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Tagsys Debuts HF/UHF Reader for Retailers

The company is demonstrating a dual-frequency reader designed to be integrated into point-of-sale terminals for reading tags attached to consumer items.
By Mary Catherine O'Connor
Tags: Retail
May 02, 2006At RFID Journal LIVE! in Las Vegas this week, RFID systems provider Tagsys demonstrated a new RFID reader (interrogator) that reads both high-frequency and ultrahigh-frequency tags and is designed for reading tagged items in point-of-sale (POS) retail applications. The dual-frequency UHF/HF POS reader, which Tagsys says is now available, includes a countertop platform containing both HF and UHF antennas.

During the conference, the interrogator was shown using demonstration software able to indicate the name and product code of read items, along with their price and whether the tag being read is UHF or HF. The dual-frequency UHF/HF POS reader is designed to comply with FCC regulations in the United States.

Elie Simon, CEO of Tagsys, says his company is introducing a dual-frequency reader for item-level applications because, despite considerable debate within the RFID industry over whether UHF or HF should be the frequency of choice for item tagging, demand exists—and will continue to exist—for interrogators that can read both tag types.

"Our goal is to lead in item-level applications," says Simon. "We're saying, 'Look, at end of the day, a dual reader is required.' We're starting with the POS reader, and then we'll move toward smart shelves and other form factors to enable dual-frequency, item-level reading in warehouses, retail and other locations."

Simon says the interrogator's UHF antenna can read UHF tags containing the loop antenna used in near-field tags, which have a shorter read range (up to only 2 feet). The antenna can also read far-field tags containing antennas designed for both the near and far fields.

Before retailers can deploy the new reader, however, they'll need to hire a point-of-sale software provider to create interfaces between the device and their POS system. Simon says the new reader is already being used in more than one pilot project, though he could not reveal the companies testing it.

The countertop antenna encasing measures 460 by 460 by 25 millimeters. The Dual Frequency UHF/HF POS interrogator reads I-code 1, ISO 18000-3 HF tags and EPC Gen 2 UHF tags. Pricing information has not yet been released.
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