In 2008, startup Mojix's STAR (Space Time Array Reader) system was voted best new product at RFID Journal LIVE!, RFID Journal's annual conference and exhibition (see Mojix Wins First-Ever 'Best in Show' Award at RFID Journal LIVE! 2008 and The Brightest Star). The system, which is installed on or in ceilings, was designed to read EPC Gen 2 passive ultrahigh-frequency tags in very large areas (an entire warehouse, for example), from great distances (hundreds of feet) and precisely identify the locations of tagged pallets, cases or items.
In 2012, Mojix introduced its next-generation STAR 3000 system. Since then, several other RFID providers have entered the so-called "overhead" reader arena. Checkpoint Systems, a provider of electronic article surveillance solutions, launched its Overhead EAS Solution in 2011, and a new version, Overhead 2.0, in 2013. Sekura, which develops security solutions for retailers, jumped into the market in 2012 with its Vertic RFID Overhead System. Impinj, which makes chips for handheld readers, announced its overhead solution, the Speedway xArray system, in 2013 (the xArray won the award for best new product at last year's RFID Journal LIVE!—see Best in Show: RFID Gets xArray Vision).
Let's examine these issues, but first, a couple of basics. All the overhead readers are designed to read passive EPC Gen 2 tags. Each overhead employs a phased array (also called antenna array), which divides a large area into separate read zones.
"Arrays are dynamic antenna systems using multiple radiating antenna elements that coordinate to create RF fields with a unique size, shape and direction," says Tracy Hillstrom, senior product line manager at Impinj, a provider of both handheld and overhead RFID readers. "The array can be driven to change the read field over time, so it can be very responsive to the application requirements and environment. Most traditional antennas use a single antenna element, so you don't get the diversity of read fields that are possible with an array."
One-year subscription, unlimited access to Premium Content: $189
Gain access to all of our premium content and receive 10% off RFID Reports and RFID Events!
Become A Premium Member
This article contains 1,820 words and 5 pages. Purchase Price: $19.99
Purchase Article Access!
Our in-dept case-study articles show you, step by step, how early adopters assessed the business case for an application, piloted it and rolled out the technology.
Free Sample: How Cognizant Cut Costs by Deploying RFID to Track IT Assets
The best way to avoid pitfalls is to know what best practices early adopters have already established. Our best practices have helped hundreds of companies do just that.
Don’t waste time trying to figure out how to RFID-enable a forklift, or deciding whether to use fixed or mobile readers. Our how-to articles provide practical advice and reliable answers to many implementation questions.
These informative articles focus on adoption issues, standards and other important trends in the RFID industry.
Free Sample: Europe Is Rolling Out RFID
All RFID Journal Premium Subscribers receive our bimonthly RFID Journal print magazine at no extra cost, and also have access to the complete online archive of magazine articles from past years.
Become a member today!