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Open Source RFID Projects to Integrate

RFID applications company Pramari has teamed with the University of Arkansas to offer what the two are calling "a comprehensive open source offering for RFID".
Apr 02, 2007This article was originally published by RFID Update.

April 2, 2007—RFID applications company Pramari has teamed with the University of Arkansas to offer what the two are calling "a comprehensive open source offering for RFID".

Located in Manchester, Connecticut, Pramari is the developer of Rifidi, a piece of software that simulates the existence of RFID readers and tags. According to the company, Rifidi allows end users to assemble and test hypothetical RFID environments without the need to actually invest in the reader, antenna, and tag hardware. The project sprang from the challenge encountered by a few of the core developers who were implementing an RFID system with ten readers. The developers found that even such a relatively modest number of readers made architecting and testing the system surprisingly complex. In March of last year, the team began work on Rifidi to build a software solution that could simulate their system and others like it.

For its part, the University of Arkansas has developed a middleware platform called TagCentric, which collects tag data from a network of RFID readers and deposits it into databases like those from Oracle and MySQL. TagCentric works with a number of popular RFID readers, including models from Alien, Symbol, and ThingMagic, and also supports simulated readers like Rifidi. The software is currently in use at UA's RFID Research Center, the EPCglobal-accredited RFID testing and training facility that produced the high-profile whitepapers documenting the out-of-stock improvements realized by Wal-Mart's implementation of RFID.

Both Rifidi and TagCentric are free and open source, meaning developers have access to the programming code, which they can modify and augment to suit their purposes.

Pramari and UA hope their combined open source efforts will result in a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts. The organizations will integrate their products and their supporting communities in an effort to offer better, more comprehensive RFID software amid rapidly evolving end-user needs and deployments.

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