Thursday, June 19, 2008

Can Wi-Fi Push RFID Into The Mainstream?

WiFi RFID tags offer an easy solution for Physical World Connection.

From Wi-Fi Planet Tuning InTo RFID And Wi-Fiaeroscout

According to AeroScout director of marketing Josh Slobin, Wi-Fi is poised to finally push RFID into the mainstream

AeroScout has several hundred installations around the world, and has deployed hundreds of thousands of tags, the miniature devices that send out radio beacons used by active RFID tracking systems to determine their location.

IT managers understand now that they can leverage their existing Wi-Fi networks,” Gabi Daniely says.

“They’re justifying deployment [of RFID] based on the fact that they can use the infrastructure they already have in place—versus having to put in a separate overlay network.”

They can achieve the same result [with Wi-Fi] at half the cost [of other RFID solutions] and in half the time,” says Slobin.

Asset tracking for now continues to be the killer app. The technology is used everywhere from mines to hospitals to schools, to track the whereabouts of everything from laptops to giant front-end loaders to wandering Alzheimer patients.

Multiple Wi-Fi access points receive a beacon from the RFID tag and relay information about it to a server that calculates location based on a couple of methods—the strength of the signal as received (Received Signal Strength Indication or RSSI) and the time the signal arrived at different APs (Time Difference of Arrival or TDOA)

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