Symbol Technologies will announce this week at the Microsoft TechEd conference in Orlando, Florida, the first RFID reader embedded with Microsoft's Windows CE operating system.
Up until now most RFID readers have done little more than read the tag number, sometimes referred as the license plate number, which is then associated with a back-office database at another location.
Embedding an application on the RFID readers used on-site at a factory floor or on a loading dock should facilitate faster reporting, local decision making, and a reduction in the amount of additional hardware devoted to the RFID technology.
The fact that the reader will use a well-known operating system with a large developer community may also spur faster investment by the enterprise in RFID, according to Erik Michielsen, director of RFID and Ubiquitous Networks at ABI Research.
Symbol expects customers buying the Model XR400 will be able to design applications, such as inventory and warehouse management or even baggage tracking in airports, on the Windows platform.
Michielsen said enterprises will now be able to turn to third-party application developers.
"At the end of the day, applications are central to the business benefit of RFID. They can now use third-party development to add differentiating features," Michielsen said.
The XR400 supports Generation 1 tags, Class 0 and Class 1, and will support Generation 2 tags via a firmware upgrade.
The units will ship by the end of the month.