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RFID News Roundup

Confidex ready and waiting for Boeing to tag silicon; Atlanta airport vending machines now RFID-friendly; Universal Guardian offering DOD suppliers tagging solutions; North Dakota RFID-implant bill sent to governor.
By Andrew Price
Apr 06, 2007The following are news announcements made during the week of April 2.

Confidex Ready and Waiting for Boeing to Tag Silicon
Finnish RFID tag maker Confidex says its has completed testing its Ironside reusable passive UHF RFID tag for compliance with the Aerospace Standard AS5678, passed by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) late last year. The standard specifies the environmental conditions, such as temperature, shock, vibration, pressure and altitude, that RFID tags attached to aircraft parts will need to withstand, once Boeing and other airplane manufacturers begin selling planes with tagged parts. Confidex conducted the testing at Sun Microsystems' APT/RFID Test Lab in Longmont, Colo., as a proof of its technology. RFID hardware developer Intelleflex is developing a high-memory chip for use in RFID tags to identify parts for the Boeing Dreamliner aircraft family. Once Intelleflex finishes development work, Confidex plans to begin manufacturing Ironside-based tags containing the high-memory chip. The new tags will use the same form factor and rugged molding as those it has tested against the AS5678 standard.

Atlanta Airport Vending Machines Now RFID-Friendly
SkyeTek, a provider of embedded RFID reader technology, says it has worked with Isochron, a provider of vending machine technology for the food and beverage industry, to accept RFID (contactless) payment cards at 55 vending machines located throughout the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. SkyeTek says its M2 reader module, embedded into the vending machine's payment terminals, can process payments via RFID credit or debit cards provided by American Express, Discover, MasterCard and Visa. The reader collects and decodes the payment data from the card, then passes it to the Isochron network, which carries out the payment processing via a connection to a payment network.

Universal Guardian Offering DOD Suppliers Tagging Systems
Universal Guardian Holdings, a provider of integrated transportation and global supply chain security systems, has introduced two new secure shipment platforms, TAGeasy and TAGstation, for suppliers to the Department of Defense. TAGeasy enables suppliers to utilize an online RFID label fulfillment system to order RFID labels for application to cases, containers and pallets of goods headed for RFID-enabled DOD depots, as required by DOD contracts. The system also generates an advance shipment notice (ASN). The service costs $30 per month, plus $.19 per RFID label, with a one-year subscription. TAGstation is a secure, online tagging station that includes an RFID printer-encoder designed to generate RFID labels for shipments. TAGstation also produces ASNs and provides end-to-end order tracking and asset visibility through Universal's Web-based Total Asset Guardian (TAG) software, which generates shipping and receiving reports based on tag reads. The TAGstation service and hardware cost $299 per month and $.17 per label.

North Dakota RFID-Implant Bill Sent to Governor
A bill banning required tag implants was sent to North Dakota's governor this week. On March 16, the state's House of Representatives approved the bill, 60-2007/bill-text/HBPJ0200.pdf SB 2415, which would make it illegal for anyone to require that an RFID tag be implanted into another person's body. Such an act, the bill states, would be punishable as a class-A misdemeanor. Introduced to the North Dakota Senate on Jan. 22, the bill moved quickly to the house after a nearly unanimous vote on Feb. 9. Governor John Hoeven has until the end of day on Monday to either sign the bill into law or veto it. North Dakota Senator Randel Christmann, one of the bill's sponsors, says SB 2415 is designed to protect citizens from ever being required to be implanted with an RFID tag, whether for location tracking or any other purpose. If a party were to voluntarily subject himself to such implantation, Christmann says, that would be fine. The bill is similar to a law passed in Wisconsin last summer, imposing a fine of up to $10,000 for implanting a tag in a person against his or her will (see Wisconsin Governor Signs 'Chip Implant' Bill).
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