What are RFID Readers?


RFID Readers, sometimes referred to as 'interrogators', are electronic devices that transmit and receive radio waves. Readers not only interrogate tags for information, but they can also be used to program (write) information to tags. In fact, label printers that can encode RFID tags do this by means of an embedded reader module in the printer device.

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How do RFID Readers Work?


The RFID reader uses an antenna to send and receive signals to and from RFID tags. The antenna can be built into the reader or externally connected. In fact, some barcode scanning computers can add an attachment, a RFID sled, to transform into a reader.

Readers can also be fixed mounted; fixed mounted readers can be found at a receiving dock's bay door or at an EZPass (IPASS for Illinoi people!) toll booth (for instance). A standard dock door or choke point fixed reader configuration is often called a "portal". Portals create a field for the tag to pass through, allowing the reader to send and receive information. Readers can be incorporated into other equipment such as forklifts or assembly lines.

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RFID Reader Options by Application


With the variety of form factors and functionality of RFID readers available, the application should be the determining factor in reader selection. For example, some items, due to their bulk, will always need to be transported via forklift truck, which would necessitate overhead scanning for volume processing, and handheld mobile scanning when reacting to an exception.

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Popular RFID Readers


Zebra RFD 8500 RFID/1D/2D SLED

Easily add high-performance next generation RFID and 1D/2D barcode scanning to the mobile devices of today and tomorrow — simply, easily and cost-effectively. Just pair the Bluetooth-enabled RFD 8500 with a compatible Zebra or third-party mobile device and you’re ready to go. You can attach the mobile device to the RFD 8500 sled for a complete one-piece solution — or workers can put the mobile device in a pocket and use the RFD 8500 in standalone mode.

Whether your workers are capturing RFID tags or barcodes, they get leading edge technology that delivers unparalleled performance. And with support for Android, iOS, and in the future, Windows, you get real investment protection — the RFD 8500 sleds you buy today will work with the devices you use now, and in the future.


Zebra 9190-Z RFID Reader

To put more product into the hands of your customers – and put more profit into your pockets – you need to know what you have and where to find it. On the dock or in the storeroom, the MC9190-Z Handheld RFID Reader is designed to make that job faster and easier.

The MC9190-Z is a high-performance, highly rugged RFID handheld reader targeted for use in very demanding applications and environments. Designed for medium- to long-range RFID read applications, the MC9190-Z delivers best-in-class RFID read range and accuracy in an ergonomic, integrated RFID and barcode device. Its rugged form factor excels in virtually any environment, indoors or outdoors.,/p>

The MC9190-Z joins Zebra's broad portfolio of fixed, handheld and hands-free RFID readers, used in more applications, more industries and more countries. Our comprehensive offering of RFID solutions helps our customers simplify deployments, lower costs and maximize return on investment.

FX7500 Fixed RFID

Zebra FX 7500 Fixed RFID Reader

The new FX7500 Fixed RFID Reader introduces advanced RFID radio technology for faster, more accurate read rates and more consistent performance even in challenging environments. The new radio is paired with a more flexible Linux-based network architecture that integrates the tools and open-standard interfaces needed for fast, easy deployment with RFID and back-end applications. The result is a fixed RFID reader that sets a new performance standard — delivering peak performance at all times with excellent reader sensitivity and better interference rejection, at a lower cost per read point.


Intermec IF61 Enterprise Reader

The Intermec IF61 smart reader is a powerful combination of reader and network appliance for running RFID applications, delivering faster processing and localized intelligence. Applications written in Java or C# .Net can run directly on the IF61, enabling it to filter, store and manipulate information from tags and send to a server in a required format and eliminating the requirement for a separate industrial PC.

IP30 Handheld RFID Reader

Intermec IP30 Handheld RFID Reader

The Intermec IP30 add-on handle for passive UHF RFID is the leader in handheld RFID readers. The modularity of the IP30, when combined with the RFID-readiness of Intermec mobile computers, transforms the mobile computer into a handheld RFID reader in a snap. The IP30 supports both in-premise and in-field applications, such as warehouse operations, enterprise asset management, retail and enterprise inventory management, field service, and exception handling.