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Honeywell Sees Its Optimus 5900 Reader as the First in a Series of RFID Products

The diversified technology manufacturer is now shipping the recently launched UHF handheld interrogator to customers, focusing on the retail market for item-level tracking.
By Claire Swedberg
Jun 18, 2012Honeywell, a manufacturer of commercial and consumer technology products, has joined the ranks of RFID hardware providers, with the commercial release of its new lightweight industrial ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) RFID reader and mobile computer. The handheld Optimus 5900 reader is the first in a line of RFID hardware that Honeywell intends to develop as it ventures into the market. The new reader was released earlier this month as a smaller and lighter alternative to most handheld interrogators. The device is intended for use by companies such as apparel retailers, though it could also be utilized in warehouses, or for reading RFID tags elsewhere along the supply chain, according to Taylor Smith, the director of product marketing at Honeywell Scanning & Mobility (HSM), a manufacturer of high-performance image- and laser-based data-collection hardware, including rugged mobile computers and bar-code scanners, for retail, health-care, and transportation and logistics firms.

The Optimus 5900 reader
"Until recently, Honeywell has taken a wait-and-see approach to RFID," Smith explains, noting that other hardware vendors have, in previous years, had mixed success marketing RFID-based products. The company has been watching the RFID industry mature, he says, especially with regard to the growth in item-level tagging for retail to improve inventory accuracy. Based on those trends, he reports, his company launched an RFID development strategy for the retailer market, by releasing the first of what may become a series of RFID products for that sector. He adds, however, that this focus "does not preclude warehouse and supply chain tracking."

The Optimus 5900 reader is being shipped now to customers throughout North America, for use in interrogating passive UHF RFID tags complying with the EPC Gen 2 (ISO 18000-6C) standard, as well as those compliant with the ISO 18000-6B standard for passive UHF tags.

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