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Home News Blog Lifting the fog on fog computing, IoT and RFID
Lifting the fog on fog computing, IoT and RFID
Wednesday, 16 March 2016 14:54

There are a lot of references, and hype, about the Internet of Things (IoT). Cisco has predicted there will be 20 billion connected devices, while Intel puts the number at 200 billion. In the most touted visions of IoT, items are intelligent, uniquely identified and connected to a network that can provide remote monitoring and take proactive action. Examples include the popular Nest thermostat that senses when to turn up the heat, or the proverbial smart fridge that will order milk when you’re running low – which is an application that has been talked about since the early 2000s but hasn’t driven the pen-and-paper shopping list to extinction.

You can see why there is some intersection between IoT and RFID technologies. RFID uniquely identifies items, gives them intelligence and uses readers that can be networked to share the data with systems anywhere in the world. The big difference is that each RFID tag doesn’t have its own IP address, which can serve as both the unique identifier and the network connection. RFID has much more flexible memory, so the unique ID can be serialized while also allowing other data to be encoded, and updated. Another big difference is that tags do not require their own IP connections to share data on a network, they simply have to be read, and the reader will provide the link to the Internet and beyond.

Because no direct connection is required, RFID enables the Internet of Things to include a lot more things. The Internet of Things can exist wherever you can produce an RFID read field. That brings RFID into the realm of fog computing, which is Cisco’s vision for a more refined, defined IoT. Fog is nothing new to us in Silicon Valley near San Francisco, but this fog is special. Cisco’s first principle for fog computing is that data is collected at the edge of operations.

Why does this matter? Because the IoT is real. AWID has seen many examples of companies that are collectively investing billions to develop and use IoT technologies. Significantly, the investment and interest isn’t only coming from giant tech vendors like Cisco, Intel and IBM that will push these solutions to markets. There are investments and projects happening on the demand side. Self-ordering milk isn’t the main focus either. Companies want to use IoT, RFID and fog computing to monitor and maintain rail cars, oil rigs and other remote assets, track the progress and chain-of-custody of goods in the supply chain, optimize industrial processes, and more. That’s where AWID’s embedded RFID read/write modules, antennas and full reader systems can help.

We hope this post helped lift the fog for how RFID fits into the Internet of Things. Contact us to continue the conversation.

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