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RFID News Roundup

Holland 1916 Nameplate RFID tags facilitate mine-safety inspections; Tyco Retail Solutions opens new Retail Performance Briefing Center; Omni-ID launches Global Technology Licensing Program; Researchers at University of Wollongong in Dubai design RFID-enabled iPurse; Intelligent InSites integrates WaveMark's RFID-enabled Enterprise Visibility Solution; Sony intros Xperia sola NFC-enabled smartphone with two NFC tags.
Mar 15, 2012The following are news announcements made during the past week.

Holland 1916 Nameplate Tags Facilitate Mine-Safety Inspections
Holland 1916 has announced its Nameplate tag, a rugged stainless steel RFID tag designed to help companies automate the inspection and audit processes within mines, oilrigs and construction sites. According to Holland 1916, mining companies are frequently audited, and fire extinguishers and other equipment need to be inspected every six months, as mandated by Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) Title 30 CFR 75.1100-3. Holland 1916's stainless steel Nameplate tags can be affixed to the location stations of the safety equipment, and inspectors and auditors carrying handheld RFID readers can capture the tag information and then upload an automated record of time, location, personnel and equipment status to the inspection software. This, the company reports, helps to ensure that inspectors have checked the safety equipment as necessary. Depending on a user's requirements, Holland 1916 can embed low-frequency (LF), high-frequency (HF) or ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) RFID transponders into the Nameplate tags. The company reports that it most often embeds HF ISO 15693 and UHF EPC Class 1 Gen 2 complaint transponders. The ability to embed RFID into stainless-steel nameplates with custom chemical etching allows RFID to survive harsh environments, according to Holland 1916. The Nameplate tags can have custom branding, human-readable markings, multiple attachment types and RFID encoding. Tri-State Wire Rope Supply Inc., a provider of wire rope, web and chain slings, and safety inspections, is using the RFID Nameplate tag with embedded HF ISO 15693 transponders as part of an RFID-enabled inspection and audit service. Tri-State Wire Rope Supply dispatches its staff members to job sites to examine equipment in use, and to report that equipment's condition to the customer. As part of the service, the firm submits reports to such regulating bodies as the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and MSHA. The solution, Tri-State Wire Rope Supply reports, is currently being used by a large mining company that has successfully increased efficiency and accuracy in conducting inspections, while saving money by decreasing audit incidences and reducing the paper trail. "The paper-intensive inspection process is poor, because reports can get lost, are hard to track, and inputting them into a computer system is labor-intensive," says Nick Roberts, a sales executive at Tri-State Wire Rope Supply. "What's more, mistakes can be made inputting information by hand, and can lead to expensive fines."

Tyco Retail Solutions Opens New Retail Performance Briefing Center
Tyco Retail Solutions, a provider of retail performance and security solutions, has announced that it has opened up a new Retail Performance Briefing Center at its headquarters in Boca Raton, Fla. This facility joins Tyco Retail Solutions' similar facilities in Irvine, Calif., and Denver, Colo., which are used to demonstrate the company's solutions to visiting retail executives. According to Tyco Retail Solutions, the new Florida center is a 2,300-square-foot facility that will feature store performance and security solutions—enabling visitors to experience the value of the solutions firsthand within a simulated retail environment. Applications at the Boca Raton briefing center will include solutions from the firm's Loss Prevention and Store Performance Solutions portfolio: electronic article surveillance (EAS), source tagging, dual-technology (RFID/acousto-magnetic EAS), inventory visibility, traffic intelligence and store execution. With respect to RFID, the center will employ EPC Gen 2-compliant tags, provided by partner Avery Dennison, along with Motorola Solutions handheld readers, and Tyco Retail Solutions' own interrogators and antennas. The store inventory visibility solution workflow includes cycle counting, receiving, shelf replenishment, tagging stations, stock location, store transfers, returns and dual-technology EAS/RFID point-of-sale (POS)/checkout integration with IBM POS stations. "The new retail performance briefing center highlights our comprehensive approach to innovative retail solutions designed to help retailers offer the best possible shopping experience, and deliver increased operational efficiency and profitability," said Scott Clements, Tyco Retail Solutions' president, in a prepared statement.

Omni-ID Launches Global Technology Licensing Program
Omni-ID has launched its Omni Global Technology Licensing Program (OGTL), which makes the company's technology available for licensing for commercially viable on-metal RFID tag product lines. "Imitation is the best form of flattery, and Omni-ID has been truly flattered since launching the first high performance on-metal tags to the market in 2005," said Ed Nabrotzky, Omni-ID's CTO, in a prepared statement. "It is very clear that many on-metal products being sold today are based on these foundational patents held by Omni-ID." The licensing program is designed for organizations that have demonstrated product and solution compatibility with one or more automatic-identification products. According to Omni-ID, vendors that currently provide RFID tags, as well as tag manufacturers and other technology firms, can benefit from the program and the additional visibility that it can provide for their products, by promoting that they are using the original on-metal technology—in turn, giving their customers confidence in the quality and sustainability of the products they use. The OGTL Program is being made available to interested participants worldwide, to license the technologies based on Omni-ID's on-metal U.S. Patents 7880619 and 7768400 granted, as well as patents granted in Europe and Asia. Those form the foundation of Omni-ID's on-metal/near liquid RFID intellectual property. The on-metal technology is built using the firm's patented "Plasmonic Structure" design, which utilizes layers of conductors and dielectrics to isolate an RF signal from the tag's surrounding environment, in order to ensure that the tag performs successfully on or near metal and liquids, Omni-ID reports. Traditional tags, the company indicates, are based on antennas, which often do not function when placed near metal or many liquids. The company says it will collaborate with existing manufacturers that wish to employ the core technology to build RFID tag products, and will work cooperatively with new manufacturers or users to provide access to its technology platform to create new products and/or services. Omni-ID requests that licensees reference the patent numbers in their literature or terms sheets, and some branding will be included on each product, indicating that the item is based on Omni-ID's foundational patents. As part of the program, Omni-ID has also announced a licensing agreement with SATO Holding Corp., a provider of bar-code printing, labeling and Electronic Product Code (EPC) RFID solutions headquartered in Hyogo, Japan, which will enable cooperation between the two firms.

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