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SmartX Launches Multilinear RFID Portals

The technology, which gathers multiple antennas in different positions, allows readings where the exact positions of tags cannot be guaranteed, and at a lower cost.
By Edson Perin
Oct 02, 2019

SmartX Tags is launching in Brazil its line of special radio frequency identification (RFID) portals with multilinear technology, which allows for the controlled and efficient reading of tags arranged in different positions and at much lower deployment costs, the company reports. "No excess reading [is required], just the essentials," says Pedro Moreira, SmartX's CEO.

SmartX already has several customers adopting this new portal concept, though some of these clients, due to contractual issues, do not allow the disclosure of their projects. In addition to retail companies such as Havan, there are businesses in the white goods industry, as well as hospitals, that have adopted this technology.

Left: trucks at the docks with the SMTX portal in the background. Right: the side portal, with the trucks at the docks.
Multilinear technology consists of gathering, in a single antenna element, multiple linear antennas in series and positioned at different angles in order to favor greater reading coverage for complex environments, where one cannot, for example, guarantee the position of a single antenna. "No matter if the tag is positioned vertically, horizontally or perpendicular to the antenna, the reading will occur the same way," Moreira says.

According to Alexsandro Eloi Venancio, Havan's RFID product owner, for the company's freight-forwarding project, "We performed tests with different portal designs, the major intricacies being reflections and a 100 percent guarantee of cages passing through the portal. The antenna model proposed by SmartX presented a good reading result, since the antenna projects the reading along the entire length of the portal, as though it were a curtain."

"This way, it was possible to work with very low antenna power, reducing signal reflection problems to zero and, most importantly, ensuring 100 percent readability," Venancio says. "Havan has an in-house software-development team and has opted for middleware and application development, but the support and exchange of experiences with the SmartX team was essential to the project's success, including our partners in providing software, equipment and labels."

Comparing the most popular RFID antenna polarization technologies with multilinear technology, linearly polarized antennas enable RFID tag readings over greater distances due to their directionality, allowing for a smaller reading angle. For the reading to take place successfully under these conditions, the RFID tag must be positioned horizontally or in the same plane as the antenna. One example of applications that use linearly polarized antennas is toll plazas, where tags must be read at long distances and in only one lane, with a smaller opening angle.

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