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RFID News Roundup

California bans forced human tagging; new association developing standards for ID authentication; Omron makes V750 reader BizTalk-friendly, announces new EPC Gen 2 tag; Augusta Systems upgrades sensor middleware to accommodate RFID; Impinj expands reseller network.
Oct 19, 2007The following are news announcements made during the week of Oct. 15.

California Bans Forced Human Tagging
One of five RFID-focused California state bills introduced by Senator Joe Simitian was signed into law at the close of the legislative calendar: Governor Schwarzenegger signed Senate Bill (SB) 362, prohibiting employers and others from forcing anyone to have an RFID device implanted under their skin. The bill will go into effect on January 1, 2008. Wisconsin and North Dakota have already passed similar bans. Four other bills Simitian penned are currently stalled, either on the Assembly floor or in committee. SB 28 would prohibit California's Department of Motor Vehicles from embedding RFID inlays in driver's licenses; SB 29 would prevent the state's public schools, school districts and county education offices from issuing any student IDs using radio waves to transmit personal information, or to enable such information to be viewed remotely to track attendance, until Jan. 1, 2011; SB 30 would restrict how RFID technology could be deployed in identification cards issued by governmental entities in California; and SB 31 would make it a misdemeanor crime to intentionally read, or attempt to read, a person's RFID ID document without permission. These bills can be considered again once the 2008 legislative years begins.

New Association Developing Standards for ID Authentication
Highlighting the need for standards regarding procedures and practices in global identity authentication, a number of organizations, led by IT and system integration provider Unisys and auto-ID industry group AIM Global, have launched a not-for-profit initiative called the Center for Ethical Identity Assurance (CEIA). One of the group's first initiatives will be to develop a draft Consumer Bill of Rights protecting personal information and safeguarding against identity fraud. The group also plans to sponsor research and educational symposia on issues related to the use of RFID and biometrics in authenticating people. Currently, the group explains, various countries and industries support different best practices and standards for identity credentialing, but little has been done to harmonize these standards globally. Unisys and AIM Global are joined in this initiative by Biometric Signature ID, the Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA), HID Global, Identity Alliance, the Information Assurance Advisory Council (IAAC), the Information Technology Association of America (ITAA), the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the National Emergency Preparedness Coordination Council, Ponemon Institute, R&H Security Consulting, Dallas County Commissioners Court, University College London, the University of Canberra, the University of Texas at Dallas and the University of Warwick.

Omron Makes V750 Reader BizTalk-Friendly, Announces New EPC Gen 2 Tag
RFID hardware provider Omron RFID says its V750 EPC Gen 2 reader made for use in the United States (in compliance with the FCC's requirements for the UHF frequency band) now comes with a driver to make it compatible with the Microsoft BizTalk RFID middleware platform. Omron also produces V750 RFID readers for use under UHF frequency regulations in Japan and Korea, for which it soon plans to release compatible versions of the BizTalk driver. In addition to support for BizTalk, Omron's V750 Gen 2 reader also includes drivers for RFID middleware made by BEA Systems, epcSolutions, InSync Software and Reva Systems. Earlier this month, Omron RFID announced its latest UHF EPC Gen 2 RFID inlay, the Scorpion. Measuring 1.1 by 2.7 inches, the inlay can be embedded in shipping labels starting at 3 inches by 3 inches. Omron developed the Scorpion in response to demand for an inlay sized smaller than its Wave and Loop designs, without a significant loss in read range. The Scorpion will be available in North America in early November. Pricing information has not yet been released.

Augusta Systems Upgrades Sensor Middleware to Accommodate RFID
Augusta Systems, a provider of software and edge appliances designed to enable enterprise networking solutions, has released version 2.0 of its EdgeFrontier middleware, designed to process data collected from any edge devices a company might employ. Such devices could include surveillance cameras, RFID-enabled access control cards and wireless sensors used to track environmental conditions. Earlier versions of EdgeFrontier did not support RFID readers and encoders. Based in Morgantown, W.V., the firm designed the middleware so that any edge device can be linked into the EdgeFrontier middleware as long as it can support a .NET programming environment. The middleware uses .NET as a common language for supporting edge devices, rather than specific application programming interfaces (APIs) to pull data from edge devices into an enterprise data repository. "RFID middleware is well developed and can help end users cut integration and data-processing costs," says Patrick Esposito, president and CEO of Augusta Systems, "but we saw that when companies wanted to have data pulled from an RFID system and correlate it with data pulled from other sensors—such as access control data with video data—those RFID middleware products could not address this correlation without lots of custom coding." EdgeFrontier 2.0 is available now, though pricing information has not yet been released.

Impinj Expands Reseller Network
RFID systems provider Impinj has expanded its reseller network with the inclusion of seven resellers of the Impinj Speedway EPC Gen 2 reader in the regions of Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA). The latest resellers to be added to the network are CaptureTech, serving Belgium, Luxemburg and the Netherlands; LogSystems Innovative Informatics Services Ltd., based in Hungary; RFID Centrs Ltd., in Latvia; RFIQ Solutions, serving the United Kingdom; Systematica, located in Russia; Taglogic, serving Lebanon and the United Arab Emirates; and Tagstone Technology FZE, operating in Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates. Impinj says the expansion is in response to a growing demand for RFID hardware in the EMEA region. Its resellers are selected for their RFID expertise and deployment track records in many industries, from automotive to retail supply chain.
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