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Xterprise Releases Mobile RFID Package for Item-Level Tracking

The vendor's new Clarity Mobile solution—designed to be an easy-to-operate, low-cost item-level tracking system—comes with handheld RFID readers, pre-encoded EPC Gen 2 tags and access to a Web-based application.
By Claire Swedberg
Sep 07, 2010RFID software company Xterprise has announced the release of Clarity Mobile, a mobile version of its existing Clarity software platform on which vertical applications can be built for item-level RFID tracking. Clarity Mobile, the firm explains, offers an RFID system that is less expensive and easier to install than a fixed-reader solution for item-level tracking using ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) Gen 2 tags and handheld readers.

This new package is intended to offer a solution to companies that would benefit from item-level tracking, but that are disinclined to install a fixed reader infrastructure because they consider the equipment too expensive, or simply due to the small size of their facilities. Fixed readers are not only costly and usually require cable installations, but they can also be cumbersome or unattractive in some settings, such as in a store. It is the needs of these potential customers, says Dean Frew, Xterprise's president and CEO, that the company has aimed to address with the new mobile solution, which he says is easy to install, without any infrastructure, and easy to use.

"A segment of the market has been telling us we need something lighter than a fixed RFID reader installation," Frew states. Therefore, approximately six months ago, Xterprise began working with its retailer customers to develop a solution that would provide item-level tracking with RFID readers. The company's developers realized the system could be designed to reach a much larger market than simply the retail sector. The resulting Clarity Mobile system, he says, is designed to offer a generic solution that can be employed across multiple industries—from retailing to IT, utility or oil and gas companies, as well any other organization that wants to locate its products, tools or other items without installing interrogators.

The resulting system works like this: Customers first fill out a questionnaire about the items they wish to track. In the case of retailers, they also provide a catalog file listing those items. The questionnaire asks such questions as "Do you have wireless network connectively in the facilities where you want to manage inventory?" and "How many of each item in your product catalog do you want to manage?"

The system allows companies to track each item based on six different categories (such as an item's size, color, make or model) in multiple zones that they can create around their facilities. Thus, the questionnaire also asks, "What are the six attributes that you want to use to manage your inventory or assets?" and "How many sites and what are the locations in those sites where you want to manage inventory?"

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