RAIN Alliance technology is a global alliance promoting the widespread adoption of UHF RFID technology in a manner similar to other wireless technology organizations including the NFC Forum, WiFi Alliance and Bluetooth SIG.
RAIN uses the GS1 UHF Gen2 protocol, which is standardized as the ISO/IEC18000-63 standard. The word RAIN is an acronym derived from RAdio frequency IdentificatioN - it is intended to be a nod to the connection between UHF RFID and the cloud, where RFID-based data can be stored, managed and shared over the Internet. RAIN RFID solutions use a reader to read and write the tagged item, manage data and take action.
RAIN technology was adopted in 2014, when several companies began working with passive UHF RFID technology, finding that the term "RFID" was used very broadly - to represent many types of sensor technology - many of which did not have the same cost-effective transformation capabilities as passive UHF RFID. This raised concerns that the expanding use and meaning of the term "RFID" could confuse the market with the passivity of a UHF RFID solution.
At the same time, these companies have recognized the growing importance of passive UHF RFID technology in the expanding number of IoT applications. Powered devices such as cell phones, televisions or fitness watches can connect and exchange information via the Internet to improve existing processes and create new opportunities for businesses and consumers. But what about the billions of unpowered "things" in the world that make up the bulk of the Internet of Things? Everything has a story to tell - be it a shoe in a department store, a box on a storage shelf, or a surgical tool in a hospital.
Passive UHF RFID technology gives voice to many billions of unpowered resources, allowing each of them to have an individual identity and send relevant information - anywhere, anytime. Given the increasingly important role of passive UHF RFID to increase the value of IoT - as well as the growing importance of RFID to the businesses and consumers they serve, it has become even clearer that passive UHF RFID should be easily distinguished from other wireless technologies, simple, business friendly deadline. Just as the term "Wi-Fi" simplified the way we talk about technology used to access the Internet without a cable and the term "Bluetooth" simplified the way we talk about exchanging data with a mobile device, the term RAIN can simplify the way what we are talking about passive UHF RFID, giving you an insight into the billions of unsupported assets that make up most of our world. Passive tags work by backscattering the signal from the reader, modulating it to obtain the expected data. The tags do not require power, and all power is taken from the transmitted signal from the reader. Without power supply, the life of passive tags is practically unlimited and they do not require maintenance.
The technology complies with the GS1 EPC UHF Gen2 air interface protocol or with the ISO/IEC18000-63 standard "Parameters for air interface communications at 860 MHz to 960 MHz Type C" and connects billions of elements to the Internet daily. RAIN RFID is used in many markets and industries around the world for identification, location and authentication. Provides benefits to end users depending on the application. RAIN RFID solutions use tags, readers and software for a variety of applications. Tags have a unique identification number, some memory for additional information, and are attached or embedded in items. Readers can read and write tags, initiate actions, and can be connected to a server (local or cloud).
Source: RAIN Alliance publications / Translation: Netronix Sp. z o.o.
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