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IAnywhere revamps RFID software

RFID Anywhere 3.0 announced

IAnywhere Solutions has launched version 3.0 of its RFID Anywhere software. IAnywhere has added support for a wider range of sensor technologies and location-tracking capabilities to its sensor-management software, the company announced today.

The previous versions of RFID Anywhere allowed customers to collect data from RFID (radio frequency identification) tags, create reports with that data and integrate the data with other enterprise applications. With the latest version of the software platform, companies can collect more data into a single reporting and tracking system, including location and environmental information from a variety of technologies including active RFID, passive RFID, RTLS (Real Time Location System) and barcodes.

Previously, customers using a variety of sensor and tracking mechanisms would use separate management software tools to monitor each technology, said Martyn Mallick, director of RFID and mobile solutions for iAnywhere.

Passive RFID is the technology used by Wal-Mart and other retailers to track products or pallets of products as they move through the distribution system. Active RFID chips can hold more data and can be read from a greater distance.

RTLS is used primarily to track and find items, such as computers or medical equipment. RTLS sensors often communicate with Wi-Fi networks.

RFID Anywhere 3.0 users can also collect environmental data. Some active RFID tags now include light, temperature and humidity sensors, Mallick said. By collecting that data along with tracking and location information, users can make better business decisions, he said.

For example, a produce shipper can decide to send a load of lettuce that has been exposed to above-optimum temperatures to a local retailer where it can be bought and consumed quickly, rather than send it across the country, potentially taking days for it to reach store shelves.

RFID Anywhere 3.0 is integrated with existing RTLS location and active RFID systems, collecting data from software from Ekahau, AeroScout, RF Code and others.

Collecting information from thousands of tags can produce an overwhelming amount of data, but RFID Anywhere allows users to set parameters to help control the flow. "The most important thing we recommend really to customers is that not all the data is valuable," Mallick said. "Typically 75 percent to 80 percent of data can be filtered out because it's not of value."

Some data may be useful for only one or two days, after which it can be deleted. Other data doesn't actually need to be collected. For example, if a product is sitting on a shelf, its sensor doesn't need to repeatedly send data saying that it hasn't moved. The sensor reader can instead be programmed to send data only once the product moves, he said.

RFID Anywhere 3.0 will become available later this month. Customers can deploy the software in as many sites as they want, paying based on how many data collection devices are connected to the network.

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