Sun Fires Salvo At Microsoft, IBM RFID Initiatives
Sun recently announced a new version of its Java-based software, RFID ME, for RFID readers.
Forget about external RFID middleware. Sun’s RFID Java Micro Edition takes the filtering and processing of RFID data to the edges of the network.
The RFID ME software installs on RFID readers, where it makes contact with the numerous RFID tags present in a business. Instead of being a conduit for the information gathered from those tags, the reader itself processes the information.
The intent will be to minimize network impact and congestion that could result from a large influx of RFID data. But reports from trials conducted by the likes of IBM for METRO Group haven’t discussed any problems like that.
RFID is a booming market. Large companies and governments worldwide are expected to spend $6 billion on RFID hardware, software and services by 2010, according to Datamonitor. Additionally, Venture Development Corporation says the device market alone will be worth $700 million in 2005.
Wal-Mart, the world’s largest retailer, has widely implemented RFID through its supply chain. Its impact has been great enough to drive its vendors to adopt RFID technology.
At the Java One Developers Conference, Sun presenters discussed further potential uses of RFID in an enterprise. A tag might be able to relay its physical location, useful in a warehouse should an item become misplaced.
Or, it could relay its temperature, warning administrators if a critical item becomes too hot or cold.
David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business. Email him here.