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RFID News Roundup

MAINtag introduces new RFID-enabled, ATA Spec 2000-compliant FLYchip; Voyantic launches new HF RFID tag-measurement system; Secura Key launches new RFID flat-pad antenna; Technology Solution (UK) Ltd. announces Bluetooth handheld UHF RFID reader; Times-7 intros durable, low-profile RFID ground antenna; GlobeRanger selected as supplier for U.S. Army contract, partners on oil-and-gas solution; Checkpoint Systems launches RFID solution to protect merchandise.
By Beth Bacheldor

Times-7 Intros Durable, Low-Profile RFID Ground Antenna
Times-7, a New Zealand-based manufacturer of RFID reader antennas, has introduced the SlimLine-Endura (A5531-E) Ultrahigh-Frequency (UHF) Embedded Ground Antenna, designed for RFID industrial asset-identification and -tracking applications. The antenna is highly durable and has an ultra-low profile, according to the company. This enables it to serve as a ground antenna embedded in concrete within a workplace floor that can withstand extremely high vehicular pressure loads and working temperature ranges, among other industrial or tracking management scenarios in which existing RFID antennas have limitations. Measuring 20 millimeters (0.8 inch) thick, the antenna features a fiberglass-reinforced composite housing and has an IP 68 rating (indicating that it is dustproof and waterproof), even underground at a 10-meter (33-foot) depth. The antenna has a compressive strength of 25 megapascals (which relates to the amount of force necessary to break it). The antenna was exhibited in booth 111 at this week's RFID Journal LIVE! 2013 conference and exhibition, held in Orlando, Fla.

GlobeRanger Selected as Supplier for U.S. Army Contract, Partners on Oil-and-Gas Solution
GlobeRanger, a Richardson, Texas, provider of supply chain software and RFID middleware that enables the translation of read-event data to back-end systems, made several announcements at this week's RFID Journal LIVE! 2013 conference and exhibition, held in Orlando, Fla. The company announced that it has been selected as the software supplier for a U.S. Army PD AMIS pRFID II contract won by SRA International, a provider of technology and consulting services and solutions to government organizations and commercial clients, to provide RFID capabilities to the U.S. Army. Specifically, GlobeRanger's iMotion Edgeware Platform and other software components has been selected as the software layer to provide RFID and sensor management, edge process orchestration and automatic identification technology (AIT) systems integration for the Army, under the PD AMIS pRFID II contract with SRA International. The contract, awarded on Mar. 20, contains a base year and two optional years, with a $30 million maximum contract value. The contract comes under the Army's newly named Automated Movement and Identification Solutions (AMIS) product-management office for RFID and AIT solutions. According to SRA International, the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) requires most suppliers of parts and commodities to mark their shipments with RFID tags to enable tracking, and the pRFID II contract supports a state-of-the-art, common, integrated structure for logistic identification, tracking, locating and monitoring of commodities and assets for the DOD, the U.S. Coast Guard and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), as well as coalition partners, foreign military sales and other federal agencies. GlobeRanger also announced an initiative to provide its cloud-based iMotion Stratus and associated RFID, MSM and its GR-Aware asset-tracking solution to the oil and gas market. The company's initial partner in this market initiative is JPL RFID, a Houston-based oil and gas systems integrator. GR-Aware Stratus enables data-capture via handheld and fixed RFID readers, bar-code readers, GPS devices and a variety of sensors, so that assets can be uniquely identified and scanned, and attribute data can be captured (including GPS location) and then transmitted via a Wi-Fi or cellular connection. The data is stored in the iMotion Stratus cloud solution, GlobeRanger reports, allowing records and reports to be easily accessed from any location. "The oil and gas industry is very advanced in terms of technology," said Jason Pitcock, JPL RFID's CEO, in a prepared statement. "However, regulatory compliance, data collection and asset management is typically done using pen, paper, and spreadsheets. JPL RFID immediately brings our clients into the 21st century with innovative asset tracking/data management solutions, GPS location tracking and mapping, and safety and regulatory compliance with GlobeRanger's GR-AWARE Stratus." The company also announced a new product to its iMotion family of middleware and iMotion Stratus cloud-based platform, a software-as-a-service (SaaS) for RFID, mobility and sensor solutions. The iMotion Enterprise Manager is designed to provide customers with a single administration interface for managing and monitoring hundreds of iMotion installations. The management application enables customers to centrally configure and manage iMotion Edge Servers or Edge Controller appliances via the Web. The software is also offered with an on-premises option, allowing a customer's data to remain completely within its enterprise networks.

Checkpoint Systems Launches RFID Solution to Protect Merchandise
Checkpoint Systems, a provider of RF- and RFID-based solutions for merchandise identification, tracking and security, has announced Evolve Exclusive E10, a range of antennas with high-quality fabric panels designed specifically for use in retail stores. The line preserves current investments in electronic article surveillance (EAS) systems, by providing an affordable transition to RFID that simultaneously supports loss prevention and merchandise visibility with a single smart tag, the company reports. The tag is available in EAS RFID-ready mode, RFID-only and dual-mode RF/RFID. The dual-mode antenna not only raises an alarm if a theft has been detected, Checkpoint Systems explains, but also identifies exactly which items have been removed from the store, thereby enabling a retailer to replenish store shelves quickly. In addition, the system will help identify when a stolen item is returned to the store for a refund, which helps to decrease the incidence of fraud and organized retail crime. Different alarms based on the value and quantity of merchandise can be set on the tag. The E10 antenna also supports Checkpoint's Wirama Radar technology, which tracks the location and direction of tags within a store, and determines if an apparel item is simply hanging near an exit door, or potentially being stolen, the company notes. The antenna features high-quality printed fabric graphics panels that retailers can customize with advertising messages and promotional offers. According to Checkpoint Systems, a European chain store is currently rolling out the solution across 50 of its store locations worldwide. "We developed the new Evolve Exclusive E10 range with input from fashion retailers and brand manufacturers looking to adopt RFID to gain greater visibility into inventory, reduce out-of-stocks and improve sales, both in-store and omni-channel," said Farrokh Abadi, Checkpoint Systems' president and COO of shrink management and merchandise visibility solutions, in a prepared statement. "This latest range of antenna will help retailers plan their RFID migration and simultaneously support loss prevention and merchandise visibility." Available now, the Evolve Exclusive E10 was demonstrated at this week's RFID Journal LIVE! 2013 conference and exhibition, held in Orlando, Fla.

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