RAIN Alliance Workshop

From Barcodes to RAIN, the 101 of tag data. Be a champion, do it right!

This workshop explores the scope and correct use of the RAIN RFID data structures. The exploration deals with the key air protocol features to ensure efficient and effective item identification, the use of item attributes, authenticity and privacy. Notably, RAIN RFID provides a reliable reading of many tags over distances of 10m, which assists in full automation. The massive increase in the RAIN tag population (more than 30 billion tags were consumed in 2022) has RAIN-enabled applications read space increasingly overlapping. Understanding the use of RAIN data structures will prevent applications from being swamped by unwanted tags, which may lead to application failure when least expected. The exploration considers RAIN, barcode and NFC data interoperability, acknowledging that in many cases RAIN is added to an existing barcode system.

Who should attend: Designers, developers and integrators of barcode, NFC and RAIN-enabled systems and services.  The workshop does include bits-and-bytes to provide in-depth knowledge. The focus of the workshop is however on the technical outcomes.


Workshop outcome: The workshop aims to provide the tag data knowledge to ensure efficient, effective and robust RAIN-enable systems and services servicing business needs in an increasingly complex use environment.



  1. Technical capabilities and application of imaging (OCR and object recognition), barcodes, NFC, and RAIN.
  2. An application-level overview of the RAIN tag inventory process, illustrating the impact of too many tags, and tags which do not follow data structure standards.
  3. A brief on the open AIDC (Automated Identification and Data Capture) data standards as applicable to RAIN, e.g. GS1 barcodes and EPC, and industrial barcodes.
  4. Use outcomes of tagged items in the lifecycle of the item, from manufacturing to scrapping (recycling/return/destruction).
  5. Examples of cloud, fog and edge tag data use.
  6. The path from barcodes to RAIN.
  7. How to fix a non-tag-data-compliant RAIN-enabled system/services to be compliant.
  8. Tag-based sensors and sensor data fusion.
  9. Tag data security and authenticity, both the technical aspect and the operational outcome aspects.


Chris Brown


Chris Brown is the RFID subject matter expert at Printronix Auto ID, a global label printer company. Chris is an active member of the RAIN Alliance with a focus on making RAIN RFID accessible to all via RFID label printers. As such, Chris has his hands dirty most of the time resulting in a rich understanding of item tagging, from barcodes to RFID to achieve the desired business outcomes optimally. For this, he was named AIM North America’s 2021 Professional of the Year. He continuously publishes on the topic of AIDC data standards with a recent one in RFID Journal, introducing the industry to the basics of ISO-based RFID encodings.



Bertus Pretorius is the Solution Architect at Tönnjes, a global manufacturer of vehicle licence plates. Bertus is an active member of the RAIN Alliance with a focus on making RAIN RFID accessible by education on the use of standard data structures, from manufacturing to the circular economy. Bertus is also the ISO/IEC project leader for several AIDC data structures standards. He actively is a user of these standards.