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RFID Weekly News Roundup -- August 13, 2009

The RFID industry got a new trade show and industry association this week. Other news highlighted in the weekly roundup include multiple new implementation announcements and a handful of product releases.
Aug 13, 2009This article was originally published by RFID Update.

August 13, 2009—This week a major RFID industry exhibition and conference was replaced with a virtual version, a new industry association formed in Australia, projects in Asia headlined news of deployments, and industry leaders Impinj and UPM Raflatac were among the vendors releasing new products. The roundup below covers details of these and other RFID news developments from the past week.
  • UBM Business Media has canceled the RFID World trade show that had been scheduled for this fall in Dallas and announced a new online-only event, The Track & Trace Virtual Trade Show, to be held December 2-3. UBM Business Media business director Jennifer Jessup told RFID Update the company hopes to revive RFID World next year if exhibitor and attendee interest and the economy improve. "Virtual trade shows are a strong complement, but will never replace live events," she said.

    The most recent RFID World was held last September in Las Vegas. See RFID World '08: Now You See It... for RFID Update's review.

    The Track & Trace Virtual Trade Show will be free for attendees and will have online presentations, an "exhibit hall" where exhibitors can showcase products, a resource center with educational material and other features. Industry association AIM Global is partnering to produce the event and will collaborate on the conference development. The organizers plan to release more information and begin accepting registrations in September. Details will be posted at www.ubmtrackandtrace.com.
  • Ofcom, the UK agency responsible for managing radio spectrum, is seeking opinions on how to use 8 MHz of available radio spectrum, some of which borders on the frequencies commonly used in UHF RFID systems. The Register reports more details.
  • RFID training firm OTA Training announced it formed RFID Australasia to increase RFID awareness, knowledge and adoption in the Australasian region. Membership in the industry group is open to anyone, and OTA Training said it has had contact with more than 40 prospective members.

    "The intent is to increase the number and enhance the quality of connections for everyone interested or involved in RFID within Australia, New Zealand and Southeast Asia," said Jonathan Elcombe, general manager of OTA Training Australasia. "Everyone can learn more about the state-of-the-art RFID technology, research and innovation from academic, government and industrial researchers, as well as connect with counterparts at businesses that have already implemented RFID systems into their commercial operation."
  • China's 250-bed Xiamen Women and Children Hospital implemented new mobile and wireless systems including an 802.11n-standard WiFi RTLS system from Aruba Networks. "RTLS has largely eliminated manual searches for misplaced equipment, allowing us to expedite service and minimize patient waiting time," IT director Yang Guancai said in the announcement. "Combined with our wireless surveillance system, RTLS had also reduced the volume of lost and stolen equipment."
  • CATS LUHAI Investment Co. has ordered two million secure UHF RFID chips from IPICO to be used for motor vehicle identification, registration and toll collection in China. CATS LUHAI Investment is IPICO's joint venture partner in China and is a subsidiary of the China Academy of Transportation Sciences (CATS), a government agency. According to the announcement, the Chinese government is developing a variety of systems to identify the 56 million registered vehicles in the country.
  • d'Vineripe, an Australian greenhouse tomato grower, is using HF RFID tags and handheld readers from Tracient Technologies to record the time workers spend completing various tasks. The data automatically creates time sheets for workers and is exported to other applications for workforce analysis. Tracient has a case study about the system on its website.
  • Toronto-based RFID technology developer Sirit and Toll Solutions, a Latin American systems integrator, teamed to install a passive UHF RFID toll collection system in Colombia. The companies announced they installed five RFID-enabled toll plazas on the Concesion Vial de Cartagena highway between Cartagena and the Port of Manga.
  • Separately, Sirit released its second-quarter results. Revenues increased 9 percent over the prior-year quarter to $4.7 million (US$). The company posted a net loss of $0.9 million, an improvement from the $2.2 million net loss in Q208.
  • Axcess International reported how its active RFID system for identifying trucks and containers has helped the U.S. Department of Energy clean up its Hanford Site, a decommissioned nuclear production facility in Washington.
  • The Green River District Health Department in Kentucky has purchased the VeriTrace emergency management system from VeriChip, which features human-implantable RFID chips that are used to identify people in a disaster or mass evacuation situation. See the announcement.
  • RFID chip and reader manufacturer Impinj has announced the availability of Revolution, the second addition to its Speedway RFID reader product line. The highlight of the Speedway Revolution is a new capability called Autopilot which dynamically tweaks the reader's configuration to optimize performance. Typically readers are manually configured to a lowest common denominator to ensure that successful reads occur even in worst-case scenarios. The result is that optimal performance is compromised. Speedway Revolution addresses this with its Autopilot technology by re-configuring and optimizing itself in real time to adapt to changes in its environment.
  • Savi Technology announced its RFID devices have been approved by the U.S. Air Force for use in airplanes and helicopters. The Air Force tested the ISO 18000-7 standard RFID equipment and determined that it did not interfere with aircraft electronics.
  • Tag inlay manufacturer UPM Raflatac announced Dogbone Freeze, an inlay designed to operate at temperatures of -40C/F degrees. German retailer and leading RFID adopter METRO Group has already been using the product to tag frozen foods at one of its distribution centers.
  • ASAP Systems of San Jose, California introduced packaged asset management solutions that combine application software and mobile RFID and bar code data collection capabilities. The system can be used for fixed assets, tools, equipment, furniture, small items and other assets.
  • Xsens, a Dutch company that makes inertial sensors, and ultra-wideband RTLS technology provider Time Domain announced they have partnered to develop 3D tracking systems for the entertainment industry. The solutions will provide precise motion capture that animators and video game developers can use to create more lifelike motion.
  • EMW, a Virginia systems integrator specializing in networks and telecommunications, will resell RF Code's active RFID asset management solutions, the companies announced.
  • Siemens Energy Automation introduced two UHF read/write modules developed for use with programmable logic controllers (PLCs). The Simatic RF620R has a single antenna and the RF630R can connect to two. Both modules are compatible with S7 PLCs and support ProfiNet, EthernetIP, TCP/IP and Profibus communication.
  • Honeywell introduced the Flexline Wireless Radar Gauge which accepts input from RFID tags and other wireless devices to monitor conditions and activity inside tanks. It is compatible with the ISA 100.11a standard and supports multiple wireless protocols.
  • Alanco Technologies, which provides RFID-based inmate tracking systems, announced sales increased 42 percent to $19 million for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2009.
  • Previously this week RFID Update reported the launch of a major program by the Universal Postal Union that will immediately result in RFID mail tracking in 21 countries and is expected to expand to more than 100 (see RFID Mail Tracking Expands to 21 Countries).
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