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With Apple's iAlien App, Users Can Manage Readers From an iPhone

New software for Alien Technology readers, developed by Turkish RFID firm Teknopalas, lets users manage read data from their iPhone or iPad.
By Claire Swedberg
Aug 21, 2012Turkish RFID company Teknopalas has teamed up with Alien Technology to develop an application enabling users to manage their RFID readers and view read activity from their Apple iPad or iPhone. With iAlien, a free app that can be downloaded from iTunes, anyone equipped with an Alien ALR 9900+ RFID reader and an iPhone or iPad will be able to view what that reader interrogates, and whether the reader and antennas are in operation, as well as change settings or passwords, or write data to tags.

Teknopalas conceived of the app in order to enable its customers, including the home and offices of Turkey's President, Abdullah Gül, to manage readers without having to carry around a laptop, or walk to a PC to view RFID read activity.

"We knew that it's not that easy to (expect) customers to use laptops for all RFID applications," says Fahrettin Oylum, Teknopalas' engineering services director. "We also know that the iPhone and iPad are very common, and many people use and carry the iPhones in their pockets."

Teknopalas' customers include those tracking assets or individuals, or monitoring inventory. One customer that has been testing the technology during its development is Gül's official presidential residence, which began testing the prototype solution in early 2010. Oylum declines to provide specifics regarding the installation, but reports that Alien readers are currently being used to track the movements of people within the facility, and that the iPhone app was being tested to manage those readers.

The solution, commercially released earlier this month, allows users to access the same data on the iPhone or iPad screen that would be available on a PC, explains Neil Mitchell, Alien Technology's director of marketing. In that way, he says, they can change settings, view RFID read data and e-mail that information to others.

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