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RFID News Roundup

Cubic, ViVOtech make NFC-enabled POS readers for transit systems; WaveMark, Noblis integrate systems for medical device recall management; GlobeRanger secures $8.3 million in funding; Barcoding Inc. builds RFID tech center; XIO Strategies gets passive RFID contract from U.S. Army FCS.
Mar 19, 2009The following are news announcements made during the past week.

Cubic, ViVOtech Make NFC-enabled POS Readers for Transit Systems
Cubic Transportation Systems, Inc., a subsidiary of San Diego-based Cubic Corp. and a provider of fare-collection systems for public transportation, has teamed up with ViVOtech, a manufacturer of point-of-sale (POS) readers for contactless and Near Field Communication (NFC) mobile phone payments. Under the terms of the exclusive software development and licensing agreement, Cubic will integrate ViVOtech's contactless payment software into its latest-generation Tri-Reader platforms, and will obtain type certification for contactless payment card technology, such as MasterCard's PayPass, Visa's PayWave, American Express' Express Pay and Discover's Zip, which will enable contactless bank card acceptance at Cubic fare-collection devices for public transit. With the new software, the Tri-Reader—a secure, ISO 14443 Type A- and Type B-compliant smart card processor—will provide a single interrogator that will seamlessly accept contactless bank cards, and become a platform for the development of new prepaid products, such as electronic transaction services provider First Data's NFC-enabled payment solution, known as GO-Tag. Cubic has installed more than 60,000 Tri-Readers across 17 major markets worldwide, the company reports, and fare programs such as London's Oyster card system, Washington's SmarTrip system, and New York/New Jersey's SmartLink system are all supported by Tri-Reader technology. According to ViVOtech, its readers and software are employed by more than 70 percent of merchants that accept contactless bank cards.

WaveMark, Noblis Integrate Systems for Medical Device Recall Management
Real-time location system (RTLS) provider WaveMark and Noblis, a nonprofit science, technology and strategy organization, have teamed up to provide an RFID-enabled solution that includes real-time alerts of medical equipment being recalled. WaveMark is integrating Noblis' RASMAS Web-based service—designed to enable health-care providers and suppliers to collaborate and respond to product recalls and alerts—into its RFID-enabled WaveMark Clinical Inventory Management Solution (CIMS). WaveMark CIMS is a hosted service based on the use of passive 13.56 MHz tags complying with the ISO 15693 standard, attached to medical devices as they are received into hospital inventory. These tagged items are stored in cabinets containing built-in RFID interrogators so they can be inventoried on-demand, without being manually counted. WaveMark's software tracks the inventory and generates usage reports based on RFID read events. Now, hospitals can automatically receive and manage alerts from RASMAS in the WaveMark CIMS solution. "By interfacing the RASMAS proven alert-management solution with WaveMark CIMS," said John Wass, WaveMark's CEO, in a prepared statement, "we provide an additional means for today's hospitals and health-care organizations to better manage their recall process and, ultimately, improve patient safety."

GlobeRanger Secures $8.3 Million in Funding
GlobeRanger, a Richardson, Texas, provider of supply chain software and RFID middleware, has announced the closing of its Series C funding. New investors were joined by current investors Sevin Rosen Funds and CenterPoint Ventures in the purchase of $8.3 million worth of Series C shares in GlobeRanger. The funding will be used to accelerate GlobeRanger's product and business development activities, primarily those involving supply chain logistics solutions in the government, aerospace and defense, and industrial markets. In a prepared announcement, George Brody, GlobeRanger's founder, CEO and president, stated, "Our focus on supply chain logistics has been rewarded by strong year-over-year growth and an expanding footprint that underlies some of the largest RFID deployments today. We feel pleased and excited to receive this vote of confidence from our investors."

Barcoding Inc. Builds RFID Tech Center
Barcoding Inc. has announced it will open an RFID technology center near its Baltimore headquarters. The 6,000-square-foot facility is expected to open within 60 days, according to Jay Steinmetz, Barcoding's CEO. The center will be used to house the company's research and development team, as well as to showcase its RFID products in implementations. Specifically, the firm plans to utilize the center to stage, configure and test large-scale integration projects that can then be implemented directly at customer sites. "One of the added values that we bring to our customers is our ability to deliver data-collection devices to their facilities already preloaded with their applications and configured to work on their network," said Martin Jack, Barcoding's director of software services, in a prepared statement. "This new building will give us the much-needed space to handle enterprise-wide rollouts, as well as expand our existing integration and repair center." Initially, Barcoding will showcase its RFID shelving system, which enables the automated tracking of assets in libraries, document storage facilities and data-tape archives; its RFID Interpreter, an integrated RFID interrogator, antenna and tag-data processing solution in a portable desktop device; its RFID slap-and-ship solution designed to help suppliers tag pallets to meet customer RFID requirements; and RFID solutions including GPS for managing and tracking slotting (the placement of pallets) in warehouses.

XIO Strategies Gets Passive RFID Contract From U.S. Army FCS
XIO Strategies, which specializes in supply chain management and communications consulting services to the government and military in particular, but also to commercial organizations, reports that it has been awarded a contract to provide passive RFID consulting services to the U.S. Army Future Combat Systems (FCS). The FCS is the Army's modernization effort to provide improved capabilities to soldiers by delivering leading-edge technologies, such as ruggedized wireless and hardwired solutions that track material movement with traceability and accountability in remote environments. Solutions will include a system with a user-friendly interface that soldiers can utilize to read RFID tags affixed to assets, then forward that information to a central logistics data center in order to confirm delivery. The contract is part of a larger initiative of contracts overseen by the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD), known as Passive Radio Frequency Identification (pRFID) Indefinite Delivery, Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contracts (see DOD Awards Passive RFID Contract to Six Vendors). These contracts cover three years of products and services, followed by three years of maintenance. An IDIQ contract basically provides for an indefinite quantity of supplies or services during a fixed span of time. The DOD's pRFID standard calls for a Class 1 Gen 2 tag with 96 bits of readable data that also has a unique ISO-approved DOD-format Electronic Product Code (EPC) allowing the tag to be used universally within the Defense Department. The DOD EPC utilizes a format different than that found in passive EPC RFID tags employed in non-military applications. To help it fulfill this contract, XIO Strategies will work with the Wright Brothers Institute and Alien Technology's RFID Solutions Center.
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