ThingMagic Nano: Small, Cost Effective, Reliable

Posted by Shannon Downey on Thu, Mar 12, 2015 @ 09:17 AM

Tags: Internet of Things, Embedded RFID, uhf rfid, IoT, RFID modules

Our Mercury6e series of embedded UHF RFID modules has grown yet again with the addition of the family’s smallest, lowest cost module to date – the ThingMagic Nano. As we find ourselves in the middle of an Internet of Things (IoT) revolution, RFID applications are popping up in this expanding ecosystem in all shapes and sizes, with developers begging for options that give them flexibility.

These options come in the form of a suite of embeddable modules that put developers in a position to plug low cost, low power components into their RFID solutions when the application calls for it, and still use larger high-power modules when part of an application still requires greater bandwidth and read rates. Because our universal API – MercuryAPI – spans the entire suite of module offerings, customers are free to expand their solutions with this new, smallest form factor and integrate the technology immediately into existing systems. Different readers with different jobs can coexist to suit specific customer needs without the headache of re-writing software.

Keonn, a Spanish solution provider that can implement RFID for everything from securing and re-stocking a hospital’s medical products to making marathon time-keeping more accurate, cites the Nano as an excellent source of flexibility for their solutions. The universal compatibility of ThingMagic’s software development kit, Mercury API, was a piece that CEO Ramir De Porrata-Doria cited as a major selling point, since “because we have designed other products with ThingMagic’s modules, the transition to build in this new, smaller module was seamless and enables us to expand our portfolio to include smaller readers.”

We’ve watched the industry scramble to accommodate solutions that are requiring more and more of the hardware and software involved. What we’re putting in the hands of developers and customers are the tools to adapt quickly in the face of RFID innovation.

More Autonomous Operation for RFID Modules and Less Re-Inventing the Wheel

Posted by Mike Klein on Mon, Feb 02, 2015 @ 01:28 PM

Tags: uhf rfid

Our Micro family of embedded RFID modules now stands to lessen the headache for developers putting together the next greatest finished RFID readers. With the newest enhancements ThingMagic has issued to the firmware for our Mercury 6e Micro and Micro-LTE UHF RFID modules, modules are primed for autonomous operation.

To what extent are we allowing UHF RFID modules to operate autonomously?  By enabling hardware read triggers and creating savable configuration settings in the module, we’ve eliminated the need to write reader configuration and control code using the MercuryAPI, simplifying the integration of RFID into tomorrow’s solutions.  The module is configured one time to stream data using a new Autonomous Configuration Tool, freeing users up from writing code and lowering the supporting hardware requirements, allowing the modules to be used in a wider range of products with less development effort.

But what will true autonomous operation look like in RFID development? For that, we need your help.

These enhancements are already available for customers developing finished readers and solutions with the Micro and Micro-LTE. We’d like to open a conversation with those of you writing applications to control these modules so you can help shape the next iteration of enhancements to the firmware. What’s working well? What’s still keeping you from concentrating on innovating rather than writing code? Even those of you not currently developing with ThingMagic – we want to know what your biggest pain points are in developing with RFID, writing development code and anything else you’d like to see in a progressive update to the RFID development process.

If you’re interested in hearing more and participating with our newest enhancements, please contact us at support@thingmagic.com.

 

RAIN RFID and the Internet of Things

Posted by Tom Grant on Tue, Nov 18, 2014 @ 01:42 PM

Tags: Internet of Things, uhf rfid

I was reading an article last week in National Geographic on the origins of the Internet of Things and the credit given to Kevin Ashton, a former ThingMagic colleague, for coining the phrase back in 1999.  The vision remains and the likelihood has increased significantly over these past 15+ years.

I have had the opportunity to participate in the design, development and deployment of UHF RFID since 2001.  Enormous work was done by the likes of Walmart, P&G and brethren retailers and CPG companies to form a consortium with the objective of establishing standards and funding/encouraging companies to develop the necessary elements to allow the deployment of a next generation of ID technology.  We were guided by the enthusiastic duo of Kevin Ashton and Sanjay Sarma who worked tirelessly to negotiate standards and provide a vision of what was possible.  By 2005 we were all convinced it was just a matter of time before RFID would provide supply chain efficiencies to the retail sector and provide to other vertical markets the evidence that their supply chain could be enhanced. 

Mark Roberti has chronicled the successes, challenges and technology and product improvements through his magazine RFID Journal and its corresponding newsletters and events.  As an industry we have worked tirelessly to lower costs, adhere to and improve standards and ease the development and deployment of UHF RFID.  Enormous strides have been made and the industry’s members deserve a lot of credit for hanging in there during this 10+ year period during which several factors have converged, including:

  • Improvement in the performance, cost and deployment of the fundamental technology

  • Cloud-based Architectures and back-office systems have improved our ability to turn the data collected into mission critical information

  • The Internet of Things concept and promotion has provided RFID with a market awareness concept within which  to showcase its capabilities.

It is time for the RFID industry to promote our collective efforts towards building market awareness of the power of our technology when combined with the big data architectures that are being put in place.   Fortunately, Impinj, Smartrac, Google and Intel recognized that need earlier this year and formed the RAIN RFID Alliance whose sole purpose is to increase market awareness of the power of our collective technology. 

ThingMagic joined the RAIN Alliance this year and, with the endorsement of our fellow members, I have joined the RAIN Board of Directors.  As we have worked tirelessly for 15 years to get RFID to its cost-effective state, I encourage you to become an active member of the RAIN Alliance.  Check it out, join and get involved.  

 

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