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2008 RFID Excellence in Business Awards Announced

The 2008 RFID Excellence in Business Awards were presented at the RFID World conference on Monday night.
Sep 09, 2008This article was originally published by RFID Update.

September 9, 2008—The winners of the 2008 RFID Excellence in Business Awards were announced on Monday at the RFID World exhibition and conference during a reception at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

RFID Revolution, a consulting firm based in Silver Spring, Maryland, created the awards last year in cooperation with RFID World to honor innovation and leadership in the deployment of RFID and RTLS systems.

According to RFID Revolution founder Leslie Downey, this year's entries reflected the expansion of RFID into more complex and mature applications. "There was a significant increase in the number of item-level tracking applications in the submissions, and several of them involved millions of tags," Downey said. "Many of them were international applications as well, involving multiple regions of the world."

The winners were selected from more than 60 entries received from June 16 to August 5, 2008.

Judges this year included Dr. Dan Dobkin, owner of Enigmatics; Ann Grackin, CEO of ChainLink Research; Sue Hutchinson, director of industry adoption at EPCglobal North America; Sandip Lahiri, IT architect at IBM Software Group; Doug Martin, consultant, RFID Applications; Greg Matula, program manager for RFID operations at Hewlett-Packard; Dan Mullen, president of AIM Global; and lead judge Laurie Sullivan, editor of RFID World Online.

Organizers added a new award category this year, Excellence in Protecting the Environment, for real-world applications that help protect natural resources, species or ecosystems.

"We were very happy to include that category this year," Downey said. "I believe RFID can offer a lot in terms of not only improving the efficiency of industry, but also improving the environmental sustainability of their business practices."

This year's winners are:
  • The U.S. Department of Defense's Office of the Product Manager - Joint-Automatic Identification Technology for Excellence in RFID Implementation. The DoD's In-Transit Visibility Network (ITVN) utilizes Savi's 433.92 MHz active RFID technology to track cargo around the globe. The system monitors an average of 35,000 shipments daily across 45 countries, and has led to the adoption of compatible networks among allied forces worldwide, including NATO and its member countries.
  • Kimberly-Clark for Excellence in RFID Pilot. Consumer goods manufacturer Kimberly-Clark teamed with PINC Solutions and Motorola to pilot an RTLS-enabled trailer yard management system using passive RFID technology, combined with data elements from GPS and WiFi systems. The company also developed tag enclosures that helped to improve read rates while protecting the tags from environmentally harsh conditions.
  • Sensormatic for Excellence in RFID Technology. Sensormatic's iREAD platform is a perpetual inventory system that is backward compatible with existing EPC Gen2 readers and tags. Hundreds of read points can be driven by one reader port with no hardware or firmware changes to the reader, and the system provides a foundation for a single infrastructure integrating EAS, RFID and other sensor technologies to improve inventory control.
  • Victor Vega of Alien Technology was named RFID Visionary of the Year. Vega, director of IC and tag product marketing at Alien, was honored for his work with customers to develop innovative RFID applications, and for his work at the Alien RFID Academy, where he has trained more than 2,000 students in RFID.
  • SkyeTek for Most Innovative RFID Application. GaiShan Technology has leveraged SkyeTek's hardware and software in its TellMate portable audio devices to help blind users identify and differentiate objects. Visually impaired people, their families or caregivers can label household items with directions or other information, which the player can verbalize. The player can also be used to read RFID tags placed in books to provide the title, author and a synopsis, and will eventually be used to purchase and download audio books from the Internet.
  • The Hawaii State Department of Agriculture for Protecting the Environment. The Department, in conjunction with the Hawaii Farm Bureau Federation, is using RFID as a cost effective means to provide accountability and security in the food supply chain for produce. The project, funded by the Economic Development Alliance of Hawaii, uses handheld and fixed portal readers at strategic transfer points to track produce from farm to retailer. A web interface provides end-to-end traceability to help manage food safety investigations and recalls. (See Islands of Automation: Hawaii Sponsors RFID Trial for more on the deployment.)
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