RFID for the REST of us!

In our second talk at IoT 2010 we presented a project we kept warm (and working on) for a little while now: bringing RFID to the Web. Not RFID in the sense of small RFID readers like the nice phidget reader meant for prototyping, but the world of standardized RFID networks and in particular the EPC (Electronic Product Code) Network and its EPCIS (Information Service).

The Electronic Product Code Information Service (EPCIS) is a standard which defines interfaces enabling RFID events to be captured and queried. The query interface, implemented with WS-* Web services, enables business applications to consume and share data within and across companies, to form a global network of independent EPCIS instances. However, the interface limits the application space to the rather powerful platforms which understand WS-* Web services.

In the EPCIS-Webadapter (aka. REST-Adapter) project, we propose seamlessly integrating this network into the Web by designing a RESTful (REpresentational State Transfer) architecture for the EPCIS. Using this approach, each query, tagged object, location or RFID reader gets a unique URL that can be linked to, exchanged in emails, browsed for, bookmarked, etc. Additionally, this paradigm shift allows Web languages like HTML and JavaScript to directly use RFID data to fast-prototype light-weight applications such as mobile applications or Web mashups. We illustrate these benefits with a JavaScript mashup platform that integrates several services on the Web (e.g., Twitter, Wikipedia, etc.) with RFID data to allow managers along the supply chain and customers to get comprehensive data about their products.

Architecture of the EPCIS-Webadapter

You’ll find the paper (btw, IoT 2010 best paper award nominee) here the slides below as well as the project description, source code, and live demo on our new “projects” page. As I moved to the MIT Auto-ID labs to work on this project for about 6 month, there will be more coming, stay tuned!

(btw, thanks to Vipul from Oracle Labs, for coming up with the nice title of this post :-))

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