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RFID News Roundup

Xterprise offers service for finding RFID's ROI; SkyeTek raises $8 million in funding; New ThingMagic resellers announced; N.J. hospital to accept VeriChip IDs.
By Ari Juels
Aug 26, 2005The following are news announcements made during the week of Aug. 22.

Xterprise Offers Service for Finding RFID's ROI
RFID systems integrator Xterprise is now offering suppliers in the retail supply chain a service called skudynamiX. Designed to help identify which products should be tagged with RFID tags for supply chain tracking, skudynamiX is based on the likelihood of generating a return on investment (ROI). The service combines TraX, Xterprise's solution for inventory visibility, cold chain and asset management, with an application from TrueDemand. This software company develops event-driven applications for demand forecasting (see Software Startup Mines RFID's Value). SKUs of a supplier’s products are selected, and their supply chain metrics reviewed. The SKUs are then run through a TrueDemand application that uses algorithms combining EPC data from RFID tags and other data to predict sales and create demand forecasts. Xterprise uses this data to provide an ROI assessment on the value of tagging each SKU so the supply can quantify financial results of changes to its RFID strategy. Xterprise, which would not divulge what it charges for its skudynamiX service, says the ROI assessment can help a company decide which items to tag, based on seasonal demand and promotions performance.

SkyeTek Raises $8 Million in Funding
SkyeTek, a Boulder, Colo., RFID interrogator (reader) and interrogator software developer, has raised $8 million in its second round of funding. The round was led by existing SkyeTek investor Appian Ventures, located in Denver, and new investors Palomar Ventures, based in Santa Monica, Calif., and Sequel Venture Partners, based in Boulder. SkyeTek says it will use the funds to continue research and development of its flagship ReaderWare software suite. ReaderWare is designed to run advanced applications on a wide range of HF and UHF interrogators. ReaderWare 1.0 is available now as a licensed development platform for new and existing OEM interrogator designs, or for use with SkyeTek's interrogators.

New ThingMagic Resellers Announced
ThingMagic, a developer of RFID readers and reader operating systems, has announced five new resellers for its Mercury4 RFID interrogator: AbeTech, a Maple Grove, Minn., company that offers bar code and RFID smart label printing services; BuyRFID, an online RFID equipment supplier; Rush Tracking Systems, a systems integrator in Lenexa, Kan.; SONTEC, a South Korean software company offering RFID solutions; and Ubi-Tech, a service provider specializing in RFID and telecommunications deployments in South Korea. These companies join existing ThingMagic partners Acsis, ADT/Sensormatic, CIT, IconNicholson, Omron, RFID Global Solutions, Venture Research and Zebra Technologies. Suppliers in ThingMagic’s RFID reseller and partner program receive pre- and post-sales support, technical expertise and certification, and specialized consulting services for ThingMagic products.

N.J. Hospital to Accept VeriChip IDs
VeriChip, the Delray Beach, Fla., provider of the VeriMed patient identification system, says that Trinitas Hospital, based in Elizabeth, N.J., has agreed to implement a clinical evaluation of VeriMed. The system uses an RFID tag implanted in a patient's skin to provide medical personnel access through a secure database to identity and medical information. The hospital will equip its emergency department with handheld interrogators and train staff how to access the VeriMed database. If a patient with the VeriChip implant comes to the emergency room, his or her chart can be accessed through the VeriMed system. VeriChip says Trinitas is the sixth hospital that has agreed to adopt the VeriMed System in its emergency department. The Hackensack University Medical Center is currently testing the technology, as are another New Jersey hospital and three others near Boston and Washington, D.C. According to a VeriChip spokesperson, it is unlikely that patients being admitted to the hospitals will have VeriChip implants. After all, just over 50 people in the United States carry the chip. The company expects, however, that as the number of hospitals equipped to use the system grows, so will the number of people receiving the implant.
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