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RFID News Roundup

XceedID, Integrated Engineering readers receive FIPS201 approval; Fluensee offers RFID-enabled asset-tracking solutions; RFID TagSource launches new company, forms agreement with Confidex; Reva and Impinj release European RFID performance-test results; Intermec and Informs deliver RFID compliance kit; Intermec offers reusable RFID tag for harsh industrial applications; Wi-Fi, Active RFID vie for health-care asset-management markets, says ABI Research; RSI ID Technologies unveils high-capacity memory RFID tags; Paxar launches managed-service solution for global labeling compliance.
By Andrew Price
Oct 20, 2006The following are news announcements made during the week of Oct. 16.

XceedID, Integrated Engineering Readers Receive FIPS201 Approval
XceedID Corp. has announced that three of its Multi-Technology card-reader models have been approved under Homeland Security Presidential Directive HSPD-12 for FIPS201 compliance as transparent readers. A privately held company in Golden, Colo., XceedID is dedicated to the design, development and supply of contactless RFID products. The federal approval of XceedID's readers indicates compliance with the new Personal Identity Verification (PIV II) credentials mandated for issuance to all federal employees over the next two years. FIPS 201 is a Federal Information Processing Standard developed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to satisfy the HSPD-12 requirements, designed to ensure government-wide interoperability for information technology and security through the implementation of federal standards and product requirements. XceedID's Mullion (XF1100-PIV), Mid-Range (XF2100-PIV) and Keypad (XF2110-PIV) readers are now available with FIPS 201 compliance and will be listed on the government's U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) Approved Products List (GSA APL). Multi-Technology readers are compatible with several standard proximity and smart-card technologies, facilitating a company's transition from older proximity technologies to newer, mandated PIV II credentials. Also approved for FIPS 201 compliance and added to the GSA Approved Products List is the SmartTRANS with PINpad reader from Integrated Engineering, a contactless smart-card company serving the United States and the Netherlands.

Fluensee Offers RFID-enabled Asset-Tracking Solutions
Asset-management provider Fluensee, an Englewood, Colo., firm formerly known as Applied Logistics, is expanding its product portfolio with the addition of Fluensee Fleet. This hosted transportation-execution system is designed to deliver real-time optimization, visibility and management of fleet operations. The company recently acquired Mobitrac, with Fluensee Fleet a rebranding of one of Mobitrac's transportation and logistics industry solutions. Fluensee Fleet assists clients in dispatching and routing its carrier's fleet (or its own) more efficiently. The solution is deployed through an on-demand hosted model into existing operations centers without the need for added computing infrastructure or implementations. Fluensee Fleet joins the firm's existing suite of software, which includes Fluensee AssetTrack, for tracking and managing physical assets and inventory; Fluensee Yard and Dock, for managing transportation and distribution environments; and Fluensee DataCenter, for tracking assets in data centers and IT facilities. This latest solution is configurable and integratable with other RFID, GPS and sensor technologies.

RFID TagSource Launches New Company, Forms Agreement with Confidex
RFID TagSource, a provider of RFID tags and consulting services in Camden, N.J., has announced the launch of its new company and Web site. The initial release of the site is designed to introduce the company, and to provide educational content and resources for the RFID end-user community. RFID TagSource combines product sourcing, consulting and services to simplify RFID tag-procurement. Among the products and services the firm offers are RFID tags (active, semi-passive, passive, LF, HF, UHF, read-only, read-write and WORM), RFID tag and placement testing, advisory consulting services, project planning, site inspection, vendor selection, project management, RFID training and education, and RFID procurement outsourcing. The RFID TagSource business model is geared toward assisting companies in using their own internal resources to implement RFID projects, helping with the vendor-selection process whenever outside services are required. In other news, TagSource has also announced a business agreement with Confidex, a Finnish designer and manufacturer of RFID tags. This agreement designates RFID TagSource as Confidex's representative in North America, providing customers a range of tagging services designed to support specific RFID application requirements. The partners have already begun working together in support of an as-yet-unannounced aerospace-industry RFID initiative. Confidex, meanwhile, is manufacturing UHF tags designed to work in the aerospace industry and similar industrial and defense applications.

Reva and Impinj Release European RFID Performance-Test Results
Reva Systems, an RFID network infrastructure provider headquartered in Chelmsford, Mass., and Impinj, a Seattle-based semiconductor and RFID technology provider, have released the results of tests conducted at an operational distribution center in Unna, Germany. The jointly conducted tests were a follow-up to multi-vendor RFID technology demonstrations conducted by European Telecommunications Standards Institute Electromagnetic Compatibility and Radio Spectrum Matters Task Group 34 (ERM TG34) to improve the performance of RFID reader deployments in Europe (see ETSI Tests Show EPC Scaleable in Europe). In the latest round of tests, tag-read performance was measured as 36 pallets holding more than 2,200 tagged, real-world consumer goods were loaded and transported through 36 adjacent loading-dock doors onto docked trucks. All of the RFID tags were powered by an Impinj Monza Gen 2 chip, while each dock door was monitored by Impinj Speedway RFID readers, all centrally controlled by a single Reva Tag Acquisition Processor (TAP) appliance operating in conjunction with a Reva centralized LBT Sensor. The system complied with proposed ETSI "Listen Before Talk" (LBT) requirements. Tags passed through the reader antennae's field-of-view for roughly 1 to 1.5 seconds, and the runs were repeated several times. The tests demonstrated tag-read rates averaging between 98 and 99 percent in a dense-reader environment. Previous European trials supported fewer simultaneous readers, with lower inventory reliability reported.

Intermec and Informs Deliver RFID Compliance Kit
Intermec Inc., a developer, manufacturer and integrator of technologies that identify, track and manage supply-chain assets, and Informs, which provides supply-chain management, warehousing, fulfillment, distribution, forms management, bar-code and RFID solutions, have cocreated the Informs RFID Experience in a Box Kit. This joint effort is designed to assist small- and medium-sized businesses meet RFID-compliance mandates from retailers and the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD). The kit generates and reads Gen 2 RFID labels, and comes with an Intermec 751 mobile computer loaded with Tag Manager software from EPC Solutions, which integrates with existing ERP systems; an Intermec IP4 handheld portable RFID reader and IF5 fixed tag reader, used for scanning and verifying tags; and a PM4i printer to print RFID-readable and bar-coded tags. The kit also includes Gen 2 labels from Intermec, a laptop computer and a Cisco wireless switch. To generate a label, the Intermec portable terminal transmits a customer's order information and label format to the PM4i printer's on-board RFID printer-encoder, which translates the information and encodes it onto an RFID label and prints it in bar code or human-readable text. The printer's embedded reader scans and verifies the tag's information before placing it on a carton or pallet. The Intermec 751, operating with an attached IP4 portable reader or IF5 fixed RFID reader, then re-verifies the order information and confirms shipment. The Tag Manager software can act as a stand-alone shipping application and contains data for both GTIN and SSCC smart labels.

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