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RFID News Roundup

Savi releases next-generation active RFID tags; Farsens unveils new RFID-enabled, battery-free pressure sensor tag; Secura Key launches multi-reader access control panel; European Commission clears Honeywell's acquisition of Intermec; Performance Buildings' office-sharing system built on HID Global access technology; Idaho police officer and school counselor launch RTLS-based Petty-Ford Security Solutions.
By Beth Bacheldor

European Commission Clears Honeywell's Acquisition of Intermec
The European Commission (EC) has announced that it has cleared Honeywell's acquisition of ;Intermec, a 46-year-old manufacturer of RFID readers, printers, tags and labels, as well as bar-code scanners and mobile computers. The acquisition was first announced in December 2012 (see Honeywell to Buy Intermec). Reviewing the proposed merger's compliance with the EU Merger Regulation, the EC said it found that the transaction would not raise competition concerns, in particular because the merged entity will continue to face several credible competitors in the relevant markets. The EC also assessed the impact of the transaction on the markets where the parties' activities overlap, in particular the markets for all types of rugged mobile computers, bar-code scanners and scanning engines&mdashincluding the possible market segment for 2-D scanning engines in the European Economic Area (EEA)&mdashand determined that Honeywell will continue to face competition from a number of credible suppliers following the transaction. The commission also evaluated possible vertical relationships between the parties' activities, including in the market for the licensing of voice recognition software for inclusion in devices with voice recognition capabilities, and found no concerns there because of the presence of alternative suppliers of voice recognition software because Honeywell currently has very limited presence in the downstream market for the supply of voice recognition devices.

Performance Buildings' Office-Sharing System Built on HID Global Access Technology
Performance Buildings, a Swiss systems integrator that provides technology for "on-demand" offices, is offering an intelligent facility management system for any-time access to shared and temporary offices. The solution enables end users to access rented office spaces with legacy proximity technology, existing smart cards and NFC-enabled smartphones and leverages access security products from HID Global. Performance Buildings is using HID Global's EdgeReader ERP40 networked access control solution and iClass SE platform readers to create an Performance Buildings is offering the new solution to its customers, including property management companies and landlords in Switzerland and Germany. The EdgeReader ERP40 supports any card data format up to 128 bits and features an IP-enabled intelligent access control processor and host interface solution in a single unit, with a complete access control hardware/software infrastructure and contactless smart card read/write capability, according to HID Global. It's designed for use at "the edge" of the network for original equipment manufacturer (OEM) software host systems and is ideal for new building installations because it requires less wiring, and controls every control function at the door, the company says. The iClass SE platform readers are technology independent and support HID Global's iClass Seos and iClass SE credential platforms as well as Mifare, Mifare DESFire EV1 and other technologies. Additionally, iClass SE readers support Near Field Communication (NFC) smartphones via Seos, and feature a variety of security features, according to HID Global. "Identity management touches everything in the Performance Buildings grid," said Dr. Vishal Mallick, CEO of Performance Buildings, in a prepared statement, adding that customers want a strong identity management governance structure "to facilitate a seamless experience for their existing tenants and clients using the facilities "on-demand," including the ability to book rooms and catering services online, open conference room doors, and sign out once their session is over. It was important to offer a wide menu of services to enhance the way we do business." According to HID Global, Performance Buildings has seen a return on investment (ROI) within six months of installation and improved efficiencies thereafter. The company anticipates broadening its use of HID Global networked access control solutions as it continues to expand.

Idaho Police Officer and School Counselor Launch RTLS-based Petty-Ford Security Solutions
The mass shooting in December 2012, in which a gunman killed 20 first graders and six adults in a Connecticut school before turning his gun on himself, and a Wi-Fi-enabled real-time location system (RTLS) from Ekahau now in use at Skyview High School in Nampa, Idaho, has been the impetus behind a new company, Petty-Ford Security Solutions, in Meridian, Idaho, which is aimed at creating solutions to protect students and educators from harm's way. The company was founded by Brad Ford, a police officer and school security officer of more than 10 years; Mandy Petty, who holds a master's degree in psychology with an emphasis in school counseling and who has worked in education as a school counselor for 11 years; and Jason Petty, who has more than 18 years' experience in the security industry. Ford, who serves as Skyview's security resource officer, and Mandy Petty, the school's counselor initially sought out the technology being used at Skyview, which is an Ekahau RTLS consisting of Ekahau's Wi-Fi-based RFID tags, infrared (IR) beacons to make location data more granular and Ekahau's Vision software (see Idaho School Installs RTLS to Make Students Safer). The solution is designed to indicate the nature of the problem, as well as the students' and the staff's locations, thereby making response times faster than for traditional methods of placing phone calls or calling for help. Mandy Petty says she and the other two cofounders decided to start their company because they worked side-by-side with Ekahau during the pilot and implementation and now want to share what they've learned with other schools. "I feel like Brad Ford and I, in particular since we work in the school, know what teachers and administrators go through, and what their concerns , and how we can make this an effective solution for schools." The system enables Skyview teachers to simply press a button or pull down on their wearable Ekahau Wi-Fi badges in the event of a security or health emergency and the Ekahau badge sends a request for assistance within seconds, including event details and the teacher's location, to the school's Resource Officer and local dispatchers. During emergencies, dispatchers may also use Ekahau messaging software to send mass communication texts to badge-holders, directing teachers and classes away from danger without dependence on cellular networks. In addition, the Ekahau Forensics Replay software feature allows administrators to test emergency plan effectiveness by reviewing second-by-second event replays. Petty-Ford Security Solutions is now referring the Ekahau solution to others and providing systems integration, consulting services and training, all of which are part of its Rapid Emergency Response Program. The company has shared the details of the Skyview implementation with the Nampa Police Department, which is demonstrating Skyview's system to police departments around the state in an effort to show other schools how they might benefit from such a security system.

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