Radio Frequency Identification is the best way to automate asset tracking and inventory management, we have yet. It allows businesses to decrease labor spent on non-productive tasks and streamlines the day-to-day functioning of an organization. One component of this system is an RFID reader. Depending on the application, you can choose from a collection of these items. Today, we will discuss the latest handheld RFID readers.
So, let’s begin with a little introduction to an RFID reader.
What is an RFID Reader?
An RFID Reader is one of the two major components of an RFID system. A reader is responsible for identifying and scanning an RFID Tag. It works by communicating data by using radio waves of varying frequencies. RFID readers can have different ranges depending on the frequency they operate on.
How Does an RFID Reader Work?
As stated above, an RFID system works by communicating information wirelessly through radio waves. One of the most important components of a reader is the antenna, readers can have an integrated or attachable antenna. A reader uses the antenna to broadcast radio signals, creating an electromagnetic field around it. When an RFID tag enters this field, depending on its type, it will respond differently. Active RFID tags will start broadcasting back a signal of their own, using an integrated power supply. Passive tags will use the energy from the signals to power on and reflect a pre-programmed signal.
The antenna/s on the reader will receive these signals too, the reader will then translate these signals into readable information and send it into the system. An integrated RFID reader has an internal antenna, making them more portable, however, they also have a shorter range and slow read time. Other types of readers can have up to 32 external antennas connected to them, giving them a very wide range of operations.
What are Handheld RFID Readers?
In the past, RFID readers were big and bulky, and always needed to be connected to a socket. But with advancements in technology, we’ve managed to make them portable. A handheld RFID reader is a portable device that is capable of reading RFID tags at a good range. They also have an internal power supply making them mobile. Most handheld RFID scanners also have a protective coating around them, they are specifically designed to survive drops on hard floors.
They are mainly used in environments where you have to cover large areas, like warehouses, inventory keeping, etc.
Latest in the Line of Handheld RFID Readers
Now that you know a fair bit about handheld RFID readers, let’s check out some of the latest items in that field.
Chainway C66 UHF RFID Reader
It is one of the most advanced in the field of handheld RFID readers. It runs on a Qualcomm Octa-core 2.0/1.8GHz microprocessor, with a 5.5” IPS Display and Android 11. C66 has a maximum reading range of up to 30 meters. They also have Near-Field Communication capabilities and can also be used to scan barcodes. A Chainway C66 is capable of a maximum read speed of 1150 RFID tags per second.
The latest in line at RFG Energie handheld RFID readers. The MPOWER200 is a powerful handheld RFID reader. They also can read barcodes using a 2-D Area-Imaging Scanner. These are fitted with an Impinj R000 chip, giving it an impressive read range of 12 meters.
The latest all-in-one reader from Hopeland RFID, the HL7202K8 is a multi-functional handheld RFID reader. It uses Bluetooth to communicate data to the system. It’s lightweight, with a built-in Area-Imaging Scanner and a laser scanner, allowing it to scan all kinds of barcodes. The HL7202K8 has a communication range of more than 10 meters, it’s also certified to survive a drop from 1.2 meters onto concrete floors.
Truly portable, the MR20 is the latest generation of wearable RFID readers from Chainway. You can wear this reader on a wristband, hand wrap, or even attach it to a lanyard. It communicates using Bluetooth Low Energy technology. With a reading range of 80 cm, it is also compatible with both Android and IOS. The MR20 is perfect for operations needing portable short-range readers.
Benefits of Using a Handheld RFID Reader
Handheld RFID readers perform almost the same function as traditional readers. However, there are certainly many benefits of using a handheld reader. Let’s talk about them.
The most obvious advantage, a handheld RFID reader offers portability. With traditional readers, you have the move the items in the broadcast view and range of the reader. This poses in problem in environments with a large volume of inventory. Instead of moving every good from its position, it’s much easier to just take the reader to all the items.
Modern handheld RFID readers are compatible with Android and IOS operating systems. Allowing them to communicate with their smartphones and offering greater accessibility.
Handheld RFID readers come in all shapes and sizes, from simple cubes to gun shaped. You can even use some handheld readers with lanyards. They are designed to be comfortable and allow long usage hours.
One of the biggest reasons for equipment loss in the barcode or RFID readers is dropping damage. The concrete floor in these industrial sectors is seldom forgiving and tends to break equipment often. That’s why manufacturers specifically produce rugged handheld readers, that are tested to survive drops without any damage.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q1. What is RFID handheld reader?
As the name suggests, it is a portable RFID reader, generally used in environments like warehouses. It has an integrated power supply and can also connect to smartphones or computers via Bluetooth.
Q2. What are the three types of RFID?
You can classify RFID systems based on the frequency range they operate on, namely:
(A). Low Frequency – 125 to 134.2 KHz
(B). High-Frequency – 13.56 MHz
(C). Ultra-High Frequency – 850 to 960 MHz
Q3. What are the two types of RFID readers?
There are two types of RFID systems, differentiated based on mobility, Handheld, and Fixed. Handheld readers offer portability and are perfect for warehouses and inventory keeping. However, they have a low read range, compared to fixed readers. Fixed readers as the name suggests lack portability, however, they have a more powerful broadcast signal. They can also connect to 32 antennas, allowing them far greater coverage than handheld readers. Fixed readers are perfect for the supply chain management.