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RFID News Roundup

Paxar offering Headstart RFID Compliance Kits; Ohio bill would ban employee-mandated RFID implants; Intelleflex secures $15.5 million in funding; Savi Networks Partnering With Embarcadero Systems Corp.
By Andrew Price
Jul 28, 2006The following are news announcements made during the week of July 24.

Paxar Offering Headstart RFID Compliance Kits
Paxar, a White Plains, N.Y., provider of printers, labels and tags for the retail supply chain, is selling an RFID Headstart Kit for consumer goods firms that need to begin adding RFID tags to their products in order to comply with retailers or government mandates. Paxar's RFID Headstart Kit includes Paxar's Monarch 9855 UHF EPC Gen 2 RFID printer-encoder, an Alien ALR-9800 interrogator, a starter roll of 5,000 Alien Gen 2 4-by-2-inch RFID labels and SmartEPC middleware from Smart Label Solutions. The kit also comes with Paxar's smart label performance guarantee, which offers a 110 percent refund on any unreadable labels, and one year of coverage under the company's Technology Investment Protection Program, which provides free upgrades to the printer-encoder for 12 months. Installation is also provided with the kit, which costs $1,945 and is available now.

Ohio Bill Would Ban Employee-Mandated RFID Implants
Ohio State Senator Robert Schuler (R-Cincinnati) has introduced legislation that would prohibit employers from requiring employees to have RFID tags embedded into their bodies. Schuler and his cosponsor, Ohio State Senator Ron Amstutz (R-Wooster), are concerned that employers could use the tags to invade employee's privacy, by tracking their movements within or outside the workplace. The bill is similar to one that Wisconsin's governor, Jim Doyle, recently signed into law (see Wisconsin Governor Signs 'Chip Implant' Bill). Wisconsin employers who violate the law have to pay fines of up to $10,000, while the Ohio bill, in its present form, would impose only a $150 fine. Florida firm VeriChip makes an FDA-approved 134 kHz RFID implantable tag that the company markets both as a tool for providing emergency care physicians access to their electronic medical files (see Insurer Running VeriChip Trial) and as an implantable alternative to access control cards. In February, two employees and the chief executive of an Ohio-based video surveillance company implanted VeriChip tags into their forearms. They use the tags to access high-security areas that house confidential video footage. Because the employees volunteered to receive the implant, however, their employer would not be in violation if the Ohio bill passes into law.

Intelleflex Secures $15.5 Million in Funding
San Jose, Calif., RFID technology company Intelleflex has raised $15.5 million in equity funding, led by Menlo Park, Calif., investment firm Morgenthaler Ventures. Three other Silicon Valley investors, Woodside Fund, Alloy Ventures and Selby Venture Partners, also contributed to the funding rounds, as well as to Intelleflex's initial $11.3 million round of funding, which the company used to develop a chip used for battery-assisted passive, or semi-active tags. Intelleflex says it will use the $15.5 million towards increasing chip production and expanding its product offerings. In April, Boeing selected Intelleflex to develop a 64-kilobyte chip for a passive tag that will be used to track parts on the Boeing Dreamliner series of jets (see Boeing Selects Chipmaker for Parts Tags).

Savi Networks Partnering With Embarcadero Systems Corp.
Savi Networks has entered into a strategic partnership with Oakland, Calif., firm Embarcadero Systems Corporation (ESC). Savi Networks operates SaviTrak, a global information network that uses RFID equipment and software to provide shippers with information about the identity, location and status of their ocean cargo containers and contents. ESC provides terminal automation and transportation security technology. Through the partnership, the two companies will combine SaviTrak cargo container tracking system with ESC's port automation services at ports where Savi Networks has existing contracts to deploy SaviTrak with terminal operators, including the Georgia Port Authority, the Trans Pacific Container Service Corp., Hutchison Port Holdings, Hong Ming Terminals and Stevedoring Co. and the Marine Terminals Corp.
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