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RFID News Roundup

Complete Wal-Mart out-of-stocks research paper available; Axcess, Tyco Fire & Security combining products; Tagsys introducing handheld for libraries; Omron announces new HF interrogators; World Cup ticket tags; Tower to provide Alien chips.
By Andrew Price
Jun 16, 2006The following are news announcements made during the week of June 12.

Complete Wal-Mart Out-of-Stocks Research Paper Available
The RFID Research Center, a unit of the Information Technology Research Institute in the Sam M. Walton College of Business at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, Arkansas, has released a white paper entitled "< popuplink http://itrc.uark.edu/research/display.asp?article=ITRI-WP068-0606 RFID's Impact on Out-of-Stocks: A Sales Velocity Analysis>." The paper closely examines the results of a 29-week independent study conducted by university researchers, measuring the impact of RFID technology on product out-of-stock levels at select Wal-Mart stores. In October, Wal-Mart announced that according to the study's results, RFID led to a 16 percent reduction in of out-of-stocks. Deeper analysis later showed that the technology actually led to out-of-stock reductions as high as 62 percent for certain items (see RFID's Impact at Wal-Mart Greater Than Expected). The full 19-page white paper is available for free download at the RFID Research Center Web site.

Axcess, Tyco Fire & Security Combining Products
Axcess International, a provider of active RFID-based asset-tracking and real-time location systems, has entered into an agreement with Tyco Fire & Security to integrate Axcess' ActiveTag RFID solutions into Tyco Fire & Security's suite of Software House and Kantech access control solutions. With the combined offering, customers will be able to secure and monitor personnel, assets and vehicles using Axcess' RFID tags and software. After reading a tag, the interrogator (reader) sends the location and direction of movement of the person or asset being tracked to a central database. Axcess tag and location data, which can be linked to video recordings of monitored areas, is then forwarded to the Tyco access control software. This software relays the data to personnel when goods or personnel leave or enter specific areas within a facility. The Axcess RFID tags can remain in dormant mode until activated by interrogators installed at gates or other portals. Tyco says its has demonstrated the combined solution to several interested customers, ranging from school administrators to petroleum refinery operations managers.

Tagsys Introducing Handheld for Libraries
RFID hardware manufacturer Tagsys has announced a 13.56 MHz handheld interrogator designed for inventory tracking and management for RFID-tagged library books. The device sends tag data to the user's back-end system via an embedded Wi-Fi module. The handheld has an ergonomic design and comes with a shoulder or belt strap. It features an antenna designed to make it easier for a user to read books and other tagged items placed on high or low shelves. The reader will be unveiled at the French Association of Librarians' Annual Congress, June 9-12, in Paris. Deployment is expected in the third quarter of 2006. For pricing information, contact Tagsys.

Omron Announces New HF Interrogators
Omron RFID has introduced a new suite of V720 Series HF (13.56MHz) ISO 15693-compliant interrogators. The suite includes 4-watt and 1-watt fixed-position interrogators—the V720S-BC5D4 and V720S-CD1D, respectively—as well as an embeddable OEM interrogator module, the V720S-HMC73. All of the new interrogators comply with the European Union's Restriction of Hazardous Substance (RoHS) directive limiting the use of lead, mercury, cadmium, chromium VI and PBDE in the manufacturing of specific products sold in the EU. The new products are available now; for pricing information, contact Omron RFID.

World Cup Ticket Tags
With the FIFA World Cup underway in Germany, Düren, RFID label manufacturer X-ident Technology says it delivered all 4.8 million RFID-tagged tickets for the event on time. RFID was selected for inclusion in every ticket as part of a bid to help prevent counterfeiting and prevent misuse of tickets during the international soccer tournament. Organizers insisted everyone requesting tickets provide personal data, including name, address, date of birth, nationality and ID card or passport number. By checking personal ID information against details stored on the Philips Semiconductors chip on each ticket, FIFA aims to avoid any ticket misuse. Including the RFID transponder allows individual tickets to be blocked automatically by readers integrated into all turnstiles. As such, lost or stolen tickets can be cancelled and replaced at short notice with new, authorized tickets.

Tower to Provide Alien Chips
Tower Semiconductor a foundry chipmaker based in Israel and California, is working with Morgan Hill, Calif.-based RFID tagmaker Alien Technology to develop an integrated circuit for use in UHF EPC Gen 2 tags. The tags are scheduled to be on the market in the second half of 2007. Tower will produce the chips using a CMOS manufacturing process designed to make them more power-efficient.
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