Symbol Technologies, IBM Ally to Harvest Intelligent RFID Data

Embedding WebSphere infrastructure into fixed radio frequency ID readers to automate routing of incoming data from RFID tags

Embedding WebSphere infrastructure into fixed radio frequency ID readers to automate routing of incoming data from RFID tags

Armonk, NY ? March 14, 2006 ? Auto-ID specialist Symbol Technologies will embed IBM's WebSphere RFID Device Infrastructure (WRDI) on the Symbol XR Series of fixed radio frequency identification readers, creating an "intelligent" RFID reader designed to automate the process of routing and managing incoming data from RFID tags, even from remote locations, the two companies have announced.

The WRDI capabilities leverage application hosting on Symbol's XR Series RFID readers to deliver capabilities such as on-demand decision-making and reduced network traffic by filtering redundancies and sending only pertinent information to a company's application server, Symbol said. WRDI provides Symbol's XR Series RFID readers with a platform to integrate and reconcile RFID information with data used in other areas of a business.

Additionally, WRDI supports the Control I/O on Symbol's XR Series RFID readers to create solutions using other devices, such as motion sensors and lights, to activate business processes in their supply and logistics chains, according to Symbol.

The "Real Value" of RFID

"The real value of RFID is in the data collected, filtered and analyzed at the point of business activity," said Anthony Bartolo, vice president and general manager of Symbol's RFID and Wireless Infrastructure Divisions. "By combining IBM's software with Symbol's XR Series RFID readers, we can deliver valuable business intelligence out to managers on the front line."

IBM's WRDI software was developed to meet the demand for an embedded open standards-based software platform to provide automatic RFID data collection and reporting from remote locations where onsite IT services are not available. Embedded into Symbol's XR Series readers, the platform allows the reader to route data to an IBM RFID WebSphere Premises Server.

Creating a "Strategic Business Function"

According to Symbol, IBM's software makes "radio tagging" a strategic business function to help RFID grow 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, the solution provider said.

For example, the software can move product or operational information into systems that analyze trends in the supply chain, to identify 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. The information is then 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 systems and management costs.

"The creation of intelligent readers that are able to optimize the benefits of industry-leading, open-standard middleware solutions will provide companies a lens into their supply chain never seen before," said Robert Mayberry, vice president of sensor and actuator solutions at IBM.