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Wrap-Up from This Week's EPC RFID Event

EPCglobal held its annual conference this week in Chicago. While no major deployments or end user initiatives were unveiled at this year's event, a number of new products, certifications, and capabilities were announced which collectively speak to the steady progress of EPC-based RFID adoption.
Tags: Standards
Oct 04, 2007This article was originally published by RFID Update.

October 4, 2007—EPCglobal, the organization behind Gen2 and other RFID standards, held its annual conference, EPC Connection, this week in Chicago. While no major deployments or end user initiatives were unveiled at this year's event, a number of new products, certifications, and capabilities were announced which collectively speak to the steady progress of EPC-based RFID adoption. In particular, the new Gen2 tag product launches were numerous, as covered in Tuesday's Wave of New Gen2 RFID Tags Opens EPCglobal Show. Summarized below are the remaining announcements.
  • EPCglobal awarded certification to seven RFID software solutions for compliance with the EPCIS standard: WebSphere RFID Information Center from IBM, RFON EPCIS from LG CNS, iTag - IS from MetaRights, RFID Manager Information Service and Web OTX RFID Manager Information Service from NEC, RFID Middleware from NTT Comware Corporation, and Rubi IS from Samsung SDS. Recall that EPCIS, ratified earlier this year, standardizes data transfer and sharing among trading partners (see RFID Data Sharing Standard EPCIS is Ratified).
  • RFID product and solutions provider Alien Technology made three announcements: two new tag products, three new reader products, and two new RFID training courses. The new tags are derived from Alien's signature Squiggle tag. The Squiggle-SQ is designed for item-level tagging applications, while the Squiggle-SH is designed for three-inch labels used on cases. The reader products include an enterprise class Gen2 reader, a small form factor antenna for asset tracking and item-level applications, and a dock-door portal solution. The two new courses offered by Alien are a CompTIA RFID+ certification prep course and one for non-technical US Department of Defense managers to learn passive RFID deployment. The courses are offered at the company's RFID Solutions Center in Dayton, Ohio, a city which aims to establish a leading role for itself in the RFID market (see Dayton, Ohio Investing $1.4M to Support RFID Firms).
  • ThingMagic, the Gen2 RFID reader manufacturer, announced the M5e-Compact, a "tiny" reader module designed for embedding in printers, handheld readers, and other portable RFID applications. Combining low power, short range, and high performance, the M5e-Compact is derived from ThingMagic's existing Mercury5e module product, but consumes one-third the power and is half the size. It incorporates Intel's R1000 chip, released earlier this year (see Intel Announces Gen2 RFID Reader Chip).
  • RFID chip and reader manufacturer Impinj announced a firmware upgrade for its Speedway line of Gen2 readers. Called Octane 3.0, its features included support for LLRP, improved performance, and integration with the leading RFID software and infrastructure solutions. Slated for broad availability later this year, the firmware can also detect in which direction a standard Gen2 tag is moving through a read portal.
  • Omnitrol Networks has added EPCIS capabilities to its flagship work-in-process visibility appliance, the OMNITROL.
  • RFID network infrastructure manufacturer Reva Systems has added EPCIS event reporting to its TAP appliance, which the company indicates will enable highly scalable RFID data collection across an enterprise.
  • IBM announced that eight RFID hardware manufacturers have had their products validated for easy integration with the company's WebSphere RFID Information Center. They are: Alien Technology, Arcom, FEIG ELECTRONIC, Intermec, Motorola, Reva Systems, Sirit, and TAGSYS.
  • In addition to a new ruggedized Gen2 tag product, specialized tag designer and manufacturer Confidex announced its new Authorized Reseller Program.
  • CYBRA and Solzon partnered to provide RFID solutions specifically to users of IBM's System i platform. CYBRA develops bar code and RFID labeling software for the IBM iSeries, while Solzon is a full service technology integration consulting firm.
  • Active RFID solutions provider Savi Technology, a subsidiary of defense contractor giant Lockheed Martin, announced regulatory approval for use of its products by the governments of Taiwan, Malaysia, and Chile. The company's products are now approved in more than 50 countries.
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