Intelligent Machines

RFID Relief

Software that should make it easier for small businesses to adopt radio frequency ID technology – without breaking the bank – is being readied for release by Dallas, TX, startup AirGate Technologies. The latest RFID tags can store product details that let companies track items from factory to warehouse to retail shelf; large organizations like Wal-Mart and the U.S. Department of Defense are rapidly implementing the technology and dragging their suppliers along with them. The problem, says AirGate CEO Michael Sheriff, is that many smaller companies that own multiple brands of RFID readers – one at the warehouse doors, another in the product-label printers, and so forth – and use multiple systems for storing product information can’t afford custom software to link them all together. AirGate’s one-size-fits-all software, to be unveiled next spring, acts like a universal translator. It’s the first system that can take data from any RFID reader and present it intelligibly on a simple Web page or dump it into a database program.

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