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RFID News Roundup

QuikQ installs more than 1,000 UHF RFID systems at fueling stations; Hong Kong RFID unveils kit to evaluate sensor tags and environmental, hazards monitoring solution; Ekahau, Meraki join forces on cloud-based Wi-Fi RTLS; Times-7 picks Arcadian as new North American distributor for its RFID antennas.
Dec 20, 2012The following are news announcements made during the past week.

QuikQ Installs More than 1,000 UHF RFID Systems at Fueling Stations
QuikQ has announced that it has installed more than 1,000 of its SmartQ systems at truck stops and travel centers throughout the United States. The SmartQ cardless fueling system leverages EPC Gen 2 passive ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) RFID tags (employing Impinj Monza 4 RFID chips) that can be affixed to trucks or trailers so that the vehicles can be identified while pulling into fuel lanes at truck stops. Once a vehicle is identified via an Impinj reader wired to as many as to four antennas mounted above the lanes, the system can automatically identify that truck, after which its driver can begin fueling without having to swipe a card or enter data on the pump's keypad. Love's Travel Stops and Country Stores has implemented the system (see Love's Tries RFID for Automating Fuel Payments) at more than 200 of its fuel stations to date. TravelCenters of America (which operates 165 sites) has also installed the solution, QuickQ adds, and is nearly finished with that deployment. In addition, QuikQ reports, many independent truck stops and travel centers are utilizing its SmartQ system. Acknowledging QuikQ's growth, Impinj named the company its North American VAR Partner of the Year. "The rapid growth of QuikQ and sheer volume of Speedway RFID reader deployments in 2012 is outstanding," said Scott Medford, Impinj's senior VP of sales, in a prepared statement. "Their successful deployments, dedication to customer success, and ability to deliver a truly 'industry transforming' technology made QuikQ the clear choice for our North American VAR Partner of the Year award."

Hong Kong RFID Unveils Kit to Evaluate Sensor Tags and Environmental, Hazards Monitoring Solution
Hong Kong RFID Ltd., an RFID hardware manufacturer, distributor and consultancy firm operating in Hong Kong and the South China Region, has unveiled its new Tempcorder Evaluation Kit, designed to help leverage the firm's sensor tags for such applications as environmental control and hazard prevention. Each kit includes one Empress 2.4 GHz active RFID reader (model number HKRAR-EMWF), five Tempcorder Sense 2.4 GHz active RFID temperature tags (model HKRAT-TT02), one Tempcorder Extreme 2.4 GHz active RFID temperature tag (model HKRAT-PT02) and one Tempcorder Moist 2.4 GHz active RFID humidity tag (model HKRAT-HT02). The Extreme and Moist tags are new entrants to the company's Tempcorder family (see RFID News Roundup: Hong Kong RFID Announces Two Sensor Tags for Environmental Control, Hazard Prevention), all of which employ digital sensors for temperature and humidity measurement. This, according to the company, provides more accurate reads and eliminates the need for calibration procedures. The kit also includes a CD containing a user manual; Xtractor, an ActiveX component for application development of custom software; and a demonstration and testing program with .NET version source code. The demo and testing program, Hong Kong RFID reports, includes new logging and graph-generating functions for improved environmental monitoring, and instantly plots each tag's unique ID number, as well as the temperature and humidity data, on a line chart after receiving that information from the tag. According to the company, the dynamic graph function shows the real-time temperature and humidity data in graph form. Hong Kong RFID is offering the Tempcorder Kit at a special discount price until Jan. 31, 2013.

Ekahau, Meraki Join Forces on Cloud-based Wi-Fi RTLS
Ekahau, a provider of Wi-Fi-based real-time location system (RTLS) solutions, and Meraki, a provider of cloud-managed products, including wireless local area networks (LANs), Ethernet switches, security appliances and mobile device-management systems, have announced a cloud-based Wi-Fi RTLS solution for enterprises. The cloud-based solution is designed to shorten deployment times and reduce costs. It uses a hosted version of Ekahau's Vision RTLS software, with Meraki's cloud-managed wireless access points (APs). Ekahau's RTLS technology lets users track any assets in real time throughout a campus, using active Wi-Fi RFID tags, such as those supplied by Ekahau, and Meraki offers a variety of indoor cloud-managed 802.11n APs and rugged/outdoor cloud-managed 802.11n APs. The combined solution offers what the two companies report is zero-touch provisioning and intuitive management, without the need for additional, wired chokepoints or in-room readers. Christopher Bockman, Meraki's product manager, says the combined solution delivers location technology without unnecessary costs or complexity, adding that with the Meraki-Ekahau combined offering, his company can now deliver a complete RTLS and Wi-Fi solution in a matter of days instead of months. Meraki, founded in 2006, is funded, in part, by Google, Sequoia Capital and DAG Ventures. Last month, Cisco announced its intent to acquire Meraki for $1.2 billion in cash. Once the acquisition is completed, Meraki will form Cisco's new Cloud Networking group.

Times-7 Picks Arcadian as New North American Distributor for Its RFID Antennas
Times-7, a New Zealand-based manufacturer of RFID reader antennas, has announced a partnership with Arcadian Inc., a distributor of RFID, wireless, radio and networking products. Under the terms of the agreement, Arcadian will represent Times-7's products in North America. Shawn Bays, Arcadian's director of sales and marketing, says his company is pleased to be representing Times-7, noting that multiple existing Arcadian customers have already endorsed Times-7's antennas and their global reputation for quality and innovation. As such, he considers the Times-7 antenna portfolio a good offering extension for the company's customers. In May 2012, Times-7 announced that SkyeTek, a provider of RFID reader technology headquartered in Denver, Colo., would also serve as a North American reseller for its products (see RFID News Roundup: Times-7 Signs SkyeTek as North American Reseller for UHF Antennas). Times-7's line of ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) antennas includes models for industrial applications, asset and inventory tracking, and baggage handling, point-of-sale (POS) and security applications.
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