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RFID Venture Purchased by VCs

Six-year old Intelligent Systems, which was formerly a division of the New Ventures Group at packaging giant MeadWestvaco, has been acquired by two venture capital firms and renamed Vue Technology.
Sep 09, 2005This article was originally published by RFID Update.

September 9, 2005—Six-year old Intelligent Systems, which was formerly a division of the New Ventures Group at packaging giant MeadWestvaco, has been acquired by venture capital firms Partech International and Canaan Partners. The company has changed its name to Vue Technology and will operate as an independent company, with representatives of MeadWestvaco, Partech, and Canaan serving on its board. MeadWestvaco has retained an interest position. Financial details were not disclosed.

As its new name suggests, Vue is focused on supply chain visibility. It offers a range of software and hardware aimed at providing and leveraging RFID-enabled data to eliminate classic supply chain pain points and inefficiencies like out-of-stocks and shrinkage. According to the press release, "retailers can track what products are selling and how quickly; when inventory is low and what items need to be re-ordered; what items have been misplaced; what types of products are most likely to be lost or stolen and what promotional offers are working." Some of the notable RFID early adopters are currently evaluating Vue products, including Best Buy, Tesco, and CVS.

The company's solutions were designed with an eye towards scalability and openness. They are frequency, hardware, and operating system agnostic, support ISO and EPCglobal standards, and rely on a Java platform to ensure application extensibility.

A distinguishing characteristic of the company is its focus on item-level tagging. Many in the industry consider wide-scale item-level tagging of inexpensive goods to be a reality that is still a few years away (think five-cent tag). RFID's cost and its imperfect performance are key hurdles, as are the lack of a built-out reader infrastructure and meaningful information exchange between trading partners. Notwithstanding, most agree that item-level tagging will indeed happen beyond just pharmaceuticals and high-value goods; the question is when. With product names like ItemAuthority and ItemTrack, Vue Technology is already positioning itself for that eventuality.

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