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By Beth Bacheldor

Trimble Intros Apple iOS Support in ThingMagic Mercury API

Trimble has announced the addition of Apple iOS compatibility enhancements to ThingMagic's Mercury API software development kit. According to Trimble, new enhancements to the Mercury API address the growing demand from end users that want to use consumer mobile devices—smartphones and tablets—as an alternative to handheld computers for RFID applications. The addition of iOS support, the company reports, represents the next step in expanding the breadth of application uses for Mercury API.

Systems integrators and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) developing solutions with ThingMagic readers and embedded modules will now benefit from support of a greater breadth of operating systems, according to Trimble. The software development kit (SDK), which contains the components necessary to begin reading and writing RFID tags and developing RFID-enabled applications, also comes with the Mercury API, which includes code examples and a graphical read-write demonstration program.

The Mercury API enables developers to design and test reader and tag commands, advanced read functionality (such as setting antennas, protocols and filtering criteria), advanced tag operations (such as killing and locking tags' privacy and security features), and performance and memory optimization.

In addition to the iOS support—which comes with a sample iOS application, along with a sample Xcode project that the company says results in an easy, out-of-the-box solution for developers—new features in the Mercury API version 1.23 include enhancements to the Java API's support for Android. This enables developers to more easily build Android applications for Mercury 6e Series embedded modules using USB and TTL/UART interfaces, and includes a sample Android application, along with NetBeans projects and makefiles. It also includes enhancements designed to support the easy addition of different back-end interfaces to directly communicate with Mercury 6e Series and Mercury 5e Series modules, including communicating directly with the modules through a serial-to-Ethernet adapter using an Mercury API.

"Feedback from RFID end users has shown an increased demand to use the most popular mobile devices and operating systems. We first responded with Android support in the last release of our Mercury API and have now added iOS support," said Tom Grant, ThingMagic's general manager, in a prepared statement. "By adding iOS support to the Mercury API we are expanding the population of devices that can manage and control ThingMagic embedded modules and finished readers to implement an RFID solution." Mercury API version 1.23 is available now and can be downloaded from the ThingMagic website.

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