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RFID News Roundup

NFC Forum collaborates on standards for mobile financial services; MyDealerLot integrates RTLS with repair order system; Brussels public transportation system adds NFC-enabled fare cards; Elatec releases 128-bit encryption upgrade for its RFID readers; Swisscom to provide systems integration services for Mojix's RFID system; Academia RFID offers training courses on data-capture software and EPCIS.
Sep 03, 2009The following are news announcements made during the past week.

NFC Forum Collaborates on Standards for Mobile Financial Services
The NFC Forum, an association promoting the adoption of Near Field Communication (NFC) technology, and the Mobey Forum, a global financial industry group, will work together to facilitate open standards to enable secure and interoperable mobile financial transactions. The Mobey Forum, many members of which are financial services companies, will communicate its industry's critical business requirements for consideration in open technical standards being developed by the NFC Forum, which includes several mobile communications, semiconductor and consumer electronics companies in its membership. "Financial services applications are among the key uses of NFC technology worldwide," said Koichi Tagawa, NFC Forum's chairman, in a prepared statement, adding that "the Mobey Forum will be an invaluable ally in making it easier for mobile users everywhere to perform a broad range of financial services transactions." The signing of the agreement coincides with the NFC Forum's all-members meeting, currently taking place in Oulu, Finland, from Aug. 31 to Sept. 6. During this weeklong event, representatives from the 140 NFC Forum member organizations are convening to advance initiatives focused on bringing NFC-enabled products and services to market. The NFC Forum holds three all-members meetings each year; the next such meeting will be held on Dec. 7-11, in New Orleans.

MyDealerLot Integrates RTLS With Repair Order System
MyDealerLot, a provider of passive RFID-enabled real-time location systems (RTLS) that enable car dealers to manage their inventory and customer-service processes, has integrated its product with MOC1 Solutions' Wireless Service Advisor (WSA) software, used by dealership service departments to write repair orders. WSA runs on a wireless tablet PC, leveraging a wireless LAN to communicate with back-end dealer-management systems. The integration will enable dealers utilizing MyDealerLot's Service Drive Concierge (SDC) system (see RFID Delivers Personal Service for Atlanta Car Dealer) to automatically retrieve repair orders at the moment customers pull into service lanes equipped with interrogators that cull the unique ID numbers from tagged cars. "SDC has always been about the very simple concept of knowing the exact moment a service customer pulls into the service drive," said George Cresto, MyDealerLot's founder and president, in a prepared statement. "This automated customer-arrival capture can enable numerous processes, such as the automated retrieval of the repair order using MOC1 Solution's innovative tablet solution for mobile check-in."

Brussels Public Transportation System Adds NFC-enabled Fare Cards
The Société des Transports Intercommunaux de Bruxelles (STIB), Belgium's largest urban public transportation operator, has begun implementing a MOBIB contactless transport card program for users of its Brussels-wide network of subways, buses and trams. The contactless card leverages Gemalto's, Celego card, a contactless e-ticket containing Near Field Communication (NFC) RFID tags. The MOBIB card (which is the size of a traditional credit card) is personalized with the holder's picture, and is valid for five years. Travelers can purchase different types—season tickets, 10-journey tickets or discount tickets—and add additional trips to their cards at ticket machines, or at fixed MOBIB readers, rather than having to visit ticket sales outlets. The MOBIB cards can also be employed at public car-parking facilities, and STIB plans to extend their use to other venues as well, such as stadiums, fairs and theaters. Deployment began in April 2009, and the cards are eventually expected to be extended to the entire Belgian population.

Elatec Releases 128-bit Encryption Upgrade for Its Readers
Elatec, a German provider of semiconductors, industrial computing systems, display technologies, RFID, IT security and telecom solutions, has announced a security upgrade to its family of Elatec RFID readers. The firmware upgrade adds 128-bit encryption to the interrogators, and is designed to protect data as it traverses between the readers and host computers. The encryption technology, according to Elatec, helps protect access authorizations, identities or control commands against eavesdropping or tampering by unauthorized individuals, without the need for additional encryption hardware. The company's product line includes RFID interrogators that operate at 125 kHz, 13.56 MHz, 868/915 MHz or 2.4 GHz.

Swisscom to Provide Systems Integration Services for Mojix's RFID System
Mojix, a provider of a long-range ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) passive RFID technology, has announced that Swisscom Auto-ID Services will provide consulting, systems integration and support services for the Mojix STAR system. The STAR system uses techniques developed for deep-space communication to boost the read range of passive UHF EPC Gen 2 RFID tags, as well as identify their precise location in three dimensions. The system was chosen as the "Best in Show" winner of the 2008 RFID Journal Awards (see The Brightest Star). According to Mojix, a single STAR receiver can cover an area of up to 250,000 square feet, pinpointing tags in 3-D space (see Mojix Takes Passive UHF RFID to a New Level). Swisscom Auto-ID Services is a subsidiary of Swiss telecommunications firm Swisscom. The two companies will also collaborate on market development efforts in Switzerland, Germany, Austria and Italy.

Academia RFID Offers Training Courses on Data-Capture Software and EPCIS
Academia RFID, a Canadian training and consulting firm that offers university-level courses and training, is adding two new online training courses: EPCglobal Data Capture Software Standards, and EPC Information Services (EPCIS) for RFID Visibility Data. Electronic Product Code (EPC) standards expert Ken Traub developed the two new courses to help organizations better understand and use EPCglobal standards to facilitate the transfer and flow of information through the supply chain. Traub, an independent consultant, holds several leadership roles within EPCglobal. He serves on the organization's Architecture Review Committee, which oversees all technical specifications, and is also an active contributor and/or cochair of six technical working groups; in particular, he is the lead editor of EPCglobal's ALE, EPCIS, Core Business Vocabulary and Tag Data specifications. "EPCglobal has ratified a suite of 11 standards for the identification, capture and exchange of visibility data using RFID and the Electronic Product Code," Traub said in a prepared statement, adding that a "working knowledge of these standards is indispensable for anybody who is planning to build RFID software systems, or to deploy the many commercial products that implement the standards." In addition to working with EPCglobal, Traub was a founder and CTO of ConnecTerra, an early RFID software pioneer acquired in 2005 by BEA Systems (subsequently acquired by Oracle in 2008).
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