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Wave of New Gen2 RFID Tags Opens EPCglobal Show

EPCglobal opened its annual event EPC Connection today in Chicago. As vendor announcements have streamed out of the show this morning, there are new tag products galore, an encouraging sign of a rapidly maturing ecosystem. Those new tag announcements are summarized in this article.
Oct 02, 2007This article was originally published by RFID Update.

October 2, 2007—EPCglobal, the RFID standards organization behind Gen2 and other standards, opened its annual event, EPC Connection, today in Chicago. This year the organization partnered with RFID media company RFID Journal to host the event, which focuses on exploiting EPC-based RFID technology to drive business benefit.

As vendor announcements streamed out of the show this morning, there were two takeaways. First, unfortunately no major new deployments or end user initiatives have been announced, which is always the hope. Second, there are new tag products galore, an encouraging sign of a rapidly maturing ecosystem. Those new tag announcements are summarized below. Look for summaries of other vendor announcements later in the week.
  • RFID product and solutions provider Alien Technology announced two new tag products, both derived from the company's signature Squiggle tag. The postage stamp-sized Squiggle-SQ is designed for item-level tagging applications like pharmaceuticals, while the Squiggle-SH is designed for three-inch labels used on cases. The former will be in volume production in December, the latter in Q1 of next year.
     
  • Specialized tag designer and manufacturer Confidex introduced the Halo, a durable Gen2 tag designed for on-metal usage in challenging environments. Halo's form factor is relatively light and small, according to the company, and exhibits a read range of three to four meters on metal. Targeted applications include tagging aerospace parts, tracking returnable transport items, and storage shelf identification. The company already has the tag deployed at a number of customer trials.
     
  • Tag manufacturer RSI ID Technologies launched a number of tamper-evident RFID tags, one of which stops functioning when an attempt is made to remove it, another which leaves visual markings. RSI anticipates selling the tags for tracking sensitive goods, product authentication, and vehicle registration.
     
  • William Frick & Co. expanded its SmartMark line of RFID tags to include a product specifically designed for tagging industrial pipes. The company provides labeling, graphics, and identification and has a long history servicing the gas/water pipeline industry. The company indicates that the new tags offer 15-feet read range, 200-character storage capacity, and a service life of up to ten years. (Obscure though it may seem, pipe tagging has seen quite a bit of activity lately; see RFID Keeps WIP Well-Oiled for Oilfield Products Maker, Apparel Tags Provide Unlikely Solution for Pipe RFID, and New RFID Tags Help 'Call Before You Dig'.)
     
  • OMRON RFID, a division of the multibillion dollar Japanese electronic component manufacturer, announced the new Scorpion. The credit card-sized Gen2 inlay is ideal for case-level tagging as well as access control and asset management applications, according to the company.
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