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RFID News Roundup

Moore Wallace announces production capacity for millions of Gen 2 smart labels; Thompson to get tagged with VeriChip; Paxar Canada and IDVelocity link up; OTI's Saturn OK'd for Visa RFID; RFID kits from Barcoding Inc.; RFID industry groups join forces.
By Ari Juels
Jul 22, 2005The following are news announcements made during the week of July 18.

Moore Wallace Announces Production Capacity for Millions of Gen 2 Smart Labels
Texas Instruments will supply EPC Gen 2 UHF RFID tag inlays to label converter Moore Wallace, owned by global printing company RR Donnelley, for Gen 2 smart labels, according to the companies. The agreement names TI as a primary but not exclusive inlay supplier to Moore Wallace, which claims it has the capacity to ramp up to a production of more than 500 million Gen 2 smart labels annually within the next 18 to 24 months through its three production facilities in Illinois, New York and Ohio. Samples of the EPC Gen 2 labels from Moore Wallace with TI EPC Gen 2 inlays are available now, with full production planned for later in the third quarter of 2005. Moore Wallace did not indicate what other sources of Gen 2 tags it might be contracting, but TI says it will be able to ramp up to produce hundreds of millions of tags within the next 18 to 24 months. Neither company would comment on what per-label prices end users should expect to pay for the labels. Nor would Moore Wallace reveal any potential customers of the Gen 2 labels. But Nancy Mitchell, Moore Wallace's national product manager, RFID and linerless labels, says this announcement is a "milestone because it reflects the readiness of large quantities of Gen 2 smart labels. We expect this will help trigger consumer packaged goods companies to begin using Gen 2 products."

Thompson to Get Tagged with VeriChip
Former secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Tommy Thompson says he will have the rice-sized VeriChip RFID tag implanted under his skin. This announcement comes two weeks after Thompson joined the board of directors of VeriChip, a company based in Delray Beach, Fla., that manufactures RFID tags-including the implantable tag-for tracking people. Through a secure database, medical personnel with a proprietary VeriChip interrogator, or reader, can access the medical record of a person with an implanted VeriChip tag. This access could be especially helpful in cases when a patient is unidentified and unconscious. VeriChip also sells non-implantable RFID-based identification systems. The company says its Hugs RFID infant protection system recently prevented the abduction of a baby at Presbyterian Hospital in Charlotte, N.C. The Hugs system uses RFID-enabled ankle or wrist bracelets and sensors installed throughout hospital maternity units to alert staff when infants are removed from designated areas. This and similar VeriChip security systems are used in approximately 900 U.S. hospitals, according to VeriChip.

Paxar Canada and IDVelocity Link Up
RFID and bar code printing systems provider Paxar Canada, the Pickering, Ontario, subsidiary of Paxar Corp.in White Plains, N.Y., has entered into a strategic alliance with IDVelocity, a Greensboro, N.C.-based provider of RFID infrastructure and process management software. The two companies are offering new and existing clients RFID product-and-services packages that include fixed and mobile RFID interrogators, or readers; RFID label printer-encoders and applicators; and IDVelocity's Automated Data Capture RFID application software, as well as installation and support services. The packages will enable customers to apply bar code, 2-D bar code or RFID labels on products, and manage the product data and product inventory for manufacturing, warehousing, distribution, order processing, maintenance tracking, quality control and other applications. The companies say this will provide end users with RFID solutions that go beyond mandate compliance by offering the means to easily scale the system to accommodate increasing product volumes.

OTI's Saturn OK'd for Visa RFID
On Track Innovations (OTI) a Fort Lee, N.J., manufacturer of payment terminals, has received certification from Visa USA for its Saturn 5000 RFID payment terminal. The certification allows merchants to use the terminal to accept RFID-based payments with Visa RFID-enabled credit cards. The Saturn 5000 has already received certification from American Express and MasterCard. 7-Eleven and CVS pharmacy will be using OTI's RFID payment terminals to accept RFID payments from customers using RFID-enabled American Express, MasterCard and Visa payment cards. American Express and Chase have begun sending RFID-enabled cards to their customers, and more card issuers are expected to announce that they will begin distributing RFID cards soon.

RFID Kits from Barcoding Inc.
Baltimore-based systems integrator Barcoding Inc. has released two RFID compliance kits. The RFID Slap & Ship Kit, which costs $13,149, includes a Zebra Technologies' R100XiIII RFID label printer-encoder, 500 smart labels with Intermec Technologies' Intellitag UHF EPC Class 1 inlays, and Barcoding Inc.'s Slap & Ship software, a Windows-based data collection software that can be used to design smart labels, assign electronic product codes to tags and manage advance shipment notices to retailers such as Wal-Mart or Target, or to the Department of Defense. The RFID Evaluation Kit, which costs $10,295, and includes Intermec's PM4i printer-encoder, Intermec's IF5 fixed interrogator, Intermec's 700 series mobile computer with the Intermec IP3 mobile interrogator, and RFID 500 smart labels with Intermec Intellitag UHF EPC Class 1 inlays. Hardware and software support and Gen 2 firmware upgrades are included in the price of the kits, but installation services incur a separate, undisclosed fee.

RFID Industry Groups Join Forces
The RFID Association of India (RFIDAI) has entered into and memorandum of understanding with the RFID Association of Australia (RFIDAA) for a partnership to collaborate in promotion and adoption of RFID. The groups say fostering this relationship will bring increased value to the associations' members by increasing opportunities to network for both users and technology providers, and enhancing the identification and pursuit of shared opportunities. The two organizations intend to work with their respective governments to encourage the governments to become leading customers. The associations also intend to collaborate in the pursuit of international standards, and to support and participate in each other's technical programs while promoting the responsible adoption of the technology.
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