By Steve Halliday, RAIN Alliance President
The question was: How do you know if a reader is working properly?
This question sparked an idea. An industry-first idea to answer that question. We began by trying to find a set of RAIN test tags to test reader functionality…but we didn’t find anything like this available to get this important job done.
So, led by the RAIN Alliance Technical Workgroup, we made our own set of RAIN test tags and we knew we had something special when members that had used the original set of RAIN test tags asked to keep them.
So we made more.
Together with the RAIN Alliance Technical Workgroup we now have a generally available set of RAIN tags to test how our members’ RAIN readers and systems interpret information encoded on tags for permanent purchase. These test tags are designed for members’ personal use to help determine if their RAIN equipment and systems are accurately interpreting the data on tags and reporting the tag data to their readers and systems correctly.
The Kit: Cheap At $500 for 12 Test Tags
Each RAIN Reader and System Test Tag kit comes with twelve unique test tags and sells for $500 USD. Six tags focus on mandatory features supported by standard protocols, and the remaining six tags are designed to test optional features of protocol, including untraceability, crypto, and sensors. More details on the suggested tests using test tags can be read in this document.
While all data on the test tags has been encoded correctly, there are no guarantees as to the validity of the data, as other variables, including reader quality, can come into play. However, these tags will allow users to determine whether their reader or system manufacturer is correctly interpreting data on their tags. Prior to offering our RAIN RFID test tags, for most companies, there was no way to test how and if their readers were interpreting the data correctly.
With the purchase of these test tags, users can directly test the effectiveness of their tag applications in their respective industries. Manufacturer-supplied Reader Demo apps provide the basics for RAIN RFID users to help understand the technology. The test tags help a manufacturer to be sure that their app is correctly interpreting the data. Through having a set of test tags in-house, each user can test to see if and how their readers are operating.
Use the Tags. Send Your Results! We encourage feedback! If you’d like to provide your results or comments, please email Steve Halliday at [email protected].