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11/3/2010
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Motorola Aims RFID Handheld At Business Operations

Based on company's MC3190 mobile computer, the MC3190-Z weighs 1.4 pounds and offers RFID and barcode reading functions.

Motorola MC3190-Z RFID Handheld Device
(click image for larger view)
Motorola MC3190-Z RFID Handheld Device

Motorola Inc. on Wednesday introduced what it calls the smallest and lightest business-class Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) handheld available for the European market.

The ergonomic MC3190-Z is based on the Motorola MC3190 mobile computer and is appropriate for retail and carpeted-space environments, Motorola said. It has a rugged, but lightweight design, “which reduces operator fatigue over long periods of use,” and is geared at “the typical non-industrial user,” the company said. It comes with WLAN 802.11 a/b/g and Bluetooth connectivity.

The RFID device has a QVGA color 320 x 320 touchscreen display with backlight, a 48-key alphanumeric keypad and weighs 1.4 pounds, compared with other industry-standard RFID handheld terminals, which weigh between 2.5 pounds and 3.5 pounds. It runs on Windows Mobile 6.5 OS, and has 512MB RAM and a 1GB Flash. The MC3190-Z comes with Motorola’s new RFID reader engine that has high throughput and long-range reads, according to the company. Audible and visual cues can be used to guide an associate to a specific retail item that needs to be located, with Motorola’s RFID locating engine. As the device comes closer to the targeted item, a beep tone will increase in frequency and volume and the size of a sliding graphical bar will increase as well. While typical RFID handhelds have complex usage features and require manual sweeps, the MC3190-Z comes with an orientation-insensitive antenna that reduces those issues, Motorola said.

Inventory can be counted more quickly and accurately, reducing cycle-counting times by 75% to 90%, according to Motorola, so that cycle-counting can occur more often. A lightweight, business-class RFID handheld has proven to increase retail inventory accuracy to as much as 99.9%, and reduce out-of-stocks by 60% to 80%, the company claimed.

The two data-capture technologies in one package -- RFID and barcode reader -- reduce the total cost of ownership, Motorola said.

“We believe that this innovative device will play a significant role in showing that RFID is available to all global businesses which require inventory management technology, and can help simplify the process and enhance the accuracy of stock control and asset management for companies large and small,” said Chris Schaefer, director, Global RFID Market Development, Motorola, in a statement.

The MC3190-Z will be available in the first quarter of 2011 in Europe and will be expanded to other regions globally starting in the second quarter. Pricing was not given.

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