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With RFID, IBM boosts the "Internet of things"

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IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced WebSphere Sensor Events, software that will help organizations track the movement of RFID tags (define) through the supply chain and out to the market.

"The software is unique in that it spans the entire spectrum of clients' solution requirements, from capturing information from sensing devices to connecting with systems for analytics, business process management, and managing information technology and physical assets," the company said in a statement.

WebSphere Sensor Events incorporates technology IBM obtained in the acquisition of SOA specialist AptSoft last year, the company said, as well as WebSphere and Tivoli technology. Data can be accessed with IBMs Cognos software and with its smart analytics software. The initiative can use other IBM software assets as well, depending on the specific deployment.

IBM said it expects a variety of verticals to adopt the product, including companies in government, retail, manufacturing, health care, utilities, and transportation that have already adopted RFID. They are building the "Internet of things" which IBM defined as, "a world in which interconnected sensors communicate their identity, inventory, and location, as well as information on environmental conditions such as temperature and humidity."

IBM said that it is using the technology in its own datacenters to track valuable hardware.

Some have expressed concern about RFID in the past, especially with regard to RFID's effect on privacy.

"By 2010, approximately 6 billion of these tags will be in circulation," IBM said.

"Sensors are part of our everyday lives.... In particular, the use of Radio Frequency Identification sensors is growing for the purpose of item tracking and authentication," IBM added.

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