Alien and SensThys Launch IoT Solution that Addresses RFID Tag Visibility at Half the Cost

The RFID reader and antenna device simplifies installation, resulting in reduced costs, while enabling added visibility in retail, manufacturing and transportation applications.

Alien Hydra ALR-F3720 RFID Reader

Alien Technology, a leader in Radio Frequency Identification (RFID), and SensThys, an Internet of Things (IoT) and RF antenna specialist, have partnered on a new highly networked RFID reader+antenna solution that provides industry-leading RFID tag visibility. The co-developed Alien Hydra and SensThys SensArray solution enables companies to better track, manage and secure their tagged inventory while reducing their overall solution cost by as much as 50 percent.

“The problem today is that RFID reader antenna don’t see all the tagged items in a store or facility. Adding an additional reader to solve this often breaks the ROI for companies, and adding RTLS technology to an existing reader is too expensive,” explains Neil Mitchell, senior director of marketing at Alien. "Our new reader+antenna solution solves this problem by enabling large numbers of low-cost readers to be installed in an area to increase coverage, while minimizing cabling, installation time, programming and the overall staffing that’s needed.”

“Getting higher inventory visibility and accuracy and reducing costs are big issues, particularly in retail, manufacturing and logistics, and transportation,” adds Raghu Das, CEO of IDTechEx, a leading global research firm covering the RFID market. “These industries are at the forefront of RFID usage, and being able to see all of their tagged inventory not only can make their supply chains and business more efficient and therefore more competitive, it can also help increase their sales and improve customer loyalty.”

The new solution from Alien and SensThys combines a 30dBm UHF Passive RFID reader, an 8.5dBic 10-inch antenna and networking with both Power over Ethernet Plus (PoE+) inputs and outputs. It can be daisy-chained into a string of collaborative or individual read points, which minimizes cabling back to the network switch and lowers installation costs. Since it is powered by PoE+, it’s not necessary to run AC or DC cabling, and RF cables aren’t needed due to the reader’s integrated antenna.The readers are the same footprint as most 10-inch RFID antenna and in a similar profile (250 x 250 x 21 mm).

“These proven technologies, combined in an innovative manner, provide a much more cost-effective way of seeing all the tags in a desired area versus conventional reader solutions,” says Jo Major, CEO of SensThys.  “Adding an additional read point no longer breaks the ROI of a company’s overall RFID solution, as an additional read point can be added to a problem area by simply connecting an Ethernet cable from a SensArray or Hydra located close to the new read point.”