January 18, 2005, 8:22 AM — Sun Microsystems Inc. on Monday announced a Java-based product designed to make it easy for suppliers to switch from tagging their products with traditional bar codes to RFID (radio frequency identification) technology.
Sun, which announced its Java RFID software in July, unveiled its Sun Java System RFID Tag and Ship product, an entry-level RFID product targeted at suppliers looking to switch to RFID tagging to comply with RFID mandates from retailers including Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Target Corp. and the U.S. Department of Defense.
Tag and Ship allows companies to quickly convert bar code tags to RFID tags, said Vijay Sarathy, director of RFID product marketing and strategy at Sun. The product allows companies to comply with RFID mandates without major investments in new RFID systems. Sun will announce the price of Tag and Ship shortly, and the product will be available this quarter.
In addition to Sun software customized for this offering, the RFID Tag and Ship product includes a Sun W2100z workstation and monitor, the Sun Java System RFID Software, a Printronix RFID printer, an RFID reader and a barcode reader. The RFID Tag and Ship solution includes on-site hardware and software configuration and user training.
Sun also announced a new Sun RFID Reference Architecture, as well as plans to create RFID Industry Solution Architectures (ISAs) specifically designed for industries including government, manufacturing, pharmaceutical and retail. Sun and SeeBeyond Technology Corp. outlined plans for a forthcoming RFID ISA for Retail, which will offer an integrated RFID solution designed specifically for retailers.
Sun's RFID Reference Architecture is a methodology designed to help companies identify, design and build RFID systems using Sun technology and third-party applications. The Sun RFID Reference Architecture is based on RFID best practices and methodologies, addressing performance and scalability for tracking RFID product movement, according to Sun. Using the architecture, customers can expect to reduce their overall implementation costs, the company said.
"We're putting together all the paces to go through and putting a blueprint together for customers," Sarathy said.
Sun has promoted using Java on RFID readers as a standard that can be used on various brands of readers, Sarathy said. Java software allows companies to "plug and play" RFID readers into any RFID system, he said.