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New RFID Reader Serves as All-Inclusive Point-of-Sale Device

Caen RFID's Hex reader is intended to enable retailers or other companies to accomplish functions such as selling a product without requiring additional computers, bar-code devices or power cables.
By Claire Swedberg

In addition to a built-in computer, the reader features a programmable display and a touchpad. The display enables users to view the POE reader to share data with a local or cloud-based server via a connection to an external computer.

Additionally, the device comes with a proximity sensor that enables users to control when it begins interrogating tags. A user can simply slide a tagged item in the front of the device, and it will then "wake up" and begin reading RFID tags. It also offers a set of general-purpose input-output lines that can be used to connect with alarms or lights.

The reader offers a USB interface for linkage to bar-code scanning, printers or keyboards. If a bar-code scanner is plugged into the reader while it is being used, a bar-code tag can be interrogated at the same time that RFID tags are read, thereby linking the two—for instance, in a store's back room. This creates a record of the RFID tag number and serialized bar-code number of the product being sold.

For product returns, if the RFID tag is still attached to a product, the Hex can accommodate that process as well. Users could utilize the touchpad to select the option of receiving a returned item, and then read the tag's ID. The product is thus updated as being available for sale, and it can then be returned to the sales floor. The product ID is listed once more in the in-store inventory after it is transmitted to a store's back-end software.

The reader comes with a built-in circular-polarized antenna, as well as a port to add a second antenna to boost read range if necessary. The Hex, part of the company's Easy2Read product line, measures 8.66 inches by 6.69 inches by 0.98 inch and can fit on or under a desktop or in a sales kiosk.

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