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RFID News Roundup
DOD awards new contracts for auto-ID technology; TagStone, OATSystems partner to serve companies in Middle East; Invengo intros fixed RFID reader with Wi-Fi, GPRS and Bluetooth; FileTrail unveils kit to help companies add RFID to file-tracking apps; Sunnyvale Public Library books RFID for better service; PSA Security Network to distribute Axcess International's Dot system.
Jul 30, 2009—The following are news announcements made during the last week.
DOD Awards New Contracts for Auto-ID Technology
The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) has begun awarding indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity (IDIQ) contracts to vendors as part of the U.S. Army's Automatic Identification Technology-IV (AIT-IV) program. The program is designed to provide the DOD, the U.S. Coast Guard and other federal agencies with technologies—including bar codes, contact and touch memory, thermal printing, biometrics, cellular, satellite, and voice recognition communication—for locating and monitoring assets and tracking logistics processes. The Army anticipates applications for AIT-IV to include inventory applications, warehouse-management solutions, maintenance and repair systems, and security applications for entry and exit points at military facilities, roadside installations and other environments. An IDIQ contract allows a vendor to fulfill a purchase order from any authorized federal agency for an indefinite quantity of supplies or services during a specified period of time. The AIT-IV contract is worth more than $400 million over three years, with an option of up to six additional years. Systems integrator CDO Technologies has been awarded a contract to serve as a lead integrator, and is authorized to provide a set of integrated automatic ID and data collection (AIDC) solutions, systems integration, and engineering services for logistics and asset management, along with partners A2B Tracking, ASC Software, Central State University, HCI Integrated Solutions, Motorola, Naniq, Vantedge, Williams Software and Zebra Technologies. "AIT-IV will be the cornerstone of the most sophisticated supply chain systems the DOD has ever undertaken," said Don Ertel, CDO Technologies' VP, in a prepared statement. "These systems require the seamless integration of the most advanced automatic ID and communications technologies and services available." RFID systems provider Intermec has also been awarded the AIT-IV contract, and will provide its CK3 and CN3 rugged mobile computers, SR61 handheld bar-code scanner, PD42 commercial bar-code printer, PF8 desktop printer and PM4i RFID printer-encoder.
TagStone, OATSystems Partner to Serve Companies in Middle East
TagStone, an RFID consultancy based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, is teaming with RFID middleware and applications provider OATSystems, a division of Checkpoint Systems, to provide RFID applications to Middle Eastern companies. The duo will focus on supply chain and asset-management applications in the oil and gas, aviation, and supply chain industries. The partners report they are already working on an RFID project with a large oil company that has operations in oil, exploration, drilling, production and export. The project involves implementing an RFID-enabled document-management solution to help the oil company more accurately maintain tens of thousands of operational documents. The RFID solution, known as ESearch, is replacing a legacy solution that required the oil company to manually enter data regarding the documents so they could be tracked. ESearch leverages EPC-standard RFID tags and handheld and fixed RFID interrogators so the firm can identify and track RFID-tagged documents; the solution can interpret each document's identity and location, detect when a document leaves the corporate library without being properly checked out, take inventory of tagged documents on the shelf, and locate misplaced documents within the office environment. In a prepared statement, Prasad Putta, OATSystems' general manager, said the relationship with TagStone "will enable us to extend our industry-leading solutions to new geographies and new customers, and we look forward to jointly addressing many more customers' needs. This first regional project is an excellent example of how real-time, actionable visibility can improve business operations and enhance efficiency quickly and easily."
Invengo Intros Fixed RFID Reader With Wi-Fi, GPRS and Bluetooth
Chinese RFID hardware manufacturer Invengo has introduced a new ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) fixed interrogator, the XCRF-860 Enhanced Edition (860E). The new reader, an upgraded version of the XCRF-860, now includes optional wireless configurations so that Wi-Fi, GPRS and Bluetooth communications can be added to the device. According to Invengo, the wireless connectivity enables the reader to operate wherever there is power and a wireless network, making it easier to install and reposition the interrogator throughout an RFID implementation. The 860E supports the EPC Class 1 Gen 2 and ISO 18000-6C standards, operates at 902-928 MHz frequency and incorporates Impinj's Indy processor. The device supports dense reader mode and multiple protocols, Invengo reports, and also provides advanced filtering techniques. Additionally, the new version has an SC card slot and a built-in real-time clock for data-verification and data-collection applications. The read distance is up to 10 meters (33 feet). The 860E is available now for the American and Asian markets.
FileTrail Unveils Kit to Help Companies Add RFID to File-Tracking Apps
FileTrail, a file-tracking and records-management solutions provider based in San Jose, Calif., has unveiled new tools designed to help organizations integrate RFID technology into existing tracking applications. The FileTrail RFID Toolkit is a collection of .Net Web services that in-house developers can use to integrate RFID functionality and begin posting item-tracking and location information into their current systems, including bar-code-based tracking systems and those built to utilize older RFID technologies. FileTrail developed the toolkit using Microsoft .Net v3.5 and Windows Communication Foundation (WCF). The suite of Web Services supports multiple transport protocols, including HTTP and WS HTTP, and provides industry-standard messaging such as SOAP (1.1 or 1.2) and MTOM. The RFID Toolkit runs on Windows Server 2003/2008 (with IIS) and employs an SQL Server 2005/2008 database.
Sunnyvale Public Library Books RFID for Better Service
The Sunnyvale Public Library, located in California's Silicon Valley, has announced it will implement RFID-enabled sorting, security and self-check solutions from Bibliotheca RFID Library Systems, headquartered in Cham, Switzerland. The library serves a population of approximately 140,000 individuals, through a growing collection of nearly 350,000 volumes and an annual circulation of 2.5 million titles. Bibliotheca offers RFID systems that operate at 13.56 MHz and comply with the ISO 15693 standard. The deal includes a 21-bin automated materials-handling system, the Bibliotheca BiblioSort system, that sorts items placed in up to 10 return stations, then moves those items to different destinations throughout the library. The Sunnyvale Public Library is replacing its current self-check units with Bibliotheca's new Orion series of RFID-enabled self-service stations, which will be fully integrated with the library's current checkout software. The implementation will also include BiblioConversion on the Fly software (for easy transition from bar-code labels to RFID), BiblioGates (single- or double-aisle sensor gates that read tagged items as they pass by), BiblioStaff Stations (enabling staff members to initialize RFID tags attached to library media and ID cards at their workstations) and BiblioChip RFID tags. "Our library customers expect a high-quality library experience and want it as efficiently and as fast as possible, just as you would expect from residents of Silicon Valley," said Lisa Rosenblum, library director for the city of Sunnyvale, in a prepared statement. "So our goal in selecting Bibliotheca as an RFID partner is to capitalize on advanced self-service and automated sorting tools to enhance and grow the level of service our library offers the community."
Axcess International to Distribute Dot System Through Security Channel
RFID tracking solutions provider Axcess International has announced that its Dot Wireless Credential product is now available as a bundled system that will be available from PSA Security Network, an electronic security cooperative comprising more than 200 electronic security systems integrators, and providing access to products from 200 manufacturing vendor partners. Dot Wireless Credential, designed to provide businesses with visibility into the location and status of their labor and assets inside their operations, includes a wireless corporate ID card that leverages Axcess International's dot-sized ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) RFID chip. The chip, known as Enterprise Dot, enables the card to operate as either a passive EPC Gen 2 tag operating at 860 to 960 MHz, or as an active tag operating at 433 MHz. According to Axcess International, Dot Wireless Credential was recently used to help protect President Obama during his April 2009 visit to Trinidad for the fifth Summit of the Americas Conference. Now, the system is being bundled into a product to be sold through the distribution channel, to enable any security dealer or reseller to easily sell and install the solutions. PSA Security Network will distribute the DOT Wireless Credential worldwide. Together, PSA members are responsible for more than $1.7 billion in annual security systems design, installation, integration and maintenance of access control, video surveillance, intrusion detection, fire and life safety systems.
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