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RFID News Roundup

Lexus partners with MyDealerLot to implement RFID-enabled customer-service solutions; Radiant RFID releases RFID-enabled first-responder location reporting for 2013 hurricane season; item-level tagging fuels global RFID market, Frost & Sullivan says; Oberthur Technologies' NFC SIM cards to carry HID Global's Seos digital keys; NSA approves wireless sensor design that could help protect nuclear facilities; association promoting microSD format announces support for Near Field Communication RFID; Gartner lowers forecast for NFC-based mobile-payment transactions.
By Beth Bacheldor
Jun 13, 2013

The following are news announcements made during the past week by the following organizations: MyDealerLot; Radiant RFID; Frost & Sullivan; Oberthur Technologies and HID Global; the National Security Agency and Savannah River National Laboratory; SD Association; and Gartner.

Lexus Partners With MyDealerLot to Implement RFID-enabled Customer-Service Solutions
MyDealerLot (MDL) has announced that Toyota's Lexus division has selected its RFID-enabled suite of customer-service and support solutions for use by Lexus' U.S. dealerships. With MyDealerLot, the dealerships can automatically identify every car arriving at their sites for service or washing, as well as loaner vehicles being returned to the dealership. MDL's Automated Customer Recognition & Messaging System includes Alien Technology's Squiggle passive EPC Gen 2 RFID tags and ALR-9900+ readers, as well as plasma screens to display information regarding customers who have arrived or are scheduled for service, and software to manage that data. The system also tracks inventory onsite, as well as at remote, off-site lots, in addition to a dealer's car-wash operations. For example, the technology can identify when a customer or loaner vehicle is entering or exiting the car wash, and transmit a message to the assigned employee. It can automatically push car-wash completion notices to displays in lounges, in order to alert customers waiting there. According to MDL, the system can enhance sales operations as well, by notifying sales advisors of a customer's arrival, via integrated e-mail and text alerts that include embedded links to sales analytics and basic deal information, including payment information and lease end. "Providing truly personalized and memorable service has always been a Lexus priority," said Don Fordiani, Lexus' national field and dealer operations manager, in a prepared statement. "MDL provides real world tested technologies that allow our dealers to implement a new way to interact with our customers both in sales and service." MDL's system is currently in use at other dealerships, including Fields Automotive Group, which installed the RFID-based solution at all of its 10 Chicago and Southeast U.S. locations (see 10 Fields Automotive Dealerships to Adopt RFID) and others (see Car Makers Steer Toward RFID).

Radiant RFID Releases RFID-enabled First-Responder Location Reporting for 2013 Hurricane Season
Radiant RFID has updated its All Hazard Response Network (AHRN) platform—an RFID-based emergency-management system designed to help first-responders during disasters—with a new module to automate check-ins for responders and their locations during an emergency or major event. The Radiant RFID AHRN Responder Module consists of industry-standard ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) Gen 2 RFID badges for all personnel, smart device technology, and software that manages the collected data. Mobile RFID readers can be deployed, and can share information with smart devices such as Apple iPads or Android mobile devices. According to Radiant RFID, incident commanders will be able to monitor all responders' locations and manage assignments, as recommended by the National Incident Management System (NIMS), formulated by FEMA. The mobile readers can detect the presence of responders equipped with RFID badges to within 25 feet. The data collected can also be shared to offsite agencies via the Internet, in order to coordinate responses with local, regional and state emergency operation centers. The AHRN software is able to generate reports (for example, responder movement history, responders by agency and work-time), which can then be utilized for demobilization and reimbursement purposes. According to Radiant RFID, the solution is suitable for such large-scale response scenarios as hurricanes, disasters and wildfires, as well as for large-scale events planned in advance—the Super Bowl, for instance. The AHRN Responder Module is designed to replace current, manual check-in and location-assignment activities. According to the company, AHRN has been used during hurricanes Alex, Ike, Gustav, Rita and Sandy, and has successfully aided the statewide evacuation and reunification of more than 45,000 evacuees with their loved ones since 2005. Radiant RFID's RFID-enabled tracking solutions are presently being used by Bayer HealthCare (see RFID News Roundup: Bayer HealthCare Awards Employee Evacuation Project to Radiant RFID) and Chicago Public Schools (see RFID News Roundup: Chicago Public Schools to Implement RFID for Tracking Assets ).

Item-Level Tagging Fuels Global RFID Market, Frost & Sullivan Says
The global market for passive RFID technologies was valued at more than $2.98 billion last year, and is estimated to reach $11.58 billion in 2018, according to a new study from market research firm Frost & Sullivan. The market covers all frequencies used by passive RFID tags, and includes revenues from hardware, software and systems-integration services. The study identifies a variety of benefits from passive RFID tags, such as improved inventory management and operational efficiency, reduced labor, enhanced supply chain visibility, increased information accuracy, higher sales and better customer service—benefits that Frost & Sullivan says have spurred the technology's adoption in various applications across numerous vertical markets. The retailer sector, specifically in North America and Europe, is expected to be the largest contributor to the market's growth, with increased implementations of item-level tagging. In other regions, Frost & Sullivan reports, Latin America and India are expected to offer huge potential for RFID growth across various industries. The regions expected to generate the largest revenue by 2018 are the Americas, with $5.3 billion, and Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), with $3.5 billion.

Oberthur Technologies' NFC SIM Cards Carry HID Global's Seos Digital Keys
Oberthur Technologies has announced that its dragonFly Near Field Communication (NFC) subscriber identity module (SIM) cards will offer support for HID Global's Seos digital keys. Seos, a technology that transforms NFC-enabled mobile phones into keys that can unlock doors, has been tested for several years, and utilizes HID Global's iClass SE RFID readers and iClass credential software (see ASSA ABLOY Creates NFC Solution that Uses Phones to Open Doors, Grant Computer Access). Seos includes standards-based smart-card technology with state-of-the-art cryptography for maximum interoperability and security, the company reports, and the Seos Trusted Service Manager securely manages Seos digital keys on NFC mobile devices. The partnership enables the Seos digital keys applet to be embedded in Oberthur Technologies' NFC SIM cards, making it possible to use NFC smartphones for a wide range of applications that typically reside on smart cards. Oberthur Technologies´ dragonFly product family is a new generation of NFC SIM cards that, according to the company, are faster and include best-in-class certifications (Common Criteria EAL4+, MasterCard, Visa and Mifare DESFire) and integrated anti-virus protection. The dragonFly card is designed to support applications driving NFC deployments, such as transport, payment and access control, as well as those facilitating a more convenient user experience, such as the use of a mobile phone for hotel check-in and room access.

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