Trimble (NASDAQ: TRMB) today announced the ThingMagic® Mercury® xPRESS Platform, a flexible development platform designed to simplify the process of bringing application specific RFID readers and embedded RFID solutions to market. Mercury xPRESS provides market-leading embedded RFID technology with an integrated software development environment and a range of transport interfaces and communication plug-ins in a single platform. Delivered as an extensible development environment with reference design files, the platform also reduces the need for developers to have significant RFID domain expertise, facilitating the rapid integration of RFID with a variety of products and complementary wireless communication technologies.
“Simplifying the incorporation of RFID into existing and new solutions is important to the ongoing growth of our industry,” said Tom Grant, general manager of Trimble’s ThingMagic Division. “Our goal with the Mercury xPRESS Platform is to allow our customers to incorporate RFID into their applications and solutions in a timely and cost effective way. The value of RFID is becoming clearer; we need to complement that growing interest with a set of tools that make its application straight forward. That’s exactly what the Mercury xPRESS Platform provides.”
Leveraging over 10 years of RFID technology advancements and development expertise, the Mercury xPRESS Platform combines a microcontroller-based motherboard with the industry-leading ThingMagic Mercury6e Series of RFID modules and an integrated software development environment built on the ThingMagic Mercury C API. With the platform, developers can bring up a fully functional RFID reader in minutes; testing and proof of concept using sample applications from the software library can start almost immediately. Reference design files allow developers to select the elements needed for their solution and advance rapidly to application specific end product design and development. The Mercury xPRESS Platform has been screened for regulatory compliance, reducing cost and time to secure end product certifications.
Key components of the Mercury xPRESS Platform are:
- Hardware kit with microcontroller-based motherboard, including:
- Integrated ThingMagic UHF RFID module (Micro, Micro-LTE, or M6e)
- USB interface
- Ports for up to 2 additional plug-in data transport interface modules
- MCU preloaded with sample keyboard wedge application
- An optional Bluetooth plug-in module (sold separately)
- Software toolkit and SDK (downloadable)
- Reference design files including schematics, layout files, Gerber files, bill of material, component data sheets (downloadable)
“ThingMagic is a valued technology partner of MEPS Real-Time. The introduction of the ThingMagic Mercury xPRESS Platform provides our Engineering and Marketing departments with the opportunity to offer new and innovative solutions through our Intelliguard product line,” said Shariq Hussain, president and CEO, MEPS Real-Time, Inc. “We see growth in the healthcare industry that will require smaller, faster and more capable RFID technology. With the Mercury xPRESS Platform, combined with our intellectual property, we are positioned to bring solutions to our customers that deliver world class performance and capabilities.”
The Mercury xPRESS Platform represents an alternative to using expensive general purpose readers in RFID solution designs. Lack of time, skills or resources to develop application specific readers can be much less of a barrier, resulting in unit cost savings, deployments with a stronger ROI and an overall positive bottom line impact in many deployments.
To support ongoing innovation, the integrated development tools, device drivers and application software of the Mercury xPRESS Platform may be enhanced with updates that expand capabilities and enable development of a wider range of end products. In this release, the xPRESS Platform supports USB and Bluetooth transport interface applications. Support for Wi-Fi, POE and other interfaces such as GPRS, GPS, 4G/LTE may be included in future releases at Trimble’s discretion. Mercury xPRESS is also designed to support a library of sample applications. A native keyboard wedge is available today while other sample applications may be included in future releases.
Pricing and Availability
The Mercury xPRESS Platform will be available in December 2013. For information on pricing and placing orders, please contact ThingMagic sales at: firstname.lastname@example.org or +1-866-833-4069. International dialers call +1 617-499-4090.