Opportunities for the wireless and contactless technology industries are growing as auto-ID, sensing, M2M and Internet of Things applications are being developed at a rapid pace. RFID is playing a particularly important role in this growth. RFID tag volumes are shipping in the billions and according to several research firms, the global market for RFID products and services is projected to approach $10 billion in the not so distant future.
There is enormous pressure for technology companies to innovate these days, as a newer and better solution is always right around the corner. This pressure exists in parallel with a need to continually drive down both the size and cost of hardware components, as these are two metrics that can make or break a product development project. Fortunately, this challenge we face also provides an enormous growth opportunity, as the importance of embedded technologies have become clearer than they’ve ever been.
In October of last year ThingMagic introduced the Micro as the best RFID module ever, showing what pushing the boundaries of size and power could mean for embedded RFID. Now, we’re a creating a family of the smallest high-performance RFID modules on the market with the introduction of a new Low Tag-read Enabled Micro. This newest addition to our Mercury6e Series of embedded UHF RFID modules, the Micro-LTE, is optimized to read small tag populations, opening doors for organizations that in the past may have faced size, performance, or cost barriers to RFID adoption.
As a leader in the space, it’s important we understand not only where RFID can be of value, but also what barriers to adoption exist that are keeping organizations from being able to tap into the efficiencies RFID can create. We built the Micro-LTE with different markets in mind, optimizing it for small tag population and making it ideal for mobile printers, handheld devices, RFID readers, portals, mobile device accessories and other emerging solutions. With embedded RFID readers like the Micro-LTE, device manufacturers and solution providers can now more easily develop and customize solutions by application, making it a valuable technology for a wide variety of industries.
We’ve already communicated our belief that the Micro is the best RFID module ever, but the addition of the Micro-LTE to the breadth of our UHF RFID module portfolio has created a family of embedded RFID modules that leaves no market, industry or application unattainable.
Simplified Printing and Encoding
Zebra Technologies recently announced the ZD500R UHF desktop printer that takes advantage of the small form factor and optimized read rate of the ThingMagic Micro-LTE RFID module. The ZD500R is ideal for space constrained retail and healthcare environments that require accurate, on-demand printing and encoding. The ZD500R is Zebra’s smallest and lowest cost UHF RFID printer to date.
Powerful Handheld Devices
ThingMagic RFID modules are a popular choice for handheld device manufacturers. For example, VerdaSee Solutions introduced a new mobile device for first responder and military applications. By utilizing all four antenna ports of the ThingMagic M6e RFID module, this portable and ruggedized handheld provides users with an extended read distance required by mission-critical applications.
Leveraging the small form factor and high-performance features of the ThingMagic Micro, ACURA Global offers the Smart AB-700 handheld reader for use in several commercial and industrial markets.
Innovation Across Industry
Other ThingMagic partners are embedding our RFID modules into products and solutions used in a variety of markets. For example, the AdvanPanel from Keonn Technologies integrates the ThingMagic Micro to read RFID-enabled Kanban cards in just-in-time inventory systems. Venture Research integrates ThingMagic modules into smart shelves, waste management solutions, fork lift readers, industrial portals and several other RFID-enabled systems. With similarly diverse customer bases, partners Beijing Silion in Asia and ACURA Global in South America use ThingMagic embedded RFID modules to develop retail, supply chain, logistics, transportation, and healthcare solutions.
Where do you see embedded RFID headed next? Are the form factors, price points, and applicaiton optimization of today's RFID modules making it easier to implement the technology?