IBM announced Monday a $250 million investment in RFID (radio frequency identification), an emerging technology that is being mandated by the likes of Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and the Department of Defense, but that has seen little adoption elsewhere.
IBM has created a new RFID division, Sensor and Actuator Solutions, and has committed to amassing a team of about 1,000 people to work on consulting, new software development, marketing and implementations, according to Robert Mayberry, vice president of the IBM Sensor and Actuator unit.
The Sensor and Actuator organization will become part of IBM's Pervasive Computing business.
At the same time, IBM announced the availability of a new middleware product that supports RFID. The new offering, based on IBM's WebSphere middleware stack, will be used to read different types of RFID readers—it can be embedded in different types of controllers to collect data from various RFID readers and tags—and to manage RFID data. It also integrates RFID data into backend systems.