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RFID Deployment at DoD Completes First Phase
In the next few days, RFID solutions provider ODIN technologies will announce the completion of the first of two phases in its RFID infrastructure deployment for the US Department of Defense.
Oct 04, 2006—This article was originally published by RFID Update.
October 4, 2006—In the next few days, RFID solutions provider ODIN technologies will announce the completion of the first of two phases in its RFID infrastructure deployment for the US Department of Defense. ODIN president and CEO Patrick Sweeney told RFID Update that the deployment spans 19 bases comprising a total of 69 facilities, all within the continental United States. The second phase of the deployment will equip seven OCONUS facilities, those "outside the continental US".
According to Sweeney, one of the DoD's criteria for project completion was 100% read rates. "We had to demonstrate 100% read rates at the case level before we could get paid," he said. Specifically, the acceptance testing process for every portal required passing a tagged pallet through the portal ten times. The pallets included 20 tags that might be either Gen1 and Gen2. "It's significantly more complex than say Wal-Mart, which is just trying to read one pallet tag," said Sweeney, who noted that ODIN completed the job in less than 130 days. ODIN's team worked closely alongside a team from the DoD, whom Sweeney praised.
Sweeney wouldn't comment on the exact number of portals that were equipped or RFID readers that were deployed, saying only that they number in the hundreds.
Asked whether the completed deployment will spur demand for RFID from suppliers to the DoD, Sweeney answered, "Absolutely." In fact, the ramp-up has already begun, at least as gauged by ODIN's own client base. "Since the DOD announcement that they had awarded the contract and that they were moving forward aggressively, we have seen a significant uptick in our client base in the defense realm." Suppliers are further driven by upcoming deadlines for RFID compliance. "Most of the suppliers that are covered under [the DoD's new RFID regulations] realize they can't turn on an RFID network overnight."
Sweeney added to the chorus of implementers heralding the improved performance of Gen2 technology. "There's a monumental difference between Gen1 and Gen2 performance," he said. "There really is no comparison." He emphasized strongly that DoD suppliers deploying RFID should use Gen2 technology and be wary of RFID vendors that might be pushing Gen1 technology because they are trying to purge their Gen1 inventory.
In May, ODIN announced that it had been selected by the DoD to administer the 26-facility deployment (see ODIN Wins $7m RFID Contract from DoD). It is a contract worth up to $7 million. ODIN was reportedly selected from a group of eleven competing bidders.
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