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RFID News Roundup

Radiant RFID implements asset tracking for Chicago-area bus-transit agency; TagMaster intros new active RFID reader for outdoor use; ASAP Systems' RFID-enabled online inventory-management software now integrates with QuickBooks; Tectus, Kathrein team up on RFID readers and antennas for use within explosive environments; Applied Nanotech unveils low-cost micron copper ink for electronic applications; VeriFone selected for contactless-payment rollout in Mexico City
Aug 09, 2012The following are news announcements made during the past week.

Radiant RFID Implements Asset Tracking for Chicago-area Bus-Transit Agency
Radiant RFID, a provider of RFID asset-tracking solutions, has announced that Pace, the Suburban Bus Division of the Chicago Regional Transportation Authority, has implemented an asset-tracking system from Radiant, as part of a request for proposal (RFP) that Pace awarded to that company. The solution is being used to perform asset inventory counts at Pace's headquarters, located in Arlington Heights, Ill., as well as at its operating divisions and carrier locations. Requirements for the new solution included high portability, the ability to communicate within all types of environments, and the capability of interfacing with Pace's existing accounting system. Radiant 's Virtual Asset Tracker (VAT), the foundation of the system for Pace, relies on tracking technology (including RFID tags and bar codes), as well as desktop and mobile clients, installed on Motorola MC3190-Z RFID handhelds, and Web reporting that includes a variety of reports (exception report, matching report, lost inventory and total inventory). VAT replaces a system and various devices that were beyond their designed and useful lifespan, and allows Pace to continue employing existing bar-code labels, Radiant reports, while moving toward an ultimate goal of placing RFID tags on all assets. During the implementation phase, Radiant imported all Pace asset and location data, and created a cloud-based database available for Pace's system administrators. Prior to coming onsite for training, Radiant reports, it worked directly with end users within Pace's finance, management information system (MIS) and operations departments, to create a complete system for testing and evaluation. During the weeklong training, the firm focused entirely on key-system functionality, and on improving Pace inventory processes designed to increase inventory accuracy and decrease the amount of time and effort required to perform inventory counts. According to Radiant, at the conclusion of the training, Pace was able to conduct an end-to-end inventory on a subset of its assets.

TagMaster Intros New Active RFID Reader for Outdoor Use
TagMaster NA, the North American arm of Swedish RFID solutions provider TagMaster, has announced a new active RFID reader designed for outdoor use. The Celebes W reader (the W stands for weatherproof) works with the company's TM800 series 2.45 GHz active RFID tags and sensors, and is suitable for such applications as asset tracking, personnel safety, vehicle tracking, asset security, and automatic data collection from multiple remote sensors, the company reports. When used in conjunction with two 2.5 dBi antennas, TagMaster NA explains, the Celebes W reader can read TM800 series tags and sensors from a distance of up to 80 meters (250 feet) away, and has the ability to acquire information from more than 200 tags per second, as well as issue commands to selected tags. It has two configurable channels, programmable RF modes and multiple antenna options. The Celebes W model is available with different types of data-communication interfaces, including Ethernet LAN, Class 1 Bluetooth and RS485. The Ethernet LAN interface makes it possible to connect several Celebes readers in a TCP/IP network, in order to cover a larger area, multiple gates or a perimeter. Accessories to the Celebes reader include a power adaptor and a variety of antennas. The LAN versions can be powered via Power over Ethernet (PoE), which TagMaster NA says reduces installation and maintenance costs.

ASAP Systems' RFID-enabled Online Inventory-Management Software Now Integrates With QuickBooks
ASAP Systems, a provider of software for tracking inventory and assets, has announced that its new cloud-computing application, known as BarCloud Stock, now offers full QuickBooks integration. BarCloud Stock is a Web-based application for tracking and managing inventory. Data, collected via bar-code and RFID technology using handheld computers (scanners) and smartphones, is centralized in a single online workspace, so employees can more easily share real-time updates, reports and more, according to ASAP Systems. With the QuickBooks integration, users of BarCloud Stock can now synchronize their inventory data with the business-accounting application, automating such repetitive tasks as generating bills, item receipts, inventory adjustments and invoices. In addition, BarCloud Stock extends QuickBooks' accounting features, such as tracking items by location—a key inventory requirement not supported by QuickBooks alone. ASAP Systems' RFID solutions leverage Motorola Solutions handheld computers, such as the MC3190-Z and MC9090-Z models, and EPC Gen 2 ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) passive tags from various RFID tag suppliers. ASAP Systems resells the Motorola handhelds and tags, but customers can also source the RFID equipment itself. According to the company, BarCloud will be made compatible with RFID tags later this month.

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