One of the biggest trends in the business community today is the huge growth of mobile devices in the workplace. Many organizations provide employees who work outside the office or away from their desks with smartphones or tablets. In addition, a growing number of companies have launched "bring-your-own-device" programs, which allow employees to use their consumer smartphones or tablets to communicate and collaborate with customers and colleagues and access corporate networks and data.
"This technology has been in development for quite some time, and we've now seen the creation of a market opportunity with the continued penetration of consumer-grade devices" in the workplace, Liard says. "We're seeing more employees, whether it's [production] line workers or shop-floor managers or retail associates, using these mobile devices as part of traditional auto-ID capture solutions."
A key factor in the rising demand for RFID reader products for mobile devices is that many workers are already comfortable with the form factors and functionality of their consumer phones or tablets. "These are not typical handheld readers or bar-code scanners; these are devices employees use in their everyday lives," Liard says. "So there is a measure of comfortability and ease of use."
Also bolstering demand is the fact that it can be cheaper for companies to buy mobile RFID readers for consumer devices than to purchase conventional handheld RFID readers. "The total cost of ownership is lower with these types of devices," Liard says. "And if people bring their own
devices into these environments, that also enables cost savings."
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