IBM and Intermec Technologies Corp. today announced that Intermec has embedded IBM's WebSphere Device Infrastructure (WRDI) into the Intermec IF5 RFID reader, creating an "intelligent" RFID reader that automates the process of routing and managing incoming data from RFID tags, even from remote locations.
The new WRDI capabilities, available immediately, give IF5 readers edge-server capabilities including the ability to perform on-board decision-making, reducing network traffic by filtering incoming data from external RFID tags and sending only the most pertinent information upstream to a company's application server. WRDI also provides the readers with a platform that can easily integrate and reconcile RFID information with data used in other parts of the business.
"As the proliferation of RFID deployments continue, the amount of data that flows between RFID tags and readers expands exponentially," said Intermec Vice President Mike Wills. "Yet the benefits of RFID are only as good as the data that streams into the system. The combination of the IF5 and IBM's powerful middleware provides companies with an intuitive solution that turns the flow of data into business-critical information."
IBM's WRDI was developed for RFID device manufacturers who need an embedded open-standards based software platform to provide automatic RFID data collection and reporting from remote locations where on-site IT services are not available. Embedded into the IF5 reader, the platform allows the reader to route data to an IBM RFID WebSphere Premises Server, as well as control RFID printers, such as the Intermec PM4i. Also integrated into the WRDI framework is IBM's WebSphere Everyplace Device Manager, which provides connectivity to the IBM Tivoli Systems Management suite to enable centralised device management and the ability to download new RFID applications or device software updates to readers installed in remote locations.
IBM's software makes radio tagging a strategic business function, helping RFID go beyond simply exchanging or managing the flow of data. WRDI extracts value from the captured information and can potentially convert that information into an electronic service that can help perform strategic functions. For example, the software can move product or operational information into systems that analyse trends in the supply chain that shed light on a company's efficiency or sales trends. As a result, RFID network administrators possess the ability to gain instant and enhanced visibility into RFID-tagged pallets and products. That information then can be shared across an integrated retail or consumer supply chain, leading to greater control of inventory levels, reduced network traffic and, potentially, an overall reduction in system and management costs.
"This new offering with Intermec is the latest example of IBM's continued commitment to partner with the world's leading providers of RFID hardware solutions and to foster the adoption of RFID technologies worldwide," said Robert Mayberry, vice president of sensor and actuator solutions, IBM. "The creation of intelligent readers that are able to optimise the benefits of industry-leading, open-standard middleware solutions will provide companies a lens into their supply chain never seen before."