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PervasID Releases RFID Readers for RTLS, Portal Applications

The U.K. company's Space Ranger 9100 UHF reader can track the movements of tagged items within a coverage area as large as 4,500 square feet for zonal tracking.
By Claire Swedberg

The Space Ranger 9100 is designed for use in three scenarios, based on the density of tagged items. The low-density application would typically involve a warehouse or other logistics-based environment in which users track tagged crates or boxes throughout a large area. For that sort of environment, one reader can cover an area of 4,500 square feet. The medium-density scenario would typically involve a retailer's sales floor, with a single reader capable of covering 900 square feet. The high-density application could be deployed within a store's back room, in which dozens or hundreds of tags may be packed closely together on a shelf or on hangers. In this case, a reader would cover a 450-square-foot area. Users can also determine the location accuracy they require, which would affect the number of readers that need to be installed.

The retailer that is testing the system created multiple zones—one in its receiving area, as well as others in its storage area and fitting rooms and on its sales floors—so that it could understand movements of tagged merchandise in each area, and when goods passed from one zone to another.

Sithamparanathan Sabesan
The retailer's goals, Sabesan says, are to improve inventory accuracy and reduce shrinkage by understanding which products are at which locations, and when they might actually leave the store entirely. According to Sabesan, the system can provide intelligence to drive up sales. "An advantage of having readers located on the ceiling," he states, "is that movement of items within the store can be monitored in real time, highlighting clothes that are not displayed on sales floors, clothes that are tried on but never purchased, and collections of items selected together, and it can track how the shopper moves through the store. All of this can be used to help the retailer improve the shopping experience. It also offers opportunity for up-selling, by suggesting companion items and alternatives based on success with other shoppers."

That retailer next plans to test the Space Ranger 9100.

When PervasID tested the Space Ranger 9100 in-house, Sabesan says, the company put hundreds of tags together on a single shelf. During testing, the system was able to interrogate those tags at a read rate near 100 percent.

PervasID is now in discussions with other retailers, as well as health-care firms that are interested in using the new Gate or Space Ranger readers, or a combination of the two. Some companies are already testing the readers for security applications, Sabesan reports. However, he adds, non-disclosure agreements prevent him from describing those deployments.

"We believe that with the development of DAS passive RFID technology, it's now possible to achieve highly accurate RFID solutions over a wide area in a short period of time, with passive UHF tags in dense tag environments," Sabesan says. "The system is compact and capable of easily scaling for large buildings, and can more easily accommodate unusual store layouts. We hope this will change the way RFID hands-free technology is used."

Sabesan spoke about the technology at last week's RFID Journal LIVE! Europe conference and exhibition, held in London, England.

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