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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

"Were not just extracting data but pushing it to your software so it looks like yours," Hanna says. For instance, a user could set up parameters to the system to prompt alerting. If an asset were found to be missing from an expected zone, the software could issue an alert. Users can rename tag IDs, set up zones and customize alerts.

The reader is relatively small, Akaoui says, measuring 7 inches by 5 inches and with a thickness of 1.75 inches. What's more, it can operate autonomously. "Your data is stored on the reader as well," he states, so if the Internet system goes down, or if security needs to prevent cloud connections, the data can still be captured locally. The reader can also be mobile, attached to a forklift or other moving vehicle, and can be connected to the server via Wi-Fi.

Danny Akaoui
Some customers build the new device into a smart cabinet. A single reader device, installed in the back of such a cabinet, can begin reading tags on goods placed inside that cabinet as soon as they come within read range. It can utilize a Wi-Fi or Ethernet connection to forward the data to the software, where parameters can be set—such as when stock needs to be reordered according to the number of items removed.

Mina Hanna
The company says it can read tags moving at a speed of up to 100 miles per hour and at a range up to 80 feet, using passive tags, so it can be used to interrogate tags on vehicles or on goods being transported at high speed. Users can set up their own labels as well. For instance, a school may use the system to determine which students are onsite at any given time and can refer to the software as "automated attendance taking."

"We provide end-user applications [for which] no RFID knowledge is needed," Akaoui. However, the technology company expects many of its customers to be industry experts who offer integrated solutions.

Companies first began testing the new solution around March of this year, with many still in the piloting stage. "We've gotten quite a bit of buzz about it," Akaoui says, from health-care companies, airports, airlines, manufacturers, distributors and school systems.

RFRain previously launched its IMS inventory-management-in-a-box solution for $3,500 (see Startup Offers Low-Cost RFID System That Can Be Self-Installed).

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