“MultiPort Radio Operation,” or “MultiPort,” is the ability of Zebra’s Link-OS® printers to support seamless and simultaneous operation of both the 802.11a/b/g/n and Bluetooth® 3.0 interfaces. The feature is supported on the following Link-OS printers, when the printer has the 802.11a/b/g/n radio: QLn™, iMZ™, ZT400™, and ZQ500™ series.
Customer Use Cases & Benefits
Data Collection and On-Demand Printing
The MultiPort Radio enables simplified data collection and on-demand printing by allowing a printer to communicate with both a scanner via Bluetooth and to a computer server via Wi-Fi®. This solution can be used in a number of scenarios, such as price-update labeling.
In the price update scenario, the Bluetooth scanner reads a barcode label on a product and then sends that information to the printer via Bluetooth. The printer can automatically forward the scanned information to an app on a server, which checks with a database to determine if a price update is needed. When a price update event is detected, the server can send a new label to the printer over the Wi-Fi connection. This simplified data collection and on-demand printing solution can operate in an on premise or Cloud connected solutions.
Previous to the MultiPort Radio solution, customers using Bluetooth-only printers did not have a way to manage the printer. By leveraging the MultiPort Radio option, the printer can now be managed via network based device management tools, such as Mirror, Profile Manager or AirWatch®.
Customers with Bluetooth applications can avoid the need to switch printer models if their application changes to include communication via the Wi-Fi connection, future proofing the printer for new uses and applications.