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Tagsys Launches RFID Infrastructure Software

The platform, called e-connectware, is designed to enable end users to manage their HF UHF RFID interrogators centrally.
By Mary Catherine O'Connor
Feb 27, 2007RFID systems provider Tagsys, has announced an RFID infrastructure management software platform, called e-connectware, designed to enable end users to manage their high-frequency (HF) ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) RFID interrogators centrally.

Tagsys has announced the release of the first offering of the e-connectware platform, called Essentials, which provides management and monitoring of Tagsys HF and HF/UHF dual-frequency readers locally, at the facility where the readers are deployed. The subsequent levels, called Enterprise and Global, will be ready in June and by year's end, respectively.


Elie Simon
With the Enterprise offering, end users will be able to monitor and control Tagsys readers remotely through an open, distributed-network model, rather than a traditional client-server model, explains Elie Simon, Tagsys CEO. A distributed network is one in which computer processing is shared by different elements across the network, instead of at central sites, as with a client-server architecture. With the distributed model, the software infrastructure can be embedded in cheap smart devices (gateway or smart readers), instead of servers, allowing such a network to scale up at a greater rate at a far lower cost than client-server.

With e-connectware's distributed-network architecture, a user can manage up to 10,000 nodes, or individual readers, he adds. With the Global edition of the software, users will also be able to monitor, manage and troubleshoot a mixed population of HF and UHF readers, including those made by other select manufacturers. Users will employ the e-connectware's Web interface to upload firmware upgrades for the various readers, says Simon.

"In order to manage an always-on RFID system, we needed to develop an architecture for a multifrequency play," says Simon. "A hospital, for example, might use different RFID systems for asset tracking, patient and employee tracking, and garment [laundry] tracking." An asset-tracking application might use UHF active tags, while a patient or employee tracking one might be HF or UHF, while garment applications are generally HF.

Tagsys makes HF tags and readers, and launched its AK family of EPC Gen 2 UHF tags last year (see Tagsys Sows Kernel for Item Tagging). It also sells UHF readers embedded in its dual-frequency systems (see Tagsys Debuts HF/UHF Reader for Retailers) and expects to offer a complete line of UHF readers in the future. The company designs its products for industry-specific solutions, including durable tags meant to be embedded into uniforms and other garments, and tunnel readers for tracking the garments through laundry systems. Tagsys also sells HF tag and reader systems designed for item-level tagging of pharmaceutical products. But at least one of its pharmaceutical customers is also using UHF tag for case and pallet tracking, so it needs an RFID interrogator management system that supports multiple frequencies and protocols.

Simon says a number of Tagsys' current hardware customers are testing the e-connectware Essentials product now, including France's Bibliothèque du Sénat (the Library of the French Senate), which is using the software to manage and control its network of Tagsys readers used to encode and read Tagsys' HF tags for tracking books and other library media.

Pricing for e-connectware was not released, but the software will be licensed in accordance with the number of customer sites that will use it, and includes unlimited reader support for each deployment.
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