If a connected network fails, software within the reader can collect, buffer, and store more than 10,000 files, the typical amount of information an RFID reader collects in a day of operation, says Randy Dunn, national sales and marking director for RFID at ADT, a Tyco Fire & Security division. When developing the new reader, ADT sought feedback from customers such as retailer Tesco plc.
With currently available readers, middleware within a connected network is typically required to tell a reader when and how long it needs to listen for an RFID tag's radio-frequency signal before reading the transmitted information. That can be a problem. "There are many companies, especially in Europe, that don't have continual network connectivity," Dunn says.
The upcoming ADT reader will communicate with the network to ensure the safe passage of data. When restored, a network will send an acknowledgment to the reader that it's received the stored data and routed it to the appropriate destinations. A confirmation signal is sent from the reader to the network and back again to guarantee the data has reached its destinations before the reader erases its buffers.
Other features include a second logical port from the reader to the middleware that separates the management data from the product data. This reduces latency in the network. Says Dunn, "Slowing the supply chain even milliseconds matters when you have a highly choreographed network."