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RFID News Roundup

Advanced ID partners with Malaysian provider of factory systems; RF Technologies offers health-care providers free RFID swap; Deister unveils reader modules with Intel R1000 chip; InfoLogix acquires RFID health-care patent; USA Technologies expands RFID payments to vending machines in Georgia, Louisiana; Legic expanding sales through licensing agreements.
By Andrew Price
Apr 13, 2007The following are news announcements made during the week of April 9.

Advanced ID Partners With Malaysian Provider of Factory Systems
Advanced ID Corp., a Canadian provider of UHF RFID technology, has inked a deal with Pentamaster, a Malaysian investment-holding company with a variety of business ventures, including RFID original equipment manufacturing and systems integration. The companies have agreed to jointly develop and distribute RFID systems for factory automation, conveyor lines and other supply chain applications. Advanced ID's Asia Engineering Co. Ltd. division, located in Chiang Mai, Thailand, will work directly with Pentamaster, headquartered in Penang, Malaysia, to develop the factory automation and supply chain RFID systems, leveraging Advanced ID's RFID products. Calgary, Alberta-based Advanced ID markets a variety of RFID microchips, scanners and related software predominantly used for the identification and location tracking of animals, as well as UHF RFID systems for automotive tire management and supply chain applications.

RF Technologies Offers Health-care Providers a Free RFID Swap
In an effort to expand its market share, RF Technologies announced this week that any health-care organizations interested in implementing RF Technologies' sensor pads—designed to alert caregivers whenever patients get out of beds or wheelchairs—can trade in their current alarm technology and receive its Sensatec Fall Management alarms at no cost. The alarms are portable and can provide audible and visual notification of the status of the units. There is no limit to the number of alarm units a health-care facility can get with the trade-in program, though RF Technologies does require organizations to purchase a minimum number of sensor pads over the next 24-month or 36-month period. The Sensatec sensor pads are made of latex-free polyethylene material. Bed pads measure 30 by 12 inches, while chair pads are 12 by 12 inches.

Deister Unveils Reader Modules With Intel R1000 Chip
Deister Electronic, a manufacturer of RFID readers and transponders, has introduced two new reader modules, the UDK2 and the UDK20, both based on the new Intel UHF RFID Transceiver R1000 chip. The modules are designed for integration into such devices as printers, fixed-position readers or handheld readers. The UDK20 has a longer read range than the UDK2, due to the addition of a power amplifier. Because of its relatively shorter range, the UDK2 is best suited for handheld units, which do not generally require a long range. The exact read and write ranges supported by the modules will depend on the type of antenna the reader manufacturer adds to the finished products. Each reader module supports the ISO 18000-6C (EPC Gen 2) standard. Deister says both modules should be available in the third quarter of 2007, at which point they are expected to be available for use in Europe and the United States, under ETSI and FCC certifications, respectively.

InfoLogix Acquires RFID Health-care Patents
InfoLogix, a provider of mobile intelligence technology solutions, has acquired a patent portfolio from DDMS Holdings through a merger with DDMS, a small Florida-based firm whose primary holding was the portfolio. InfoLogix has also entered into a consulting agreement with the inventors to provide consulting services related to the patent portfolio's commercialization and development. The intellectual property InfoLogix has obtained, which consists of five issued U.S. patents and 10 pending patent applications, allows the extension of coverage to applications in more than 30 countries, including China and Japan, as well as others in Europe and North America. Part of this portfolio addresses a means of integrating passive RFID inlays into conventional blister packaging, so tags can be used as part of a system for monitoring the dispensation of individual drugs from the packaging. InfoLogix, however, declines to speculate on when it will begin introducing new products based on its new patents. Its current offerings include HealthTrax and BedCentral ED, RFID-based software systems designed to help health-care administrators manage workflow and locate clinicians, patients and assets in hospitals.

USA Technologies Expands RFID Payments to Vending Machines in Georgia, Louisiana
MasterCard and USA Technologies say they are working with Coca-Cola Bottling Company United Inc., the third-largest bottler in the United States, to install RFID payment terminals in its beverage and snack vending machines. This is part of a campaign initiated by USA Technologies and MasterCard to enable vending machines to process transactions based on RFID-enabled payment cards. MasterCard is helping subsidize the installation costs for installing USA Technologies' e-Port RFID payment terminals. The terminal processes RFID-based payments using Visa and MasterCard RFID-enabled payment cards. The e-Port terminals also process traditional magnetic-stripe card payments and accept cash. Coca-Cola Bottling Company United says it decided to work with USA Technologies to enable its machines to accept RFID payments because the technology provides consumers with a new, convenient payment option. USA Technologies has already retrofitted a number of vending machines in Atlanta and Baton Rouge with the e-Port terminal. Based in Birmingham, Ala., Coca-Cola United dispenses Coca-Cola, Sprite, Barq's, Fanta and Dasani beverages.

Legic Expanding Sales Through Licensing Agreements
Legic Identsystems, a Wetzikon, Switzerland, supplier of RFID (contactless) smart-card technology for personal identification applications, has forged an agreement with G4S Security Systems' Microraab division, a security solutions provider based in Hungary. Under the terms of the agreement, G4S will resell Legic's products as part of its security and identity system offerings. Legic says the agreement strengthens its position in Central and Eastern Europe. The company also recently inked a licensing agreement with HEWI Heinrich Wilke, a German firm that sells electronic locking systems, under which HEWI will begin selling Legic products as part of its electronic locking system product line. HEWI sells identification credentials (keys, key fobs, cards and watches), wall-mounted readers and doorframe systems, programming devices and central stations from Legic.
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