Established in 1986, Cognitive Solutions is a pioneer in the industry having introduced the worlds first desktop thermal label printer, the Barcode Blazer. Today, Cognitive continues to manufacture high performance thermal bar code and receipt printers, labels, tags, ribbons, and now-RFID printers. Keith Gaskill, CEO & President, Cognitive Solutions Inc, describes the companys channel strategy.
Cognitive has seen a movement in vertical markets to become much narrower focused as a vertical within a vertical. A healthcare VAR that was bringing blood collection software as part of its offering now focus solely on the blood bank services. We have also seen an automotive service VAR becoming solely focused on oil change solutions, a dry cleaning services VAR is now focused on item level tagging. Specializing seems to be the calling in the industry and is a great fit for Cognitive Solutions. It does not matter if you have a specialty desktop printing or portable printing application, Cognitive is a proven custom solutions provider of hardware.
Cognitive is no stranger to working closely with customer, clients, and end-users to develop a custom product that solves problems. Providing solutions is what Cognitive does best.
Cognitive continues to see the market improving for portables. Mobility continues to be the driver for this demand. This market segment will continue to be highest growth opportunity for the near future even with the introduction of RFID products.
Desktop printers have shown and will continue to show movement from mid-range and high-end printers to the smaller, feature rich desktop product. As desktop printers increase their feature sets, increase their consumable capacity and increase their performance they will continue to replace and beat out higher end products for the application.
RFID is arguably the most important technology adoption to hit the auto-ID industry since the first bar code. Although RFID technology is an advancement of bar codes, it will continue to complement versus the replacement of bar codes in the foreseeable future. RFID will become more of a mainstream technology as the supply chain strengthens its RFID knowledge and gets the infrastructure in place. We view RFID immediately as a niche or focused applications solution. Developers need the support of the auto-id experts to help them with hardware, software, and technical support to start their general understanding and experimentation with the technology.
These applications are in closed system rather than external to the application and are in such areas as patient identification, book checkout and tracking, and asset management/tracking. The whole industry now needs training, hands on development support and technical support from the industry experts. Cognitive supplies RFID development kits allowing VARs and end-users experiment and get exposure to the technology. The kit helps get a complete hands-on experience of the use and understanding of RFID. This kit will allow the VAR and or end user to access the benefit and fit of RFID for themselves and their customers.
Cognitive is ready to support the RFID development effort and supports the open market for innovative development of RFID and barcode applications. Cognitive shows this support by offering a HF 13.56 MHz RFID development kit at a very reasonable price which includes an RFID printer, RFID scanner, RFID software, and RFID media. Cognitive plans on offering the same development kit for its UHF 900 MHz printer in early 2005. Both printers are built on the same chassis as the Advantage LX with RFID read/write/verify technology integrated into the printers.
About Cognitive Cognitive offers a broad product range comprising compact desktop, portable printers, standard and customized consumables, and software. Cognitive printers are well known in the market for their rugged durability, quality performance, and capacity. With headquarters in Golden, Colorado, USA, and distribution in the UK (Maxatec), Japan (CJP), Australia (DH Technology), and Argentina (Selis SA), Cognitive serves customers worldwide from a broad range of industries and applications through its distributors, direct sales, VARs, and OEM customers. Cognitive is a private entity with 85 employees and growing. This growth is expected to increase as Cognitive rolls out new products in 2005, including its RFID printers. Cognitive has a strong presence in the retail/POS, automotive, and healthcare industries and expects it to continue. The introduction of new products coupled with increased marketing and sales support for 2005 will allow Cognitive to open new industry verticals.