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New UHF RFID Smart Reader Operates Out of the Box

RFRain's RFR-RAIN-4-SMART device comes with a built-in reader, a microprocessor and an IP address to send data directly to a cloud-based server, thus preventing the need for complex or costly infrastructure installations.
By Claire Swedberg
Jun 04, 2019

Florida RFID solutions company RFRain has released a UHF RFID device that serves as a reader, a gateway with a built-in user interface, and a direct link to cloud-based software. The company's RFR-RAIN-4-SMART reader is intended to be fully plug-and-play: users can plug in an Ethernet cable and power, and it will begin capturing any tags within its vicinity, as well as forwarding their unique ID numbers to the server, where intelligence provides contextual information.

The new device costs $899 at a minimum and comes with RFRain's Zone Manage software, according to Danny Akaoui, the company's founder and CEO. The firm also offers a cloud account as an option, which support's RFRain's Zone Manager Enterprise software. The reader is not just a new product, says Mina Hanna, RFRain's senior sales account executive, but also a new concept when it comes to reading RFID tags.

RFRain's RFR-RAIN-4-SMART reader
With RFID, Hanna explains, there are three major hurdles to accomplishing an implementation. The first challenge is gaining the vendors required for a full solution. Too often, he adds, an application requires separate vendors to provide the software, the hardware and sometimes the integration with existing software.

The second challenge is the high cost of the technology. Hanna notes that average four-port readers tend to cost more than $1,000 apiece, while middleware can be an additional expense. And the third challenge, he says, involves the need for gateways to capture, filter and manage read data before sending it to a server.

The RFR-RAIN-4-SMART reader eliminates the need for multiple vendors, the company reports, since everything needed to read tags is built into the single reading device. With the reader, Hanna says, "We have consolidated the tools that you need, so that RFID solutions can be deployed—all from one provider, and all in one box."

The readers are designed to make RFID affordable as well, since the devices themselves are low in cost and no middleware or software needs to be purchased. Instead, users pay a small annual access fee. Finally, no gateway is required since the reader's firmware interprets data and forwards it directly using its own IP address.

Multiple companies are now testing the RFR-RAIN-4-SMART reader for a variety of applications, and several systems integrators and end users are testing it as well—some with little technical background. Integrators can use application programming interfaces (APIs) to build their own solutions with their own software using the device.

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