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RFID News Roundup

Bluesfest program includes Intellitix RFID solution; Ekahau's quarterly results indicate healthy growth for RTLS market in 2012; Xerafy secures $5M; Intelleflex announces OEM partnership with DeltaTrak; HID Global unveils manufacturing process for smallest LF Tags, expands Latin American presence; Kathrein intros UHF RFID reader.
Apr 26, 2012The following are news announcements made during the past week.

Bluesfest Program Includes Intellitix RFID Solution
RFID has found its way into Canada's largest blues festival, the RBC Royal Bank Bluesfest, and will be used for cashless payment and access control. The festival, which runs July 4-15 in Ottawa, Ontario, is using technology supplied by Intellitix, a provider of RFID access-control and cashless-payment solutions. The solution leverages Intellitix custom-built access control portals that feature Feig Electronics reader antennas, have multiple battery backups and are hard-wired for Internet and Wi-Fi connectivity. The access portals also are rated IP65, meaning that testing has confirmed it is dustproof and waterproof. The solution also includes wristbands with ISO 15693-compliant inlays and handheld RFID readers from M3 Mobile. According to Intellitix, more than a quarter-of-a-million music fans will be able to use their RFID wristband to pay for food, drink and other goods around the site, while the chip securely stores their entrance tickets. The technology also prevents any counterfeit ticketing, the company says. Intellitix has provided similar solutions to other customers, including Eurosonic Noorderslag, an annual festival and conference in Holland, to showcase new music (see Eurosonic Noorderslag Attendees Use RFID to Access Concerts, Workshops and Panels).

Ekahau's Quarterly Results Indicate Healthy Growth for RTLS Market in 2012
Ekahau, a provider of Wi-Fi-based real-time location system (RTLS) solutions, has announced that its first quarter 2012 RTLS business doubled compared to the previous year. During the first quarter of 2012, the company says it added 27 major enterprise-wide RTLS customers, while over the past 12-month period, it provided solutions to over 800 small and large enterprise customers worldwide. The Ekahau Site Survey family of Wi-Fi tools had the best quarter since the product was launched in 2003. According to Antti Korhonen, Ekahau's president and CEO, the growth exceeded all of Ekahau's financial targets and indicates that the RTLS market is shifting toward Wi-Fi-based solutions. Ekahau's RTLS technology lets users track any assets in real time throughout a campus, using active Wi-Fi tags. Korhonen says Ekahau closed more deals compared with a year ago, and both the quantity and the average deal size is bigger. The largest growth sector has been in health care. "For hospitals this technology acts as a painkiller for their financial problems, and generates significant operational savings fast," he says, adding that deployments in the health-care RTLS marketing are shifting from single hospitals to multi-hospital, enterprise deployments. The company reports that the value of the RTLS is in improving operational efficiencies as well as staff and patient safety. Ekahau says its customers typically achieve a 200 percent ROI over the first 12-month period. Korhonen also points to plan announced by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to implement RTLS in 152 medical centers and 1,400 community clinics and non-patient VHA facilities (see U.S. Veterans Department Announces RFP for Nationwide RTLS Solution) as indicative of Wi-Fi-enabled RTLS taking hold. Per the VA Department's RFP, the system may include active RFID tags (predominantly Wi-Fi-based), as well as passive RFID tags, to address four use cases: asset management, temperature tracking, supply chain management and sterilization process flow management. Ekahau already supplies Wi-Fi-enabled RTLS to some VA hospitals, including the VA Nebraska—Western Iowa Health Care System.

Xerafy Secures $5M
In its first funding round ever, industrial RFID tag supplier Xerafy has announced that it has secured a $5 million Series A Funding from IPV Capital. Xerafy says the money will be used to help fuel growth and business expansion, including the penetration of new key markets and expansion of Xerafy's product offerings to customers. Among its products, is the newly announced Metal Skin, a ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) RFID inlay compliant with EPCglobal's standards and designed for tracking metal assets, as well as its XS Series of RFID tags, which are tiny passive EPC Gen 2 read-on-metal RFID tag designed for source tagging of small tools and surgical instruments. "Our products are proven, we are expanding our team, and sales growth is strong. We are honored that IPV Capital supports our vision to bring a global wave of adoption for RFID in industries beyond retail," Dennis Khoo, CEO of Xerafy, said in a prepared statement. The funding, according to Khoo, will allow Xerafy to keep accelerating in size and speed and support its new manufacturing plant in Nantong, China.

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