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iAnywhere Announces New Software, First Customer

Sybase subsidiary iAnywhere announced the release of RFID Anywhere Appliance Edition (AE), a version of its RFID Anywhere software that runs on edge devices like RFID readers. iAnywhere also announced reader manufacturer AWID as the first customer of the software.
Jan 30, 2006This article was originally published by RFID Update.

January 30, 2006—At the annual RFID ROI Summit which opened today in London, Sybase subsidiary iAnywhere announced the release of RFID Anywhere Appliance Edition (AE), a version of its RFID Anywhere offering that runs on edge devices like RFID readers. In addition to the product release itself, the company announced a partnership with RFID reader manufacturer AWID whereby RFID Anywhere AE will be embedded on a new line of AWID readers slated for release later this quarter. RFID Update spoke with Martyn Mallick, iAnywhere's director of product management, about the announcements.

The RFID Anywhere Appliance Edition is essentially software that adds a host of features to RFID readers, "making devices incredibly intelligent," said Mallick. Programability, remote management and upgrade capabilities, enhanced security, and multi-protocol support are among the key features of RFID Anywhere AE. Programability allows engineers to add logic to reader devices that filters and "smooths" RFID data before it is sent over the network, cutting down on network traffic by transmitting only select information. Remote management offers centralized, web-based administration of an entire network of readers, facilitating quick upgrades and restores. The multi-protocol support provides a "very standardized way for appliances running Appliance Edition to feed data back into the enterprise," according to Mallick. And security, of course, protects against the threat of hackers.

RFID Anywhere AE is sold under a typical OEM agreement, whereby RFID reader and device manufacturers buy the software from iAnywhere and embed it in their products. The reader is thus already equipped with software when sold to the customer, much like most personal computers today come loaded with Microsoft Windows. Such an arrangement is good for reader manufacturers, according to Mallick. "The challenge for reader vendors," he said, "is how to devote resources to reader software development when software is not really their primary business." Using iAnywhere's offering allows these manufacturers to focus on their hardware core competencies while still cost effectively adding advanced functionality to their readers.

AWID is just such an example. The partnership with iAnywhere will allow the company to greatly increase the functionality of its low-cost RFID readers. The first customer for RFID Anywhere AE, AWID will release the AE-equipped MPR 3014 CE readers sometime this quarter. According to Mallick, the software is a win-win opportunity for AWID, who will continue offering its readers at industry-leading prices, but now with the functionality historically only available in pricier readers.
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