Can a Mini USB Reader Emulate a Keyboard?

By RFID Journal

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Ask The ExpertsCan a Mini USB Reader Emulate a Keyboard?
RFID Journal Staff asked 8 years ago

Is there a mini USB RFID reader that I could use with a remote desktop on Windows, so that the USB reader could be utilized as a keyboard emulation?

—Name withheld


There are a number of USB RFID readers on the market. ThingMagic offers its USB Plus+ RFID Reader, a low-cost platform for developing and deploying interactive read-write applications. The USB Plus+ is controlled and powered by a host PC or a laptop via a USB interface, and is compatible with ThingMagic's application-development tools, permitting the rapid creation of RFID solutions. With a software-adjustable read distance of up to 3 feet (0.91 meter), the device supports a variety of applications and can be used to commission high-memory tags and read small form-factor RFID tags effectively.

IDRO makes a passive ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) USB reader-writer, model IDRO900RW, that is designed to deliver good performance at a low cost. Technology Solutions (UK) Ltd. makes a low-profile desktop UHF RFID reader to read and write EPC Class 1 Gen 2 (ISO18000-6C) UHF tags. It is powered and communicates via a standard USB connection, so it can be hosted by any PC, and has a built-in circular-polarized antenna for operation in either European (ETSI EN 302 208) or North American (FCC) environments.

Tertium Technology's IceKey UHF is an RFID reader that is used to perform read-write operations on major UHF RFID tags. It has an integrated antenna with a reading capacity of 120 centimeters, depending on the tag used, and can be connected to any PC or laptop via a USB port. CAEN RFID offers the Slate – R126i desktop USB reader, and GAO RFID produces an 860 to 960 MHz UHF Gen 2 Bluetooth and USB handheld reader.

All of these devices can act as input devices. So if a tag comes near, the tag can trigger some action on the computer. You could write an app that would enable data stored on the tag to be read and displayed on the computer as if it had been typed into a Word document or an Excel spreadsheet, but none of the devices above come with such an app, to my knowledge. GoToTags offers a Windows App that does this for you, using Near Field Communication (NFC) tags.

—Mark Roberti, Founder and Editor, RFID Journal

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