Series: Theory in Practice (O'Reilly)
Paperback: 278 pages
Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1 edition (January 29, 2006)
Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.7 x 9.2 inches
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Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
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Wanting to get smarter about Radio Frequency Identification (RFID), I welcomed the opportunity to read some new titles on the topic. I started reading the first of these, RFID Essentials by Bill Glover and Himanshu Bhatt (2006, O'Reilly, 276 Pages, ISBN 0596009445), not knowing what to expect. What I walked away with was not only a high level understanding of the technical aspects of RFID, but also an excellent discussion of the compliance, governance, privacy and security issues that surround its expanded growth and use. If there is a title that truly matches its content, this would be it.The authors write that they undertook this book because there was no title like it on the market: a book that could target readers in between senior management and electrical engineers. As the child of an old-school software engineer with minimal knowledge on the topic, I was eager to accept this as their goal.The book begins with an introduction to RFID. In doing this, they break down the use of the technology into distinct eras, with the compliance era being the current time frame. Tracking back to the post-war 1940's, they walk through an overview of how RFID came to be with the birth of transistors. Fast-forwarding to the compliance era, driven by vendors such as Wal-Mart, they seek to explain how most RFID-based activities meet up with traditional compliance projects, with the emphasis being on meeting requirements with the lowest total cost of ownership (TCO). They then look at the "could be" as RFID-enabled enterprises come on line. They look at the various RFID application types, considerations for each of these types, and implementation of these types. They conclude this chapter wit an outline of the challenges, as well as some RFID adoption guidelines.
As I began to read this book, published in 2006, I was again reminded of an incident when one of Albert Einstein's colleagues at Princeton playfully chided him for asking the same questions every year on his final examination. "Quite true. Each year, the answers are different." The same can be true of the "essentials" on which Bill Glover and Himanshu Bhatt focus. They remain the same after almost a decade. Indeed, according to my Wiki source, they have been essentially the same since Mario Cardullo's device was patented on January 23, 1973, "the first true ancestor of modern RFID, as it was a passive radio transponder with memory. The initial device was passive, powered by the interrogating signal, and was demonstrated in 1971 to the New York Port Authority and other potential users and consisted of a transponder with 16 bit memory for use as a toll device. The basic Cardullo patent covers the use of RF, sound and light as transmission media." However, in recent years, the nature and extent of potential applications and consequent benefits have increased far beyond anything he could possibly have imagined.As Glover and Bhatt explain, their book "is for developers who need to get that first RFID prototype out the door; systems architects who need to understand the major element6s in an RFID system; and project managers who need to divide work, set goals, and understand vendor proposals. [I presume to include residents of the C-suite who are called upon to allocate resources to proposed RFID initiatives.] Students and instructors should find enough detail here to use this book as a supplementary text for a study of RFID.
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