The reader automates the process to route and manage incoming data from radio frequency identification labels. "Some of the data filtering that typically is done on a controller or the server can be done at the reader," Ann Breidenbach, Director, Sensor & Actuator Solutions Product Line Management & Strategy, IBM. "For companies implementing RFID readers, they can do a lot of work that had been done in a more costly devise at the reader."
Filtering data at the readers means the device can identify incomplete or duplicate information and filter the data, so cleaner information is sent to the servers. The smart readers have processing capabilities. IBM provides an embedded software stack that has a J2EE engine and database message broker and RFID filtering technology to give the reader processing power it didn't have prior.
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 centralized device management and the ability to download new RFID applications or device software updates to readers installed in remote locations.
Much of the data filtering historically has been done by the controller or server. This saves the server processing power for a more complex task such as "print, verify and ship or three way match," Breidenbach said.
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.
Intermec isn't the first manufacturer to embed WebSphere RFID Device Infrastructure into an RFID reader. In August, Alien Technology Corp. integrated IBM's WebSphere RFID Device Infrastructure middleware into its Alien ALR-9800 RFID Reader.
Alien also announced it would offer customers a version of the ALR-9800 that incorporates IBM's WRDI middleware that enables the integration of RFID data with IBM platform-based systems and enterprise business processes. IBM also is working with other top reader manufacturers as well.