In this chapter, you learned everything you need to know about design and selection of the RFID network. With the understanding of physics and the specifics of the readers and tags that you have already gained, you should now be able to work with your team to understand the client needs and create an RFID network that is both the proper scientific and business combination to meet those needs.
The first step in that design is figuring out the best frequency for their needs. Sometimes this is plainly obvious, such as if you are designing a system for a DoD or Wal-Mart supplier-you know it is going to be UHF, and you know they are going to incorporate the electronic product code (EPC). There are, however, many other applications that would use the other available frequencies for RFID. This chapter showed you some of the strengths and weaknesses of those systems.
Next I gave you the basics of an RFID read, showing what was key about functionality and how a reader works. There is no mystery around the fact that an RFID read and an RFID tag are both essentially radios communicating with each other.
You also learned some of the trade secrets around selecting the proper RFID reader. This should be particularly valuable as you move out into the real world of RFID reader selection and begin choosing hardware for yourself or your clients. I covered the basics of scientific tests that attempt to isolate a single variable and then went into specific use-case testing for your particular needs.
After working with the different readers, you need to move to getting that connection out into the atmosphere-so you learned all the details around cable selection and deployment. This is one of the most overlooked facets of an RFID deployment and can make or break a well-designed and planned-out RFID network.
After the cable section, I reviewed the details of the antennas and talked about when you might use the various types of antennas in different applications. This section brought the conclusion of the portal design with mention of RFID racks-the devices used to hold RFID readers, antennas, and cabling at a portal installation.
Finally the last section gave a quick overview of RFID middleware. The important thing to glean from this section is that RFID middleware is a very specialized functionality for filtering and smoothing data, but is not difficult to build. Because of this, many application vendors will begin incorporating middleware into their existing programs.
This chapter should have helped bring together the various pieces of design and deployment.