Photos: Inside Big Blue's new RFID centre

Photos: Inside Big Blue's new RFID centre

Summary: Dublin campus takes a craic at track and trace...

TOPICS: Networking

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  • One typical example of machine-reading environment is a conveyor belt, with RFID readers built into a structure housing the belt itself.

    The equipment on display can read around 40 tags per second, meaning a box such as this can have its contents scanned almost instantaneously. Once the unique tags on the codes are read, they are checked against a database containing product details. Information can then be recorded and displayed instantly on a PC or handheld.

    Technology such as this is already in use in the retail sector, in warehouses or distribution centres.

    Retail is set to be one of the biggest users of RFID for some time to come according to recent research. The retail/consumer goods industry has spent $230m on equipping pallets and cases with RFID.

    Photo credit: Jo Best

  • Big Blue likes to "eat is own cooking", according to execs.

    This is an RFID 'portal', which contains a number of RFID readers; seven of which are used by IBM on the Dublin campus.

    In the Irish centre, IBM staff carry laptops with an RFID chipped bar attached. When they enter or leave the building - walking under a portal like this one - or when laptops are moved around the campus, IBM can check exactly where its equipment has ended up.

    Using this system, RFID-chipped devices can typically be located to within a distance of between three and five metres, although greater degrees of accuracy are possible.

    Photo credit: Jo Best

  • The coming and going of the laptops and their owners can then be displayed on a PC, to help bosses track costly assets.

    IBM is already in talks with one PC manufacturer about integrating chips into the casing of laptops to help prevent theft and relocate misplaced equipment.

    Photo credit: Jo Best

Topic: Networking

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