Anyone with ¥150,000 (£627) to invest in a scheme that could open doors in more ways than one might want to consider Brother Japan 's latest specialist printer - a palm-sized machine that can print passive RFID tags.
Available in September, the RL-700S uses ¥9,500 (£40) rolls of plastic tape that contain IC chips, each with their own aerial, that can be programmed with desired information, printed with whatever human-readable information necessary and finally laminated. Each roll contains enough for 30 tags.
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Naturally, software for making both the content of the tags and the data held thereon is included, as is an RFID reader/writer terminal, which is stuck on one side of the printer. PC connection is by USB 1.1, but the software is Windows only.
Like any other printer, the RL-700S can be networked with an appropriate print server, making it a cheap and simple affair for various company departments to issue RFID access cards to new staff when needed.