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Alien Technology Unveils Reader and Gateway Device to Simplify RFID Deployments

With the ALR-F800-X, users can name their readers according to their location, automatically read tags conforming to all standards, and set perimeters for readers with Microsoft's Windows tools and the device's Emissary software layer.
By Claire Swedberg

Activities can include illuminating a light when a read is accomplished, or forwarding data directly to a cloud-based server. Those workflows are sent to the Emissary software layer on the ALR-F800-X itself, in order to manage the collected data accordingly.

In addition, the device automatically understands the various tag-data standards of the tags being interrogated by a reader. Therefore, if a tag is encoded according to a specific industry, such as automotive (as opposed to GTIN RFID tags used for apparel or retail products), the device automatically interprets that tag ID and spares the user from having to identify and mange each different tag standard to collect and use read data.

Alien Technology's Neil Mitchell
Readers can have as many as four antennas, Mitchell explains. As such, the ALR-F800-X can accommodate up to 20 read zones—or 10 zones if the readers each contain two antennas. Multiple ALR-F900-X devices may be deployed to address more than 20 zones.

"RFID is already solving real-world problems today," Mitchell states. "The problem has been: How do you simplify the configuration?" The ALR-F800-X, he says, will make that configuration easier and thus less expensive for partners who create solutions for end users, as well as for end users themselves.

There is no licensing fee for the Emissary software layer, Mitchell reports. Users simply pay $1,999 for the ALR-F800-X itself.

"The ALR-F800-X is all about allowing the customer to focus on the data and not the management of readers," Mitchell says. The device is currently in beta-testing with multiple companies, and is expected to be made commercially available in July 2017.

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