Industrys first mobile printers with dual radios make the migration to truly wireless real-time operations smoother and more affordable
Zebra Technologies, the global provider of on-demand printing solutions, has extended its leadership position in wireless on-demand printing by introducing the industrys first mobile printers with dual radios.
Many users of 802.11b wireless local area networks (WLANs) have used cables in the past to serve as a back-up solution if the network went down or if an associate walked out of range of the network. Now, with the introduction of dual-radio support in Zebra mobile printers, users can opt for Bluetooth technology to serve as a back-up connection with their handheld devices. This alternate means of local communication can offer a distinct advantage in applications where mobile printing of receipts or labels are critical to operations, such as car rental returns or retail price markdowns.
Two radios in one printer ensures mobile printing applications are always up and running, even when the wireless network is unavailable, said Bob Danahy, Zebras director of global mobile and wireless technology. Zebra engineered the dual-radio mobile printing solution in response to a key customer challenge. Its a good example of Zebra delivering robust printing solutions that help customers achieve their business goals. Were proud to be the first to bring this innovation to market.
Customers with a large installed base of Bluetooth handheld devices also can benefit from this new feature. These users can now take advantage of WLAN communications in their mobile applications, without replacing their entire installed base of handheld devices.
The printer can communicate with the Bluetooth handheld and act as an intermediary to the network, to allow for real-time information capture. Many mobile employees are now docking their handheld devices to connect to the network and update pricing or database information at the beginning and end of their work day, and then communicating via Bluetooth or cable to the printer during the shift, said Danahy. Zebras new dual radio printer models enable these users to access their applications in real-time and to communicate with the network throughout the shift without replacing their Bluetooth handhelds.
Dual radio mobile printers are equipped with one Bluetooth radio to communicate with handhelds in the field, and an 802.11b radio to communicate with the companys WLAN. This dual radio utilisation makes the wireless printing solution more reliable than implementations where damage-prone and costly cables are used as a backup.
Zebras dual radio option will be available on Zebras RW 420 and QL Plus series of mobile printers in the United States, Canada and Europe, and will feature a Bluetooth radio and a Symbol Compact Flash 802.11b radio. The lower-power-consuming Bluetooth radio can be used for the majority of tasks, while the greater power-demanding 802.11b can be used for periodic, less frequent updates with the WLAN.
For more information about Zebras wireless connectivity or other business improvement solutions featuring Zebra products please visit www.zebra.com.