Retail RFID solutions company Nedap has released a POS reader that works with the company’s ID Cloud EAS solution, which is easy to deploy and use, whether or not integrated with the store’s POS management software. Nedap has begun offering readers to retailers’ sales counters, according to Nedap product manager Daniel Doorman, but the ID POS 2 is a brand new product.

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Nedap claims the device can be deployed in just five minutes. The company provides inventory management for retailers, and associated in-store and distribution center managed RFID solutions. But companies that have been deploying POS systems and use UHF RFID tags attached to goods for sales and inventory data often face challenges.

A combination of RFID readers, POS software and databases will require complex integration with RFID readers to access read-based data on purchase to update inventory records or trigger replenishment orders. However, the company reported that a lack of a good POS solution could prevent RFID deployment from generating further value.

Doorman Said this pain point limits the effectiveness of the inventory management system, so we feel it is a problem we can solve for them.

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Easy to Install Technology

Doorman explained that Nedap decided to build a brand new product that was designed to start with market research, models and beta testing and was easier to deploy than previous POS solutions. Initially, we didn’t plan to make new versions or even to make point-of-sale readers ourselves, but we changed our minds when we saw that customers could not find a good solution easy enough for them to deploy on a large scale to execute according to their needs.

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Earlier versions of point-of-sale RFID readers were usually plugged into POS computers through a USB cable, and they needed drivers and software development kits on that computer to integrate with POS software, which will be easier to deploy with ID POS 2. Users can choose one of two options: using a plug and play USB connection, the reader will use the bar code scanner protocol, or using the WebSocket application programming interface.

The WebSocket communication protocol can send data from the client to the server, or from the server and back to the client, thus serving as an alternative to the HTTP protocol. Doorman Said this protocol is the preferred connectivity method for many retailers because it enables two connected devices (readers and POS computers, or store-operated tablets) to communicate with each other in both directions.

Once connected, the RFID reader transfers the data directly to Nedap’s ID Cloud platform immediately after payment. ID POS 2 Settings are stored centrally in Nedap’s device management cloud platform, and can be used once the reader downloads these settings from the cloud.

Typically, customers take the goods to the point of sale where the ID POS 2 card reader is installed. Store personnel place the product on the surface of the reader, and then the device captures the product label ID numbers, and these ID numbers are associated with the inventory units of these items.

When the customer buys an item, the employee opens the reader and captures all the tags in the range without requiring sight, just like a bar code. Thus, the process of selling a product is still faster than traditional bar code scanning.

Reader and Antenna Innovations

With the WebSocket version, the reader is automatically turned on when the POS computer initiates a transaction. When these items are placed on the reader, the product tags are read and the data becomes available at the point of sale. Inventory data is updated after payment and the latest updates are stored in the cloud. If retailers start with bar code style scanning, they can always upgrade to the WebSocket format using the same readers.

 

The reader uses Impinj’s new generation of RFID processing chips: the Ex10 series. These chips enable the ID POS 2 to have fast read and write capabilities, and in the future provide the option to implement a privacy or protection mode, Doorman explained. The antenna is also new and has been developed to provide a very compact reading area.

 

If multiple point-of-sale readers are installed near each other, or if an item is placed nearby but not on a reader, the system needs to be able to ensure that misreads do not occur. Therefore, the antenna is designed to only read tags located approximately 3.9 inches directly above the reader. The device can be deployed as a desktop reader or mounted on a POS countertop. In the future, Nedap may also use the reader for self-service payment kiosks.

Summary of RFID Solution

As RFID technology becomes more and more mature, companies have a higher pursuit in improving efficiency and capacity. Sometimes some simple changes can bring in intuitive benefits.

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