GAO RFID Inventory Management System Using Handheld RFID Readers

What It Does

The GAO Inventory Management System utilizes RFID technology to modernize the inventory management. Inventory management is done simply by an employee holding a handheld PC and walking through the facility, counting the inventories.


There are several issues with traditional inventory management systems, most of which are barcode-based or manually-operated. In these systems a barcode number must be pre-printed on a sticker, then manually placed on each item. If these stickers get damaged or get dirty, the barcode scanner could misread or even fail to read the barcode. Furthermore, barcodes require a direct line of sight and a close distance to read. A staff member with a handheld scanner must visually identify each item, scan it at a very close range and repeat it for every single item in storage. This makes the process error-prone, labor-intensive and inefficient.

How It Works

To address these issues, GAO has developed the GAO Inventory Management System based on the latest UHF Gen 2 RFID technology. It consists of:

(1) One or multiple handheld PCs, such as tablet PCs, PDAs (personal digital assistant), EDAs (enterprise digital assistant), pistol grip intelligent terminals;

(2) an RFID tag for each item and

(3) an RFID tag for each shelf or area where the item is located.

The handheld PC is preinstalled with both an RFID reader and the GAO Inventory Management Software. The handheld PC normally has built-in Wi-Fi capability to communicate with a server via a local Wi-Fi network for data transferring. It also optionally has a barcode scanner and a high definition camera.

An RFID tag is attached to each item for its identification. A suitable tag can be chosen from GAO’s wide selection of tags to fit the specific properties of the objects to be inventoried. There are tags for all surface types including metal, plastic, fabric and even specific items such as jewelry and glasses. An employee can then walk through the aisles of the items, with the handheld PC in his or her hand, automatically performing taking the inventory by walking within range of the items to be inventoried. The RFID reader has a range of 15 feet (roughly 5 meters), which is much further than a conventional barcode scanner, and automatically tracks the location and inventory of each item simply by walking within range, no manual scanning of each item is needed. This dramatically improves accuracy and efficiency over conventional methods and reduced damage as the items do not need to be handled by the employee to scan them.


  • No system installation is required since tags are simply placed on items and shelves or something indicating locations, and each handheld PC has been preinstalled with an RFID reader and GAO Inventory Management Software.
  • GAO Inventory Management System utilizes RFID technology and dramatically improves productivity and accuracy. It has addressed the issues of the barcode-based conventional systems such as a line of sight requirement and reading errors due to barcode damage.
  • Suitable for items of all types
  • Suitable for any facility of any size

Technical Specifications

  • One or multiple handheld PCs from GAO, which is preinstalled with a UHF Gen 2 RFID reader and GAO Inventory Management Software.
  • A UHF RFID tag for each item.
  • UHF RFID tags indicating which shelf an item is located.


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