Integrators will like today’s RFID readers since they are capable of working with existing access systems. Reader communications include Wiegand or RS-232 interfacing, and multidrop RS-422, Ethernet, and TCP/IP networks. This allows readers to be dropped into an existing facility network. Middleware software packages are available from outfits like Cetani and Ncontrol that offer advanced features found with PRAT RFID systems. Readers can be strategically staggered at chokepoints, adjusted to a small detection range, thereby allowing for detection of direction of hands-free tag movement in/out (zones A/B, B/A) of the access portal.
Multifunction active RFID tags allow for increased security performance (see photo). In addition to detection of location and movement of assets in a facility, these tags may also include features such as duress buttons, biometric readers, motion detection, and personnel tags/badges with built-in passive RFID credential chips like HID Prox, iClass, MIFARE, and DESFire.
While tag features are impressive, remember the words of RFID industry veteran Pete Martin, president of 1st Choice Security Solutions Inc.: “Tags do not enable RFID solutions to work … it is the readers that enable the solutions. So be careful about making decisions based only on tags as so many people do. And then they find out that the readers cannot do what they wanted during the ‘pilot’ or test process. It is better to pick the reader that can solve your problem, and then look for tags that can work with that reader.”
Tech Talk Tool Tip
RFID systems rely on many hand-selected components from a variety of reliable vendors. This is especially true as your systems get larger, and this is why I have selected a complementary and indispensable communications product line from an old favorite company of mine, Cypress Computer Systems.
In keeping with this month’s theme, I have selected the firm’s wireless mesh active RFID system, featuring the new 6000 Series. This system allows for fewer head-end components (than the 5000 Series) for limited installation areas in those guard shacks. If you have not used Cypress extender systems yet you are missing a real treat. Cypress has been a favorite pick of mine for years.
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