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RFID News Roundup

ODIN serves up free RFID expertise online; Fluensee links its RFID solution with BMC's asset-management app; RFIDTRaxx delivers RFID-enabled document-tracking software; NXP intros Mifare Ultralight C chip, Confidex debuts transit tickets made with new IC; ZigBee Alliance, RF4CE create new specification; RFID has another run on Italian ski slopes; Awarepoint, Skytron sign exclusive RTLS distribution deal.
Mar 05, 2009The following are news announcements made during the past week.

ODIN Serves Up Free RFID Expertise Online
RFID systems integrator ODIN Technologies has unveiled a free, online educational service, known as "Ask the RFID Expert." The service, introduced this week at the Financial Services Technology Consortium's (FSTC) annual conference in Sarasota, Fla., is designed to provide access to RFID experts, free of charge. Users can visit ODIN's Web site and enter their question in the "Ask the RFID Expert" box in the upper right-hand corner. Answers will be posted within 24 hours on the site's "Ask the RFID Expert" page, or sent directly to the inquirer via e-mail. Depending on the question, ODIN's technical team may ask clarifying questions, simply post an answer or point the questioner to additional information sources. The "Ask the RFID Expert" service will answer end-user RFID questions across a range of RFID technologies, including low-frequency (LF), high-frequency (HF), ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) and 2.45 GHz ultra-wideband (UWB) tags, whether passive or active. In addition to the new service, ODIN reports, the company's site also offers white papers, how-to articles, introductory videos and more.

Fluensee Links Its RFID Solution With BMC's Asset-Management App
Fluensee has announced that it has integrated its RFID-based asset-tracking software with an asset-management application from BMC Software, a manufacturer of enterprise management and data center automation solutions. Fluensee's AssetTrack software can now feed RFID data culled from assets' RFID tags into BMC's Remedy Asset Management Collection solution. Fluensee's AssetTrack software—which can work with active and passive RFID, ultra-wideband (UWB) technology, Wi-Fi-based systems, GPS and sensor technologies—is designed to monitor returnable and reusable assets, such as pallets, totes, trays, roll cages, display units and rental assets; trucks and trailers in yards; equipment such as tools, parts and works-in-process; and IT assets such as servers, laptops, networking equipment and peripherals. The Remedy Asset Management Application provides users with a suite of tools to help reconcile and manage data regarding assets and how they are used in the various business processes; share workflows and information with service desks and service-level management applications; better manage software licenses; create links between assets and software licenses to better manage lease, warranty and support contracts; and provide cost management to track total cost of ownership, chargebacks and asset depreciation. In a prepared statement, Tim Harvie, Fluensee's president and CEO, said, "The integration of Fluensee with BMC Remedy Asset Management Application provides automated discovery, reduction in lost and missing IT assets, labor savings, more efficient utilization and, ultimately, improved asset security."

RFIDTRaxx Delivers RFID-enabled Document-Tracking Software
RFIDTRaxx, an RFID company specializing in tracking documents and assets, has introduced DocStaxx, its new RFID-based document-tracking software. DocStaxx runs on a Microsoft SQL Server and works in conjunction with Magellan Technology's Phase Jitter Modulation (PJM) 13.56 MHz RFID tags and interrogators. The software enables companies to track paper documents, including those stacked on desks, in folders, on shelves or in archive boxes. Magellan's PJM StackTag technology complies with the ISO 18000 Part 3 Mode 2 standard, allowing tags to be encoded at a data rate of up to 424 kilobits per second, and read at a rate of 106 kilobits per second (see Magellan Technology Releases RFID Products for Document Tracking). DocStaxx is Web-based, so users with the appropriate permissions can access the application either through an internal network or via the Internet. The use of SQL Server makes integration with existing enterprise systems easier, RFIDTRaxx reports, but also provides ample computing power.

NXP Intros Mifare Ultralight C Chip, Confidex Debuts Transit Tickets Made With New IC
NXP Semiconductors has added a new integrated circuit, the Mifare Ultralight C, to its family of contactless identification technology offerings. The chip leverages open-standard 3DES cryptography to protect data access, enable the authentication of disposable ticketing solutions and protect against fraud and cloning. According to NXP, the new IC is certified to the ISO/IEC 14443 A standard, and has been designed to be suitable for emerging NFC Forum Tag 2 applications, such as URL linking, Bluetooth pairing and smart posters, which can be accessed with NFC-enabled mobile devices. It also has 1536 bits (192 bytes) of Electrically Erasable Programmable Read-Only Memory (EEPROM), a built-in 16-bit counter that can be leveraged for trip counter mechanisms in contactless systems, a data rate of 106 kilobits per second, and bit-wise anti-collision. There are two versions of the chip: 17pF for ID-1-sized tickets, and 50pF for smaller tags. Finnish tag maker Confidex has launched a new family of limited-use contactless tickets, known as Confidex SafeRide, that employ the Mifare Ultralight C as the chip of choice, providing the tickets with extended memory and increased security features.

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