Smart RFID Readers
While there’s no such thing as a “dumb” RFID reader, some readers are “smarter” than others. “Smart” RFID readers are capable of supporting business intelligence within the reader. While some readers claim to be smart because of an additional microprocessor outside of the RFID electronics, a true smart RFID reader should have the capability to host robust applications that enable smart capabilities directly from the reader.
A true smart RFID reader can handle mission-critical applications, such as:
Process Control Applications for Transaction Processing
Many applications require a high amount of transactions-per-second, so the RFID readers are expected to communicate with multiple tags simultaneously, but also react with incoming data and process transactions. An example of this type of application would be at a security checkpoint.
Data Storage Applications
In many industrial applications, or harsh environments, the network is inherently poor, so it’s important that smart readers have the capability to store and forward data at specified intervals. In addition, a smart reader could be used for a fully closer-loop application, without the need to connect the reader to the enterprise network, making it cost effective and virtually eliminating security concerns. An example of this type of application would be at a ski resort, which may require the data storage and forwarding capabilities of a smart reader due to the unreliable outdoor network.
Scalable Reader Deployments
Smart readers also have the capability of hosting applications, allowing customers to deploy RFID technology without a middleware computer or separate device for each reader. A smart reader can serve as a processing hub for “dumb” readers taht do not have processing capabilities. An example of this type of application would be at a post office that requires edge processing, but also wants to reduce the overall deployment cost for a large number of readers per site.
While no RFID reader is truly “dumb” a smart RFID reader can be used to solve mission critical requirements, improving the ROI of RFID.