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Motorola Embeds RFID Tags in Its Handheld Computers

The MC3100 series comes with a built-in EPC Gen 2 passive UHF tag, enabling users to keep tabs on the devices, as well as prevent their unauthorized removal from a company's premises.
By Claire Swedberg
The tag also could be used to prevent the handheld computer from being stolen or accidentally discarded. If a company's site has EPC Gen 2 RFID portals installed at doorways, dock doors or cardboard-box crushers, the RFID readers at these portals would capture the MC3100's tag ID number, and the company could configure its own RFID software to send an alert to management, indicating a handheld device is leaving the premises or has entered an unauthorized area.

Moreover, the tag could be used for analytics to, for instance, track how long a handheld device remains in a specific location—such as in a charger—as well as how long it was in use, thus enabling a company to track the device's battery life, if the firm configured its own system to do so. Motorola does not provide software for MC3100 RFID-related applications.

The MC3100 series, with 128 megabytes of memory, operates on Microsoft's Windows Mobile 6.X or Windows CE 6.0 operating systems, and an 802.11 Wi-Fi network card. Other features include the use of Motorola interactive sensor technology (IST)—a motion detector to determine when the device is in use, based on its movements, as well as when it is dropped. With the motion sensor, the MC3100 series devices can also switch to sleep mode when not in use, or if the display is lying face-down. An integrated accelerometer allows the display to rotate the direction of its images, based on how the device is being utilized.

All new features, Safir says, including the RFID tag, "are ultimately targeted at increasing efficiency and increasing productivity."

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