An RFID reader can be split into 2 parts. The RF Interface deals with very detailed operations. It may do something like send this signal for X milliseconds or until Y happens. The commands to operate the RF interface can be thought of as operating at a low level.
The second part of the RFID reader is the intelligence that drives the RF interface with low level commands. Any microcontroller could perform these operations. The activity translates an operation such as ‘Read ID’ into the sequence of low level commands and sends these to the RF interface. Low level responses from the RF interface are received are translated back into easier to understand high level results.
There are libraries of software that have all of the low-level commands already written. You can download these libraries and integrate them in your project. Then you could use a simpler reader without the intelligence. This approach is OK for users familiar with software but it does take longer and bugs can be very hard to find as you are debugging someone else’s code. The CognIoT™ approach uses an intelligent reader to make your design simpler and quicker to implement. No libraries to download and integrate!