I have a requirement related to product discovery and self-checkout as part of a retail branded store. We are going to use RFID readers with smart tables. When I place multiple apparel items on an RFID-enabled smart table (the apparel is fitted with RFID tags), it should read all RFID tags at the same time. What models of readers and tags would we need? What frequency would we need to use, and what would be the approximate cost?
Let me take the second question first. For retail applications, you would want to use passive UHF RFID. This would give you the read range you would require for retail applications.
As for the second question, all passive UHF RFID readers on the market read one tag at a time. However, they read all of the tags in rapid sequence, so it appears they are reading dozens of tags simultaneously. You could set up your software to display data from one tagged item on a screen at a time. For example, you could have the software display information about one of five items, and not display data about the next item until a store associate hits "okay," or until that tagged item is removed from the table and is no longer being read. This would be a software issue, though, not a hardware issue.
If you are serious about deploying an RFID solution within a store, I would strongly recommend you send someone to attend RFID Journal LIVE!, which will take place on Apr. 2-4 in Phoenix, Ariz. You will get to see a wide variety of tags, readers and software from around the world, and you'll learn best practices to deploy RFID in a retail environment. It would be well worth the time and money invested.
—Mark Roberti, Founder and Editor, RFID Journal
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