How can we obtain access to read the codes on a portable terminal device? Is there a standard? And after reading the RFID labels, does the information captured depend on the variables previously recorded?
—Confused in Colombia
It's important to understand that there are different types of RFID systems, and that they may work differently. But in general, if you buy a high-frequency (HF) handheld reader that employs the ISO 15693 standard, as well as tags that operate at the same standard, then the handheld will have all of the necessary communication capability built in to read the tags. The same is true of handheld interrogators and tags that utilize the EPC Gen 2 standard.
Handhelds usually come with a cradle enabling you to download data to a PC. Some have Bluetooth or Wi-Fi functionality built in, allowing you to transfer the data to a computer. The issue is in regard to the type of software you use to handle that information. In some cases, the data is stored as a flat file (.txt or ASCII), and you can open it using Microsoft Excel or some other common PC application.
Many RFID companies, however, have developed more sophisticated software applications that launch when a handheld is cradled, and then pull the information into the software so that it can be displayed and analyzed. You can purchase bundles from some businesses that include tags, readers and software. The correct bundle for your specific needs depends on whether you are tracking IT assets or clothing items, or have some other application in mind.
—Mark Roberti, Founder and Editor, RFID Journal
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