Intermec Unveils Handheld Reader

By Bob Violino

The new IP3 UHF reader is built into a grip that works with the company's 700 Series handheld computer.


June 13, 2003 – Intermec Technologies Corp. of Everett, Washington, today unveiled a new handheld RFID reader at the RFID Journal Live! executive conference being held in Chicago. The Intellitag IP3 works with Intermec’s 700 Series handheld computer and is designed to complement the company’s 1555 handheld RFID/bar code reader.

The IP3 grip reader and 700 Series handheld computer

“Typically, our customers are embracing RFID primarily because they want some level of hands-free scanning,” says Dan Bodnar, Intermec’s director of product marketing for the data capture systems group. “But typical there is a need for exception scanning. The IP3 leverages the investment that many of our customers have already made in our PocketPC line of handheld computers.”

Intermec has had a handheld UHF reader called the 1555 on the market for two years. That device features a linear polarized antenna, which directs RF energy in a horizontal beam for long read range and rapid scanning of large numbers of tags. But the tags have to be aligned horizontally to be read from a distance. If they are vertically oriented, the read range is greatly diminished.

With the 1555, scans can be stored on the device and downloaded to PC later, or it can be tethered to a separate handheld computer via a serial port connection. The new IP3 eliminates the cable. The 700 Series computer slides right into the grip and works as a single unit.

The IP3 uses a circular polarized antenna, which mean it can read tags from three to six feet (one to two meters) regardless of their orientation. The device transmits the captured data back to a host system via a wireless connection, such as 802.11b.

“The 1555 was designed for scanning the most tags at the longest range,” says Charles McLean, Intermec’s principal product manager for Intellitag. “The IP3 is designed for supervisory exception handling. It’s better for finding one thing from five or six feet away. They each have their own niche.”

Intermec has not established pricing for the IP3, which will be released in December. But McLean says it will be price below the 1555, which costs from $2,700 to $3,700 depending on the configuration.

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