and for that reason, the readers "are really designed for wide range of reading environments."

The latest version addresses several use cases that are often managed via handheld readers. For instance, smaller retail locations sometimes use handheld readers at locations such as the point of sale (POS). With the R120, that can be accomplished hands-free. The reader, which is the same size as the other Speedway reader models, can be powered via a DC power connection or Power-over-Ethernet. It can read any EPC UHF RAIN RFID tags. Users can install the reader and begin capturing the tag ID numbers of product tags as customers bring them to the POS terminal.

Speedway R120s could be used in single fitting rooms, or at a collection area where customers deposit garments that they have already tried on.

A growing number of products are arriving at stores with RFID tags attached. Therefore, Frederiksen explains, some retailers are interested in installing a one-port reader at locations such as receiving doors, where incoming garments or other merchandise are received. This, he says, automates a process that previously required visual inspection of items, spreadsheets, bar-code scanners or a handheld reader.

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