How Can I Access the Security Bit on a Passive UHF RFID Tag?

By RFID Journal

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Ask The ExpertsHow Can I Access the Security Bit on a Passive UHF RFID Tag?
RFID Journal Staff asked 5 years ago

I plan to create a software tool for library use. We currently have RFID tags in our library, and my aim is to create software to serve as a tool for librarians to secure and unsecure tags. I am looking for maybe an open-source software suite that can do that. Do you know how I might achieve this goal?

—Eliseo

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Eliseo,

Are you sure the RFID tags in your library are passive ultrahigh-frequency (UHF)? Most libraries use passive high-frequency (HF), which are different and have different software.

If your tags are passive UHF tags, most have memory blocks that can be written to by a user. You could simply use the software that comes with the reader to write a 1 in User Memory Block One to indicate that a book has been checked out and is, therefore, okay to go through exit gates. You could write a 0 in User Memory Block One to indicate the book has not been checked out. If readers at the gate detected a 0 in User Memory Block One, the system would sound an alert. You would not need any open-source software to do this. The software that comes with the reader should allow you to do this.

If you are looking for open-source software to manage the tag readers and update your library’s database, there are a number of options available. Researchers at the Auto-ID Labs have created open-source middleware known as Fosstrak that performs some filtering and allows users to store data in an EPC Information Service (EPCIS) database (see Open-Source EPCIS Catching On).

AspireRFID is an open-source RFID middleware project launched during the second half of 2008 by the OW2 Consortium, an independent industry community dedicated to developing open-source-code middleware, and a European research project known as ASPIRE, co-funded by the European Commission (see AspireRFID Can Lower Deployment Costs).

The Auto-ID Lab at ETH Zurich/University St. Gallen, in Switzerland, has developed an open-source RFID prototyping platform called Accada, designed to enable end users, systems integrators and researchers to experiment with EPCglobal network protocols to develop new applications. The Accada platform includes a reader software module that can run on a passive UHF RFID reader that employs the EPC standard (see Auto-ID Lab Releases Accada RFID Prototyping Platform).

Finally, RFID software firm Transcends offers an open-source middleware platform know as Rifidi that is free to download and use. The middleware collects data from EPC readers, filters that information and delivers it to systems that employ the data for business processes. The middleware works not only with RFID interrogators, but also with bar-code scanners, sensors and other hardware, such as cameras (see Transcends Releases New Version of Open-Source RFID Middleware).

—Mark Roberti, Founder and Editor, RFID Journal

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