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RFID News Roundup

Avery Dennison, Printronix publish encoding specs; Lowry, OTA offering RFID training and certification; IBSS launches RFID tracking software, names Identec reseller; Axalto upgrading Taiwanese terminals for RFID payments; ASK offers two new HF interrogators.
By Andrew Price
Jan 13, 2005The following are news announcements made during the week of Jan. 9.

Avery Dennison, Printronix Publish Encoding Specs
Avery Dennison RFID, the maker of RFID tags, and Printronix, a manufacturer of printers for supply chain applications, have jointly published qualified specifications for converting Avery Dennison UHF RFID inlays into smart labels printed using Printronix’s SmartLine family of RFID printer-encoders . The qualified specs are written to ensure that label converters properly convert Avery inlays into labels. They can also be helpful to end users looking to commission an OEM converter to embed Avery inlays in smart labels. The SmartLine printer-encoders include models utilizing the MP2 RFID encoder, the first model made specifically for EPC Gen 2 tags. The Printronix SmartLine family becomes the first printers and encoders to support Avery Dennison’s entire line of UHF inlays, including the EPC Gen 2 AD-220. The two companies have also designed a promotion to encourage end users to begin using their Gen 2 products. Through June, Printronix will give every customer who purchases a Printronix RFID printer a free roll of 500 Printronix-certified Gen 2 labels with Avery Dennison AD-220 inlays. The Avery specifications, along with specs for printing and encoded smart labels from other manufacturers—including Alien Technologies, Impinj, Omron, UPM Rafsec and Symbol Technologies—are available for download from the Printronix Web site.

Lowry, OTA Offering RFID Training and Certification
Lowry Computer Products, a manufacturer and integrator of wireless, RFID, bar code and data collection solutions, is holding a three-day training session called “A System's Approach to RFID Implementation,” Held at Lowry's newly opened RFID Center in its Brighton, Mich., on Feb. 1 to 3, the seminar is being offered in partnership with OTA Training, a provider of RFID training and certification programs, which developed the curriculum and offers courses at select RFID facilities across the nation. Lowry's professional services team and OTA's instructors will present the course together, using RFID hardware from a number of vendors—including Avery Dennison, Alien Technologies, PSC, SAMSys, UPM Rafsec, Printronix and Zebra Technologies. The courses will focus on RFID systems development and be based on OTA's RFID training curriculum. OTA also presents this curriculum at test centers in Chicago, Dallas and Memphis, Tenn., through partnerships with Miles Technology, Sun Microsystems and International Paper's ASURYS, respectively. Those who complete the course are eligible for OTA's upcoming RFID+ Certification Training classes, which help participants prepare for and successfully pass the CompTIA RFID+ certification exam, anticipated for release this spring. For more information, visit Lowry’s Web site. To register for the February class, which costs $3,495, visit OTATraining.com.

IBSS Launches RFID Tracking Software, Names IDENTEC Reseller
Clinton, S.C.-based software technology company Integrated Business Systems and Services (IBSS) announced this week its SynTrack Mobile Asset Management system. This new product was created for organizations seeking more efficient asset utilization through the use of RFID and other wireless technologies. IBSS also announced that Identec Solutions, a Canadian provider of long-range RFID systems for tracking assets and improving inventory utilization, has inked an agreement to become a certified value-added reseller of the SynTrack Mobile Asset Management system to Identec’s existing and future clientele. The SynTrack application is available preloaded on a network appliance for easy installation. The system is configured by defining a hierarchy of interrogation zones, RFID active tags and tag groups. Assets and/or personnel are equipped with RFID tags, which are identified by RFID interrogators communicating with the SynTrack Mobile Asset Management system. The SynTrack system provides a real-time view of the tags' locations. IBSS first released the SynTrack platform in July, but says the SynTrack Mobile Asset Management system is designed specifically for mobile asset management. The system is available now; its price has not been disclosed.

Axalto Upgrading Taiwanese Terminals for RFID Payments
Axalto, a provider of RFID and contact-based microprocessor cards and point-of-sale terminals, says its MagIC 6100 terminal, used for retail and public transit applications in Taiwan, is being upgraded to accept TaiwanMoney Card purchases through the addition of an external RFID interrogator. The TaiwanMoney Card includes a contact-based MasterCard M/Chip for traditional EMV (Europay MasterCard Visa) payments, as well as OneSmart MasterCard PayPass functionality for EMV contactless payments used in both transport and retail environments. Paysys Communications, an Axalto partner based in Malaysia, has developed the software required to integrate the contactless application into the terminals. This Axalto solution was certified last October by Mondex Taiwan, a subsidiary of MasterCard International.

ASK Offers Two New HF Interrogators
ASK, a maker of RFID cards and interrogators located in Sophia-Antipolis, France, has introduced two new high-frequency RFID interrogators. These new readers connect to a computers via a USB port and are designed for use in reading identity documents (such as ID cards and passports) for authentication, building or network access, or for RFID-enabled payments. The two models, the RDR 400 and RDR 417, comply with the ISO 14443, types A and B, and ISO 15693 standards. The 417 model is larger than the 400 and designed for reading passports. Both are compatible with all Windows operating systems, and communicate data at a rate of 106 to 847 kbps. The interrogators also support data encryption, through a Secure Access Module (SAM), an embedded smart card that can perform security algorithms and store dedicated keys to authenticate the card and the reader mutually. The interrogators are available now; pricing information has not yet been disclosed.
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