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RFID News Roundup

WebMethods provides RFID middleware for DOD; RFID kit for retrofitting label printers; RFID development kit for pocket PCs; new RFID label printing software; Australian sheep may get tagged.
By Bob Violino
Jul 23, 2004The following are news announcements made during the week of July 19.

WebMethods Provides RFID Middleware for DOD
WebMethods, a Fairfax, Va.-based middleware provider, announced that it has recently been selected to provide business integration technology for the U.S. Department of Defense's RFID initiatives. WebMethods' middleware will be used in a pilot project that employs passive RFID tags to track assets as they leave a DOD distribution center. The company's products will be used to take data from RFID readers and direct it to the appropriate back-end systems to ensure the DOD has accurate and timely information about where goods are in its supply chain. The DOD's goal is to begin requiring suppliers to use passive tags on pallets, cases and high-value individual items beginning Jan. 1.

RFID Kit for Retrofitting Label Printers
RSI ID Technologies, a Chula Vista, Calif.-based systems integrator, has released a kit that lets companies retrofit most thermal transfer label printers with an RFID reader to enable the printer to encode and verify high-frequency and ultra-high frequency RFID tags embedded in the labels. Pressiza Universal RFID Printer Retrofit System is firmware-upgradeable to allow compliance with future RFID protocols. The kit also adds network capability to the printer.

RFID Development Kit for Pocket PCs
Socket Communications, a Newark, Calif.-based provider of mobile data-collection products, has introduced the SocketReader Development Kit for its RFID product line. The kit enables third-party software developers and end users to develop and run pilot applications that use RFID tags and smart labels based on the ISO 15693 and ISO 14443 standards. The kit includes both hardware and software and comes in two versions. The first has a single-function CompactFlash RFID reader plug-in card priced at $1,995. The second includes a multifunction CompactFlash RFID reader plus a laser bar code scanner for $2,495. The development kit's software component is based on the same programming standards used in Socket's software development kit for the company's bar code scanning products. The kit comes with a variety of 13.56 MHz RFID tags from a variety of leading vendors, including Texas Instruments and Philips Semiconductors.

New RFID Label Printing Software
Teklynx International, a Milwaukee-based developer of automatic identification software, has introduced an upgrade to its Codesoft label design and integration software, which supports the printing of RFID labels. The new version includes an easy-to-use interface for programming RFID tags; a graphical tag image that appears as a watermark on labels, which allows designers to avoid creating labels that print over the transponder, possibly causing damage; and the ability to have read-write printers read the data back from the label at print time to log the exact information stored on each label.

Australian Sheep May Get Tagged
Advanced ID, a Calgary-based provider of RFID systems, says the Australian sheep industry is considering using RFID as part of a national identification and trace-back system to meet international livestock and meat import requirements. The company says some Australian farms, feedlots, sheep markets and meat processing plants are evaluating its RFID technology. Advanced ID markets low-frequency RFID microchips, scanners and a proprietary PETtrac database to the pet and biological sciences markets. It also markets its proprietary ultra-high frequency DataTRAC tags, readers and software to the livestock industry.

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