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Reva Releases Reader Management Device

Reva Systems this week unveiled its first product, the Tag Acquisition Processor (TAP). Designed to assuage the persistent complexity and high cost of today's deployments, the TAP is a rack-mountable device that allows the management of RFID readers across a facility.
Oct 20, 2005This article was originally published by RFID Update.

October 20, 2005—Reva Systems of Chelmsford, Massachusetts, this week unveiled its first product, the Tag Acquisition Processor (TAP). Designed to assuage the persistent complexity and high cost of today's deployments, the TAP is a 1U, rack-mountable device that allows the management of RFID readers across a facility. RFID Update spoke with Reva CEO and co-founder Ashley Stephenson about the new product.

According to Stephenson, the TAP is a key component of the Tag Acquisition Network (TAN) RFID architecture vision which the company has been touting since it came out of stealth mode in June. The TAN is modeled after today's common computing networks, to which devices like computers, servers, printers, and routers can be seamlessly added as necessary. Such networks are reliable, scalable, and rapidly repeatable in a way that the RFID implementations of today are certainly not. After 18 months of speaking with companies deploying RFID, Stephenson said Reva has heard repeatedly that RFID will eventually be integrated as just another component of the greater network. In the long term, "they don't think of RFID as a silo of servers," he said.

With a TAP sitting on an enterprise network, RFID readers can be added and removed quickly and seamlessly, in the plug-and-play manner of today's corporate networks. Thus, the laborious task of adding read points is vastly simplified and deployments can happen "in a matter of days, not months."

According to the Reva literature, the TAP also offers the following:
  • optimal usage of available RF spectrum
  • seamless data integration with enterprise applications
  • powerful management console for configuration, commissioning, and monitoring of RFID systems
The device is available for shipment now, with a $9,995 list price. Hewlett Packard and Accenture have both deployed it in their RFID centers, and it has been tested for interoperability with SAP, TIBCO, and SeeBeyond.

When asked about how the idea for the Tag Acquisition Network was conceived, Stephenson cited his and fellow co-founder David Husak's experience in the networking industry. Much of the output in RFID has been driven primarily by hardware- and, to a lesser extent, software-minded people. Owing to this and to the RFID industry's relative immaturity, the capacity for scalable and rapidly repeatable RFID infrastructure networks had not yet gained traction, even though the model is not a new one. Thus Stephenson and Husak founded Reva, now 25 employees strong, "specifically to address the RFID infrastructure opportunity" using the principles and experience earned from years in the networking industry. It will be interesting to see how their approach is received by the market.

Read the TAP announcement
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