Re-searching: non-expensive RFID long-range UHF reader with HID interface support

By | March 2, 2015

Re-searching: non-expensive RFID long-range UHF reader with HID interface support.

This article briefly describes our experience on a project for warehouse inventory control where one of the components required where USB and Bluetooth readers working in UHF within 1-5 meters range (1 meter range is acceptable).


I was always excited by RFID technology, and always willing to work on projects from this field. Recently we’ve got a project.  As part of warehouse management solution client wants an option to control inventory through RFID technology. The goal was to get a PC station with USB reader for check-in/checkout and mobile reader for cycle inventory count in warehouse. The solution is not complex, we did something similar few times with Motorola RFID readers.

I was sure the market should be going forward during last 2 years. Technology is evolving, everyone is mobile, hardware is cheaper and smaller, everyone has a computer in their pocket. There should be dozens of great and cheap Bluetooth (or at least USB) reader devices from multiple brands.


After 3 or 4 hours of searching, I’ve found only a few branded devices that might satisfy my expectations. But, unfortunately, they are either not cheap, or have no Android SDK or have small reading range.

For those interested, let me give you the results.

Device name Declared reading range Bluetooth, USB Interface comments Price URL

BlueBerry HS UHF from Tertium Technology

30 cm Bluetooth 2.1, USB HID, SPP $460 Product details


50 cm USB Keyboard Wedge Emulation Reading Mode (HID only?) ?? Product details

qIDmini (Model R1170I) from CaenRFID

90 cm Bluetooth 2.0, USB HID, Apple compatibility available $600 Product details

DIR120 from TSS company

50 cm USB ? ? Product details


2-4 cm Bluetooth 2.0, USB HID, SPP $600 Product details

1128 Bluetooth® UHF RFID Reader from Technology Solutions, UK Ltd.

4 m Bluetooth 2.0 HID, SPP $1511 Product details

USB Plus+ RFID Reader from ThingMagic

0.91 m USB SPP $445 Product details

1126 Desktop UHF RFID Reader with USB

1.5 m USB ? $569 Product details

RFID ME™ USB Dongle from MTI and Mini Me

30 cm USB HID, SPP $200 Product details, product specifications


1 m USB HID, SPP $250 Product details

1861 RFID reader from CipherLab

1 m Bluetooth 2.1, USB HID, SPP, but no Android SDK 🙁 $651 Product details

Handheld RFID Reader AT288UHF from ATID

5 m Bluetooth 2.1, USB HID, SPP $651 Product details

That’s it. None of the found devices satisfied our initial goal of mobile reader: Bluetooth, price <$800, reading range >1 m, Android SDK available, HID support; although there is one very close (AT288 from ATID).

Also, several not expensive USB readers are present on the market and have good reading range.


  • Human interface device (HID) is a type of computer device that interacts directly with, and most often takes input from, humans and may deliver output to humans. The term “HID” most commonly refers to the USB-HID specification. The term was coined by Mike Van Flandern of Microsoft when he proposed the USB committee create a Human Input Device class working group.
  • Bluetooth profile is a specification regarding an aspect of Bluetooth-based wireless communication between devices. It resides on top of the Bluetooth Core Specification and (optionally) additional protocols. In order to use Bluetooth technology, a device must be compatible with the subset of Bluetooth profiles necessary to use the desired services.
  • Serial Port Profile (SPP) – this Bluetooth profile is based on ETSI 07.10 and the RFCOMM protocol. It emulates a serial cable to provide a simple substitute for existing RS-232, including the familiar control signals. It is the basis for DUN, FAX, HSP and AVRCP.SPP maximum payload capacity is 128 bytes.
  • Ultra high frequency (UHF) is the ITU designation for radio frequencies in the range between 300 MHz and 3 GHz, also known as the decimetre band as the wavelengths range from one to ten decimetres. UHF radio waves propagate mainly by line of sight; they are blocked by hills and large buildings although the transmission through building walls is high enough for indoor reception.
  • Keyboard wedge/PS2 – hardware plugged between the PC and its normal keyboard, with characters from the barcode scanner appearing exactly as if they had been typed at the keyboard.

Links we find useful

As always, feel free to contact us for a consultation!

3 thoughts on “Re-searching: non-expensive RFID long-range UHF reader with HID interface support

  1. brent

    we specialize in integrating Impinj RFID hardware, with the right UHF RFID system you can get 40′ of read range. contact me if you would like to discuss.

  2. Fred Cook

    I am seeing the same problem. Have you tried contacting tablet and mobile phone manufacturers? They at least have the engineering staff and the production volumes required to make a good inexpensive product.

    It seems inevitable that the IoT (Internet of Things) efforts will absorb RFID efforts eventually and move them along. NFC enablement of mobile devices is a good first step.

    1. Max

      haven’t try to contact them, used only what is marketed /published in internet. I agree about IoT.


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