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Sybase is Pro-Active RFID

Sybase has announced a new version of its RFID Anywhere software that adds location and certain environmental data to the mix of information that can be collected.

RFID Anywhere 3.0 enables users to track assets from traditional passive RFID  , active RFID, real-time locations systems (RTLS), barcode, global positioning and environmental sensors.

New features include the ability to integrate and combine a variety of sensor technologies to locate and track assets. Also, users will now be able to store, query and represent the location of assets graphically or via reports.

There is potential value to companies using Sybase's solution to combine different sensor data, such as temperature and location (e.g. being able to find out if a shipment of produce was exposed to warmer-than-expected temperatures during transport and for how long).

Sybase also said RFID Anywhere 3.0 lets companies access the data collected via Web service applications in a service-oriented architecture .

While more expensive than passive, active RFID tags have their own batteries and transmit on their own.

"We enable the combination of different technologies for different systems, from barcodes up to GPS," Martyn Mallick, director of RFID and mobile solutions for Sybase's iAnywhere, told internetnews.com. "Then we let you bring all the data from those systems into a single repository and reporting system."

In health care, for example, Mallick noted some providers are adopting active RTLS to keep tabs on expensive and crucial medical equipment. "But for things like wheelchairs, where it's more inventory tracking –- how many do we have on the third floor -– you can track them for less."

He estimated standard RFID tags cost less than $1 each, while active tags are closer to $25, and RTLS tags are closer to $50.

Mallick said RFID Anywhere 3.0 plugs into warehouse and other data management systems. In the produce example, an active tag could send an alert when the temperature rises above or below a point that is considered safe.

"It could even talk to the cooling system and adjust it proactively," said Mallick.