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RFID News Roundup
Fosstrak releases open-source LLRP software; Invengo kicks off June promotions on inlays, labels, smart cards, readers; Savi unveils new RTLS solution; Sirit, Eriginate partner on UHF livestock tracking solution; WinWare adds new RFID-enabled drawers to CribMaster system; Hong Kong International Airport expands RFID implementation; smart card association forms in Middle East.
Jun 11, 2009—The following are news announcements made during the past week.
Fosstrak Releases Open-Source LLRP Software
The developers of Fosstrak, an open-source RFID software platform that implements the EPC Network specifications, has announced the release of the Fosstrak LLRP Commander. The free open-source module provides an intuitive interface to configure and control RFID readers that support EPCglobal's Low-Level Reader Protocol (LLRP) standard. Fosstrak LLRP Commander complements the Fosstrak RFID platform's three other open-source modules—an EPCglobal-certified Electronic Product Code Information Services (EPCIS) repository, a Tag Data Translation (TDT) engine and Application-Level Events (ALE) middleware with built-in LLRP support—originally released in 2007 (see Auto-ID Lab Releases Accada RFID Prototyping Platform). "Instead of assembling binary LLRP messages in custom code," says Christian Floerkemeier, one of Fosstrak's founders and project coordinators, "an application engineer can use the LLRP Commander to build LLRP configuration messages in a convenient graphical editor. Because of a built-in LLRP help system, there is no need to search through the hundreds of pages of the EPCglobal LLRP specification." After building a configuration LLRP message, he explains, the application engineer can utilize the LLRP Commander to distribute the configuration to any LLRP-compliant RFID interrogator, thereby eliminating the need to employ different proprietary tools for each particular reader type in an RFID deployment. Since all messages from and to the readers are captured and stored in a database, he notes, developers can easily inspect reader health and tag-read reports. "Since the Fosstrak LLRP Commander is open source and easy to extend, we imagine that users can easily add new features," Floerkemeier says. "The Fosstrak LLRP Commander thus has the potential to become a universal framework for reader clients—eliminating the need to have a different reader client for each reader type. This means that end users and systems integrators can use a single tool to configure all LLRP-compliant readers, and reader vendors do not have to invest in maintaining their own proprietary reader clients." The LLRP Commander, as well as the other three Fosstrak modules, can be downloaded from the project's Web site.
Invengo Kicks Off June Promotions on Inlays, Labels, Smart Cards, Readers
Invengo Technology Corp., a Chinese RFID hardware manufacturer, has announced a sales promotion for its resellers and channel partners, offering lower prices on low-volume orders of RFID inlays, labels, smart cards and interrogators. Companies can now order in volumes of 250,000 for the same price as 1 million volume pricing. The promotion includes inlays made with NXP Semiconductors' Ucode G2XL chips: The XCTF-8030A-C02 Dry inlay (normally priced at $0.070 each) now costs $0.061 apiece, for a savings of $2,250 on each order, while the XCTF-8030A-C02-FSI Wet inlay (normally $0.087 each) is now $0.068 apiece, for a total savings of $4,750 on each order. The promotion also includes inlays made with NXP's Ucode G2XM chips: The XCTF-8030A-C03 Dry inlay (normally priced at $0.085 each) now costs $0.075 each for a total savings of $2,500 on each order, and the XCTF-8030A-C03-FSI Wet inlay (normally $0.10 each) is now $.087 apiece, for a savings of $3, 250 on each order. Labels containing the G2XL chip can now be ordered in volumes of 20,000 for the same price as 1 million volume pricing. The XCTF-8100A-C02 4-by-6-inch label (normally priced at $0.132 each) now costs $0.101 apiece, while the XCTF-8100A-C02 4-by-2-inch label (normally $0.13 each) now costs $0.099 each. The promotion will be available through the end of June, to registered Invengo resellers and channel partners. Pricing does not including shipping (from Herndon, Va.).
Savi Unveils New RTLS Solution
Savi Technology has unveiled a real-time locating system (RTLS) solution that leverages the company's new SLM-650 location markers—battery-operated beacons approximately the size and shape of hockey pucks. The location markers can be placed almost anywhere in a facility or yard, and communicate their "reference points" to assets equipped with Savi's new ST-632 433 MHz active RFID asset tags, which are compliant with the ISO 18000-7 standard (also known as Dash7). Each RFID tag collects and transmits its identity and nearby reference point, culled from a location marker, to the Savi SmartChain software, which calculates the tag's location and displays it on a site map of the customer's facility. The ST-632 tags also have lights and buzzers on them that can be activated, if necessary, to help staff members quickly pinpoint an asset's location. The location markers differ in several ways from Savi's Signposts, which the company launched in 2006. Signposts activate tags as they pass by and provide a single location point—typically gates, portals or dock doors—and are generally used for in-transit shipment locations. This information lets a user know when and where the tagged asset has passed by that location. Location markers, on the other hand, don't wake up the tags—rather, they provide the tag with multiple reference points when the tag has stopped. The reference points are collected and transmitted to software that calculates the location based on those points. These are generally used for in-facility and large, industrial-type yard locations. Other RTLS companies have also introduced similar beacon technologies; three months ago, Ekahau, a provider of Wi-Fi-based real-time location systems, announced plans to begin offering location beacons designed to increase the location accuracy of its RTLS solution, particularly in areas with poor Wi-Fi coverage (see Wi-Fi RTLS Provider Ekahau Intros Location Beacons and Survey Tool). Ekahau's Wi-Fi tags can recognize location beacons' signals and transmit that data to the RTLS server, which then calculates the precise locations of the Ekahau tags. Savi has also announced an upgraded version of its SmartChain 6.0 Adaptive Application suite.
Sirit, Eriginate Partner on UHF Livestock Tracking Solution
Canadian RFID firm Sirit and Eriginate, an integrator of track, trace and monitoring solutions for the livestock food industry, have announced a partnership in which Eriginate will utilize Sirit's ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) RFID tag and reader technology. Eriginate's eTattoo system, designed to track and monitor cattle, is leveraging Sirit's UHF inlays (embedded into livestock ear tags) and Sirit's IDentity 5100 reader. The system, developed with the help of livestock owners, was designed specifically to meet the rugged demands associated with the beef and dairy industries, according to the two companies. The eTattoo ear tags provide both visual and electronic identification in a single tag, and read ranges can be adjusted between 2 and 50 feet. The tags can be read from either the front or back of an animal, the companies report, and multiple tags can be interrogated simultaneously without system lockups or read delays. Eriginate and Sirit indicate they have been field-testing the eTattoo ear tag and the IDentity 5100 reader system for the past 18 months, and systems are currently being implemented in the United States, Brazil and Taiwan. The eTattoo system and Sirit components are available now.
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