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
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 ->
RFID Demo to start this.
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
In the settings -> control panel menu you will find the
unique NID RFID Wedge applet:
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
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
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!