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Nordic ID software support letter from Sales

Nordic ID Sales Manager Hielke van Oostrum gives tips on how to develop software around the different features on the Nordic ID mobile computers.

As a Sales Manager for the BeNeLux area, I'm discussing a lot of projects with my customers and prospects. Please let me share some of the most common questions and the really simple answers and solutions that are already available "off the shelf" at Nordic ID:

One that should rate high on our FAQ list is: "It's great that you can read tags, but HOW do I get that tag info into my application?" Basically there are already two simple solutions at hand for this:

1) Use the existing demo application on the Nordic ID Merlin and/or the Nordic ID Morphic for that!

Start menu ->

Programs->

RFID->

RFID Demo to start this.

Screenshots

In both the EASY INVENTORY and the ADVANCED INVENTORY you will find the option to "log" the scanned results into a designated .CSV file anywhere on the device. So the results are easy to import in -for example- a desktop Excel sheet or host application. It is also easy to filter out a specific range of tags. But there's more: using Nordic ID handterminals for RFID makes it very easy.

2) The read tags are stored in the same keyboard buffer as barcodes or keypad entries. In practice this means that applications that request an "input field" to be filled already automatically get the correct data. It's a matter of programming an RFID scan under an assigned button (for example the round [O] ) using NID keys applet in the settings menu and presto. This kind of operation is sometimes also named as "keyboard wedge".
Of course reading an RFID tag is completely different than reading a barcode. A barcode is just a fixed string of characters and with the guide of the laser beam or imager's aimer, you know which barcode you are scanning. But with RFID there is no need for "line of sight" so it is quite possible to read multiple tags at the same time.

In the settings -> control panel menu you will find the unique NID RFID Wedge applet:

Screenshot2

With this applet is it now possible to only send one tag to the keyboard buffer (or multiple) and assign a certain key for this, add post- and prefix characters, like CR / LF or TAB etc. This fantastic  tool is available in FW versions 1_9 and up.

The other question Nordic ID frequently tsge is the "finding of tags". 
Well, all Nordic ID RFID mobile computers plus the Nordic ID Sampo have RSSI available. RSSI stands for Relative Signal Strength Indicator. Although -as the name says it - this is a relative number (because with a mobile computer it's always relative to position…) it does give you a good indication on the return signal strength and thus makes it possible to act as a "Geiger-counter" or water finding dowsing rod! RSSI is available in the SDK if you'd like to create your own application around it, but it is already available in the RFID demo program to!

Just hit the TAG LOCATOR option. The routine starts of with listing all the tags in view. Clicking on a particular tag will then let you find this one or create a filter to find all similar tags. The routine guides the user by means of sound and a "light bar" plus the illumination of the keyboard (for noisy areas such as airports or distribution centre's).

An early demo (using KLM's standard luggage tag) can be seen on YouTube.

You will notice that this clever taglocator decreases the output power by itself as it gets closer to the tag, in order not to "overshout" itself in finding. 
Practical uses are limited to your own imagination: it's now easy to find a suitcase of a "no show passenger" in the cargo hold of an airplane that needs to leave shortly, find a specific shoe-size or model in a backroom full of white cardboard boxes or even a specific garment or dress in a shop that has been sold already on the company's internet subsidiary.
BTW screenshots in this article are made with (ASRDisp.exe) from Windows Mobile Developer Power Toys. Just do a google on this free program. It is also very convenient for customers demonstrations on a larger group or connected to a beamer.

Enjoy your work with the tools!

Hielke

1 comment on “Nordic ID software support letter from Sales”

  1. Gravatar of Hielke van OostrumHielke van Oostrum
    Posted 02 February 2012 at 11:05:11

    What dropped out of the text :-)
    the NID RFID Wedge is also a great tool for using RFID in combination with a terminal emulator (that needs defined fields entered with data) such as Nauertech, Freefloat, Wavelink etc.

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