By Glen Kathler
An odd name perhaps for an alliance of UHF RFID organizations, the RAIN acronym is derived from RAdio frequency IdentificatioN. The RAIN Alliance is made up of manufacturers, re-sellers, distributors, solution providers, integrators and academia. Its goal is similar to alliances in other wireless technologies, Wi-Fi Alliance for 802.11, SIG for Bluetooth, etc.
Being able to certify that a product can be certified as meeting a specific standardis always a challenge for any industry. As the use of RAIN technology becomes more ubiquitous, the list of manufacturers will also continue to grow. This will add to the need for an industry alliance that will be able to provide the necessary standards oversite and certification required. We know that the next version of the Gen 2 standard, V2, which is the standard that UHF RFID, RAIN technology follows will continue to evolve and become more and more complex. The ability to ensure that readers and tags adhere to the standard will become increasingly more challenging. Having an alliance that crosses all of the boundaries of the various industry players – such as the RAIN Alliance – can ensure that products meet or exceed all components of the standard. From compliance with standards, through a software development community and technology training opportunities, any company with a vested interest should investigate the RAIN Alliance.
Four Work Groups (WG) established by the alliance focus on the following areas: Messaging WG, Awareness WG, Education and Training WG, and Development WG. Information from the WGs will continue to surface on the www.rainrfid.org website. Both non-members and potential new members can visit the site and view public information.
For members of the alliance, there will be a range of resources available including market reports, industry statistics and access to RAIN webinars, education and training.
The SAIT RFID Application Development Lab (RADLab) has joined the alliance and is participating in the Education and Training WG. Our senior software developer has access to the Development WG findings which provides another advantage of membership. To learn more about RAIN and information on membership, go to http://www.rainrfid.org/about-rain/. Or, feel free to direct any additional questions to Steve Halliday at 1-412-726-3515.