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The implementation of easy to use, cost-effective, efficient and reconfigurable smart systems, able to collect context data and to take decisions accordingly, must be performed taking into account both hardware and software technologies. In this work, both sides are attacked. First of all, a substantial improvement on passive UHF-RFID technology is shown by proposing new RFID tags having the capability to transmit data measured by generic sensors. This novel and inexpensive device is the data source of a pervasive, context-aware system, organized according to a general purpose architecture. A challenging application of the overall system in the home-care scenario is presented, and the whole system tested: implemented hardware and software functionalities have been validated, showing the effectiveness of both technologies.