ETS: RFID and X Internet Technovista
The Extended Internet is a set of technologies around identity, location, and status. Competition, customers and compliance are driving companies to adopt X Internet technologies, particularly RFID, which provides identity and location. However, you need additional technology for the comprehensive picture.
Tags are only a small part of the total system cost. Big factors are process change, system architecture, and back-end integration. There was also some stuff on hype v. reality that was nothing new to us.
There is an audience eval of all presenters afterwords on the innovativeness of the product, the business value, and the presentation itself. I'll indicate those scores with an I, B and P, respectively.
The first company up was Brooks Software. Their gig is real-time business analytics based on RFID gathered info. They focus on temporal data. Their goal is to enable pro-active action. The improvement value of RFID is in the process change it can enable. They just had slides -- no demo -- which is pretty lame. I=3, B=4, P=2
RF Code is an RFID management framework that runs on MS and Unix. There goal is to push intelligence to the edge so you have less, but more meaningful, data heading upstream. They have an appliance which is a data router and a network profiler. The showed an amusement park tracking system that was pretty cool - here's the shortest path to your missing family member. I=4, B=4.5, P=4.
Savi Networks was somewhat similar to RF Code. They demo'd an application for helping soldier's find a needed good on pallets in a deployment area. They also showed ticket and order matching -- you are trying to leave the warehouse, but you don't have everything on your order. The military application looked somewhat similar to storm restoration. I=3.6, B=4.1, P=3.5
Panel discussion: RF interference was a big problem throughout the demos, as it is in the real world. Be smart about what you store. Active tags are $10-20, passive tags $0.20 or so. The market expectations are misplaced. You have to deal with the physics. Standards are desperately needed. Greater value comes from feeding real time information to real time BI, and by adding higher order sensors like temperature to the mix.