When a technology is developing as rapidly as radio frequency identification (RFID) with the active participation of a huge range of industry sectors worldwide – from automotive manufacturing to pharmaceutical distribution and fashion retailing – it is not surprising that overlapping and, at times, conflicting standards develop, according to Peter Gabriel, spokesman for a European research project in this area.
RFID needs a coherent international approach to frequency and radio regulation, communication and data standards, network standards, application standards, as well as safety issues. Some areas require European or even global agreements, others simply require an agreed cross-sectoral approach. The complication is that the standards need to develop in parallel with the innovative research.
In such a complicated and multi-layered environment, RFID and the network that will share RFID-generated ‘Electronic Product Code’ data across the internet is developing rather quickly, according to Gabriel of the CE RFID project.
“The establishment of EPCglobal was a major breakthrough,” he says. EPCglobal is an industry-led organisation that is undertaking the establishment of RFID and Electronic Product Code standards. “[It] started just five years ago and they have built a complete system of standardisation documents… much quicker than would have been the case for an ISO standard.”
However, ISO’s reputation means that its stamp of approval is very important to anything EPCglobal develops. Gabriel points to EPCglobal’s ‘Gen 2’ air interface standard (protocols for RFID tag-to-reader interfaces) that received its ISO 18000-6 label. That speedy establishment of the standard provided a bedrock for future development.Coordinating dynamic development
The report draws on the lessons from previous investigations that tackled the same problem: how to ensure the rapid establishment of standards where the range of stakeholders is broad and the technology developing fast.
While European companies are often technology leaders in RFID and EPC, that has not translated to leadership in standards development – a particular interest to the sponsors of this EU-funded report.
The report concludes that fewer and broader standards are needed; a coordinated standardisation roadmap between the main stakeholders (especially EPCglobal and ISO) would ease development; standards should be easier to understand and work with; and regional or even national standards should be avoided where international standards are required.
The time and money European companies need to invest in a wide range of patents to cover their interests in different Member States is one example of how Europe is disadvantaged by its lack of coordination.
Another example in the report is the need for a single European radio regulation authority managing the spectrum. RFID advocates face some powerful rivals in the contest for limited frequencies.
Take UHF in Europe, RFID has only been awarded from 865-868 MHz. In the long run, this limited bandwidth is not sufficient for the expected mass applications. Moreover, the sector lacks the level of radio frequency harmonisation already reached for mobile phones.The opportunity is now!
Some of the frequencies available for RFID in Europe or China have already been awarded to telecoms companies in the USA for their cell-phone networks.
“We will never get a uniform spectrum in UHF,” says Gabriel. “That is not a major problem as all the frequency bands are so close. There will be minor technical problems but nothing the technology providers cannot cope with.”
The next step on the road to the complete RFID-EPC vision will be the EPCglobal internet network. Just as there were a series of air interface standards before the success of ‘Gen 2’, he expects the EPCglobal network will develop in steps.
“There will be first implementations and pilot projects for the great architecture of IT systems that is needed,” he says. “After the first standard, there will need to be a reality check. That will occur in the next one or two years.”
Christian Nielsen | alfa
18.08.2017 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau
AI implications: Engineer's model lays groundwork for machine-learning device
18.08.2017 | Washington University in St. Louis
Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.
As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...
Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.
Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...
For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.
While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...
An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.
The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...
A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.
Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...
16.08.2017 | Event News
04.08.2017 | Event News
26.07.2017 | Event News
18.08.2017 | Life Sciences
18.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
18.08.2017 | Materials Sciences