I was in Atlanta a few weeks ago week for a couple of standards events.
First, there was a meeting of ANSI MH10.8. It is a subgroup of the MH10 group whose scope is: "To facilitate freight movement within transportation and distribution systems by providing standards for transport-packages and unit-loads, including their dimensions, definitions, terminology, coding, labeling, and performance criteria; and to represent the United States' interests within the scope of ISO/TC 122".
The MH10.8 subgroup is responsible for "Coding & Labeling of Unit-Loads". This means bar codes for a lot of the work, but there is an increasing amount of RFID in there. The most well-known standard from MH 10.8 is ANSI MH10.8.2 "Data & Application Identifiers" but the group is responsible for many standards, you can see a full list at below. The meeting in Atlanta spent time reviewing the .1, .7, .12 and .13 documents.
The Data Identifiers standards details the various Data Identifiers that you may use in the numbering of a package to better explain the content of the package. The abstract of the standard says: "This standard provides a comprehensive dictionary of MH 10/SC 8 Data Identifiers and GS1 Application Identifiers, provides for the assignment of new Data Identifiers, as required, and provides a document detailing the correlation, or mapping, of Data Identifiers to Application Identifiers, where a correlation exists."
The second meeting this week was the US TAG to ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 31. The US TAG (AIDC 1) is responsible for creating the US positions and responding to ballots that are posted related to the work of SC 31. This means that almost every standard related to AIDC is reviewed by this group and the US opinion is developed and posted to the international community. For the latest work in SC 31 you can visit http://www.understandrfidstandards.com/isoiec-jtc-1sc-31/ . This web site keeps an updated list of all the RFID related work in the committee.
The big items in RF at the moment include a rework of the ISO/IEC 18000-6 standard (air interface standard for 860-960 MHz). This standard was published in late 2010 and is 470 pages long. It includes four different air interface standards and also how to include battery and sensor support for some of the air interfaces. The new standard will divide the original one into sub-parts so that you can get all the information for a single air interface in one standard without the confusion of the others.
Part 63 is the new standard for what was referred to as ISO/IEC 18000-6 Type C (also known as the EPC UHF Gen 2 standard). All of the new sub parts of this document are now in the first stage (CD) ballot. The various parts are:
Other RFID work that is happening in SC 31 at this time includes a re-write of ISO/IEC 18000-7 (active RFID at 433 MHz).
The US TAG reviews every document created by SC 31 and provides input to the work. The annual TAG meeting allows the members to get together to review the work of the TAG as well as review the procedures of the group. This year starts the planning for 2012 when the US will host the Plenary of SC 31.
The final meeting during this week was the AIM RFID Experts Group (REG). This group has identified several work items that they are looking at. The first of these is a methodology to allow the testing of RFID equipment in the healthcare environment. Working with various groups and Universities, the REG is reviewing proposed test procedures for both implantable medical devices (such as pacemakers) and medical devices used in a medical environment.
The second work item is a white paper to describe the best way to implement a numbering system in an RFID tag. The paper will describe the various existing numbering methodologies that exist and recommend ways to get the best system for your project.
ther work items that are just starting include:
If you want to be involved in any of the above work, or would simply like to receive more detailed information, then contact firstname.lastname@example.org
So what do you think the Internet of Things is? Does your understanding label it as a bottle of milk talking to your refrigerator? It's a lot more than that, and that is why companies like IBM, Cisco, and GE are involved in a very big way.
Some people call it M2M (Machine to Machine), others are talking about the Ubiquitous Sensor Network. They are all variations of the same thing and standards will play a big part in the creation of the Internet of Things.
I have just returned from Wuxi, China, the cente rof the work being done on the Internet of Things in China. Wuxi New District is a planned community with many companies and organizations already have office space in this area. We visited with several of the companies and saw examples of the work they are doing from Cloud Storage to sensing traffic, to monitoring pollution, to tracking power management. We saw examples of new technology face tracking and identification alongside location technology accurate to 15mm.
The next day we attended a Europe-China conference on the Internet of Things and heard speakers from both China and Europe detail the work they are doing in this arena.
Finally I attended several days of meetings of the CASAGRAS2 project (http://www.iot-casagras.org/) to discuss projects around the world related to the Internet of Things. I learned that a highly successful academic conference had been held in Wuxi a few days before I arrived. That another academic conference and an educational conference will be held this week in Kuala Lumpur. They have over 300 people signed up for these sessions.
The same group of people will be presenting an educational session at the RFID Journal Live pre-conference in April (http://www.rfidjournalevents.com/live/internet.php). Another group of sessions are being finalized in the South American region in early September, and discussions have started for an event in September in the USA.
What does this have to do with RFID Standards?
RFID is without doubt, a key enabler for the Internet of Things. Standards for the air interface, the data protocols, the security, the communications are all a key part of the system. Many of these will already exist, others will need to be written. Many still need to be identified.
Some of the organizations that will be involved include ISO/IEC JTC 1, AIM, as well as several National Standards organizations. If this is something that is important to you, then you need to get involved now. AIM has an initiative for its members (email: email@example.com). Contact your National Body to learn more about the work in ISO/IEC.
Feb 27, 2011
If you visit What is RFID you will see a basic introduction into the building blocks of an RFID system. But you may now want to know what this means as far as standards are concerned. The page on SC 31 shows all of the RF standards that SC 31 is working on. This includes RFID, RTLS (Real Time Locating Systems), and MIIM (Mobile Item Identification and Management) from both the hardware and data side. We will look at the RFID side to give examples of how the standards system works.
Going back to our three parts of an RFID system:
We need to see how these parts are covered by the standards.
The first thing that we have to consider is the tag and how it communicates with the reader. This is usually called the Air Interface standard. In RFID the main standard is ISO/IEC 18000 and its various parts. The standard is broken down by frequency to try to simplify the amount of information
Next we have to consider how the data is stored on the tag and how it is interpreted by the reader. This is where we look to:
Next we need to consider how we talk to the reader and pass the information into the system and infrastructure. The following standards cover this area:
There are many other standards that are being worked on by SC 31 but the above breakdown shows the various divisions from a system use point of view.
Finally the work of WG 7 is on File Management and Security. This group is defining the necessary steps to store more information on an RFID tag and how we implement a real security system that can help to protect that data.