Some of you may have read the interview I did in October 2007 with Paul Chartier of Convergent Software (Bagging Handling Applications get an RFID Simulator and Diagnostic tool). Well Convergent Software has just announced a new demonstrator but this time for libraries.
RFID in libraries is not new. As I said in an older paper (2006) "The driver for today's libraries to adopt RFID is the need to increase efficiency and reduce cost. Automation and self-service can help libraries of all sizes toward achieving these aims, and RFID has the added advantage that it can also provide security for the range of different media on offer in libraries." So if RFID in Libraries is not new what is changing?
Well in May 2008, the ISO committee responsible for library standards when it approved a draft for international ballot. The proposed standard ISO 28560-2 Information and documentation - Data model for use of radio frequency identifier (RFID) in libraries - Part 2: Encoding based on ISO/IEC 15962 specifies a set of mandatory and optional data elements that may be encoded on an RFID tag in a highly flexible manner.
Chartier explained the coding to me as "The encoding scheme is highly flexible and allows the user—typically the library management—to select which optional data elements are relevant for the RFID tag. The data elements can also be re-organised into a sequence that is appropriate for the particular library. Each tag does not need to encode the same data elements, so for example sets of loan items can carry different information from single items." As the standards has been ratified yet, what Convergent Software are offering free is a demonstrator that provides a template to which prospective users of ISO 28560-2 can input real data to gain a better understanding of the flexibility that the new standard brings. Once the data is entered and submitted to Convergent Software's central processor, a detailed encoding report is produced and e-mailed back to the sender free-of-charge.
Who are Convergent Software? The company works at the leading edge of developing encoding and decoding software for RFID applications. Its directors have over 30 years experience with AIDC technology and computing. Convergent Software is currently working with partners on developing encoding simulators, diagnostic software, and component tool sets for RFID systems.
Here we have another innovative UK company developing practical technology to solve business problems in the current industries. It is great to be British!!