Dialog started off with the project to develop a forwarder independent
tracking-and-tracing system for worldwide project deliveries. We opted
for a solution of the format ID@URI. URI is a computer
address(e.g. 'www.some_company.com') and ID is a serial number or any
other unique number at the URI indicated. A system using this notation
was installed for forwarder-independent tracking of project deliveries
ID@URI has the same essential properties as the EPC/ONS standardsproposed by the AutoID Center at MIT, i.e. it can be guaranteed to be globally unique and it indicates where the information about the item is located. ID@URI can be printed as text, barcode or programmed into a (programmable) RFID chip. We used 13.56 MHz iCode tags, where the tag serial number was the ID and the URI was in the writable area of the tag. In a tracking application, URI is normally set to the company that needs the tracking data. In product data access applications, it could be the manufacturer of the product.
In 2003 we started an Open Source Community (http://dialog.hut.fi) for further development of our Java-based software components, which cover driver architecture for RFID and barcode readers, client-server communication and information fetch/update to company databases. The main system consists of two components, the 'client' and the 'server', which both are installed in minutes. Other components include an iPaq client, J2ME client and web-interface for tracking purposes.