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RFID Module Brings Autonomy to Reader Installations

JADAK's ThingMagic EL6e UHF reader module is designed with a built-in processor and antenna, or a port for an external antenna, and is aimed at making deployments faster and with standalone functionality, without requiring a software developers kit.
By Claire Swedberg
Mar 15, 2019

Technology company JADAK has released a new UHF RFID reader module aimed at enabling the rapid deployment of RFID solutions without requiring RFID expertise on the part of systems integrators or users. The company's ThingMagic EL6e smart module comes with an option for a built-in antenna or an antenna port for an externally mounted antenna, as well as a built-in processor that allows it to be programmed and managed as a standalone solution, thereby eliminating the need for the software integration required for the majority of RFID deployments.

The company expects the new module to make deployments in health care and other industries simpler for original equipment manufacturers (OEMs)—such as makers of smart cabinets or kiosks, for instance—as well as systems integrators that install the RFID solutions. JADAK already offers three module families: the Nano, the Micro and Micro LTE, and the M6e.

EL6e and Elara reader modules
Traditionally, the firm has provided its customers with development kits to help them build solutions that could be installed and integrated at their customers' facilities, says Annika Matas, JADAK's senior product manager for RFID solutions. However, developers have been requesting an RFID reader product that would offer an all-in-one solution to not only read tags but process the captured data—one that could be programmed independently, according to the needs of a particular reader deployment.

"The feedback we tend to get from OEM companies is that they don't want to be RFID experts," Matas says. "We have served as their RFID expert, but in some circumstances, they have expressed wanting a solution that is more out of the box." The module comes with its own RFID engine, she explains, while further simplifying deployment by providing a built-in antenna or port for an external antenna, depending on a specific user's needs.

"With processing power," Matas states, "you could preset the perimeters" on each device without requiring a separate computer. Thus, OEMs could preload the requirements for read events for a specific device. Because of this ability to be independently programmed, she notes, the module supports autonomous workflows.

The new module leverages the RAIN Communication Interface (RCI) guideline for simplified reader commands, released in September 2018 (see RAIN RFID Alliance Releases Guideline for Simplified Reader Commands). The guideline was established to offer an easier way for systems integrators to control readers of any brand via a single profile command, thus eliminating the need for application programming interfaces (APIs) to allow software programs to communicate with each other.

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