The leading RFID vendor, Alien Technology, recently announced to offer a new software, Intelligent Tag Radar (ITR), designed for the ALR-9900, ALR-9800 and ALR-8800 Enterprise-Class reader platform.
According to Alien, ITR is the first RFID reader software to provide comprehensive information about the position and direction of UHF RFID tags in addition to the contents of the tag memory.
Major features in the Intelligent Tag Radar reader platform list as follows:
ITR-Singulation, a breakthrough technology that enables the reader to easily discriminate among adjacent tagged objects on a conveyor such as items, cases or airline baggage, without the need for specialized antennas, sensors, or near-field equipment;
ITR-Velocity, which provides real-time information on the speed of a tagged object, enabling discrimination between stationary and moving objects and automated decision-making based on speed and location;
ITR-Directionality, which identifies whether an item is coming or going as well as the direction of the item; and
ITR-Range, which enables the system to isolate tagged items to a given zone, with sufficient precision for most applications, but with much lower cost than competitive technologies like active and WiFi tags.
"With this new ITR platform, our partners and their customers can derive new value from their existing investments in RFID," said Scot Stelter, director of reader product marketing with Alien Technology. "This extension of the Alien Reader Protocol enables our partners to address unsolved business problems using existing Alien readers and Gen 2 tags as well as to expand RFID into new growth applications and segments."
Examples of ITR Applications:
ITR for Airline Baggage and Manufacturing
One of the challenges of using RFID with conveyor belts is the difficulty in isolating individual tagged objects as they pass the antenna. Standard solutions to this problem entail reducing conveyor speed or creating greater separation between tagged objects. ITR-Singulation enables the isolation of the one tag that is "top-dead-center" with respect to the antenna. This allows the system to keep track of the order of the tagged objects and to take specific action with respect to each one. Alien subsidiary Quatrotec is using ITR, in addition to its airport RFID solution, in baggage handling applications being evaluated now by several airports and baggage handling companies.
ITR for Retail
Retail users of RFID need to know not only that a given reader has detected a certain tag, but in which direction the tag is traveling when it was detected. Knowing whether a case of product has moved from the back room to the store floor or the reverse helps provide more accurate inventory information and supplements shrinkage control systems. Retailers will also be able to discern moving inventory items from stationary ones with ITR-Velocity. This information provides retailers with timely and specific information on the product the user is examining, while collecting data about how long the customer interacted with the item. This valuable marketing data will help retailers to optimize merchandizing displays and to know which products are hot in real time.
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