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RFID News Roundup

Xerafy intros new UHF tags for asset tracking; Ekahau, Conexus to supply RTLS to Brooke Army Medical Center; IDTronic unveils USB pen stick reader; CreativeSystems offers hosted RFID retail-management solution; Intermec to buy Vocollect for $190 million; Premo unveils UHF wireless radio module; Daily RFID intros RFID poultry tag.
Jan 20, 2011The following are news announcements made during the past week.

Xerafy Intros New UHF Tags for Asset Tracking
Xerafy has introduced its Trak family of ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) RFID metal tags sized to fit a variety of assets, from IT components to large shipping containers. The tags leverage Alien Technology's Higgs 3 EPC Gen 2 UHF transponders, and offer 512 bits of memory. The tags are available in a 902 to 928 MHz version (for the United States), as well as an 865.6 to 867.6 MHz version (for Europe). The Data Trak tag, priced at $25 for a pack of 10 tags, measures 1.45 inches by 0.51 inch by 0.12 inch (36.7 millimeters by 13 millimeters by 3 millimeters) and meets the Financial Services Technical Consortium (FSTC) specifications for tracking IT assets (see Financial Consortium Publishes RFID Standards for IT Assets). It has a read range of 11.5 feet (3.5 meters) on metal, and 5.6 feet (1.7 meters) off metal. The Versa Trak, priced at $35 for a pack of 10 tags, measures 1.97 inches by 0.67 inch by 0.20 inch (50 millimeters by 17 millimeters by 5 millimeters) and has a read range of 23 feet (7 meters) on metal, and 11 feet (3.5 meters) off metal. Its performance and small footprint, Xerafy reports, make the Versa Trak suitable for totes and other returnable transport items (RTIs). The Cargo Trak, designed for cargo and yard management, is priced at $40 for a pack of 10 tags, has a read range of up to 33 feet (10 meters) and measures 3.94 inches by 1.02 inches by 0.35 inch (100 millimeters by 26 millimeters by 8.9 millimeters). "The Trak family was designed to provide customers the convenience of using one RFID tag for tracking both plastic and metallic assets at the right price and read-distance performance," said Dennis Khoo, Xerafy's CEO, in a prepared statement. "We also made it easy for customers to deploy by providing a unique sleek tag design with multiple ways for tag attachment in an array of colors." All three Trak tag models can be attached via adhesives; Cargo Trak comes with rivet holes, while Data Trak can accommodate a hang clip. All of the tags are available for purchase at Xerafy's online shop.

Ekahau, Conexus to Supply RTLS to Brooke Army Medical Center
Ekahau, a provider of Wi-Fi-based teal-time location systems (RTLS), has announced that the Brooke Army Medical Center (BAMC), at Fort Sam Houston, in San Antonio, Texas, has selected Ekahau's RTLS technology to track more than 5,000 pieces of mobile equipment throughout the facility's campus. BAMC is the largest military hospital in the United States, Ekahau reports, spanning 1.5 million square feet and containing 450 beds. The military medical center is also growing as the U.S. Defense Department's base realignment and closure (BRAC) program consolidates the hospital with the Wilford Hall Medical Center to create an integrated campus, known as the San Antonio Military Medical Center (SAMMC). Ekahau teamed with software developer and manufacturer Conexus to deliver the asset-tracking and -management solution, which has been certified for use in the Army's medical treatment facilities. The combined solution enables BAMC to track assets using Wi-Fi RTLS tags, passive RFID tags and bar codes, based on asset-specific requirements. BAMC will be the first facility to deploy the integrated solution. Ekahau RTLS, which includes the Ekahau Positioning Engine, as well as software and a variety of Wi-Fi tags and sensors, has been integrated into Conexus' Plexus Vision product, which provides a full range of data-collection and -reporting options for hospitals. Conexus' solution includes a proprietary software system that offers a full range of data-collection options (bar code, passive RFID and Wi-Fi-based RTLS), integrated into an asset-validation and -tracking system. Ekahau RTLS enables the medical center to leverage its existing, campus-wide Cisco Wi-Fi network for location tracking, without the need for a separate proprietary network or the installation of additional infrastructure. According to Ekahau, the initial system will employ Ekahau's Wi-Fi tags to track more than 5,000 assets for the hospital's biomedical engineering group, with plans to expand the system to track as many as 20,000 assets across all SAMMC facilities.

IDTronic Unveils USB Pen Stick Reader
IDTronic, an RFID hardware provider based in Germany, has introduced its USB Pen Stick Reader EVO, designed for reading and encoding all passive ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) tags compliant with the ISO 18000-6C and EPC Gen 2 RFID standards. The device supports the entire UHF frequency band—from 865 to 928 MHZ—so that it can be configured to meet the RF regulations for any region around the world. The reader, protected by a robust ABS housing, is a lightweight easy-to-handle unit that, according to the company, can be used with USB-equipped terminals and netbooks, laptops, PCs and tablet PCs. It is suited for a range of identification applications, such as encoding, network access, access control and logistics. The USB Pen Stick Reader EVO UHF has a 20 dBm power output, and features a linearly polarized built-in antenna that allows a maximum reading distance of up to 15 centimeters (6 inches), depending on the type of transponder used. It comes with a full software developer kit (SDK) that includes the reader host protocol, DLL and source code, as well as a Microsoft Windows-based application.

CreativeSystems Offers Hosted RFID Retail-Management Solution
CreativeSystems, an RFID solutions provider headquartered in Portugal, has announced a hosted solution known as CS.Retail that works with any type of RFID technology to help retailers manage inventory. The solution includes standard tools and preinstalled connectors for some common RFID equipment, but can be customized and configured to meet a customer's needs, including edgeware that collects RFID data and puts it into a format for use by the CS.Retail software, integration tools, and analytics and optimization tools. It can also include interfaces to integrate the solution with off-the-shelf enterprise resource planning (ERP) and warehouse-management system (WMS) solutions. The solution was originally developed to work with 18000-6C (EPC Gen 2) passive ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) RFID tags and readers, says Andreia Fernandes, a spokesperson for CreativeSystems, but due to increased demand, the solution works with a variety of RFID passive and active UHF and high-frequency (HF) tags and readers. The solution is available now, and runs on dedicated servers at CreativeSystems' data center. It is currently being implemented on virtual servers operated by CreativeSystems, Fernandes says, thereby reducing the need for extra hardware and software to run at customer sites.

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