BT launches scaled-down RFID system

BT has unveiled a new asset tracking and monitoring solution that makes use of radio frequency identification (RFID) tagging, claiming it will remove the barriers of complexity and cost currently holding back widespread adoption of the technology in the UK.

The telco's announcement comes shortly after a report by IDTechEx was published suggesting that the market is on the verge of a boom in RFID active tag investment.

The product, dubbed Auto-ID Lite, is a scaled-down version of a solution already being deploying by a number of businesses across multiple sectors including retail giant Marks and Spencer. The Auto-ID platform combines GPRS with RFID to create a wireless data capture and reporting solution for tracking items in the supply chain.

The Lite version of the technology, which is available as a bespoke solution now and as a packaged product later this year, is suited to use in remote or mobile environments that have power or data constraints, according to BT. It is comprised of a mobile reader that isn't dependant on external power or communications links in addition to a set of active RFID tags. The solution's core components are complemented by consultancy services from BT to help get past any initial deployment teething problems.

"Customers have been asking for a more cost-effective option which will enable them to try out RFID technology. They want to test the business case for RFID in their organisation quickly and easily before deciding to commit significant budget to large-scale projects. Alternatively, in some cases, while businesses are keen to track their moveable assets, the requirement is location specific which may have site integration issues and does not warrant an extensive roll-out," said Tom Williams, BT Auto-ID's chief operating officer.

"Auto-ID Lite will enable companies to explore the benefits of RFID using a comprehensive but simple to implement solution that will enable them to have the right items in the right place at the right time."

Maggie Holland

Maggie has been a journalist since 1999, starting her career as an editorial assistant on then-weekly magazine Computing, before working her way up to senior reporter level. In 2006, just weeks before ITPro was launched, Maggie joined Dennis Publishing as a reporter. Having worked her way up to editor of ITPro, she was appointed group editor of CloudPro and ITPro in April 2012. She became the editorial director and took responsibility for ChannelPro, in 2016.

Her areas of particular interest, aside from cloud, include management and C-level issues, the business value of technology, green and environmental issues and careers to name but a few.