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RFID News Roundup

Isis readies national rollout of NFC-enabled Mobile Wallet; CAEN RFID announces RFID-enabled temperature logger with external probe; Tyco Retail Solutions expects 10 global retailers to pilot, deploy RFID this summer; ThingMagic unveils USB Plus+ RFID reader with improved read distance; Esensors developing gateway that links Bluetooth-enabled sensor data to the Internet of Things; Entigral announces new funding to support company growth.
By Beth Bacheldor
Aug 01, 2013

The following are news announcements made during the past week by the following organizations: Isis; CAEN RFID; Tyco Retail Solutions; ThingMagic; Esensors; and Entigral.

Isis Readies National Rollout of NFC-enabled Mobile Wallet

Isis' Mobile Wallet app for Android phones
Isis, a mobile-commerce joint venture created by AT&T Mobility, T-Mobile US Inc. and Verizon Wireless (see Mobile Carriers Launch Venture to Aid Adoption of NFC in Phones), has announced plans to roll out its Isis Mobile Wallet, a contactless payment and loyalty card service that employs Near Field Communication (NFC) RFID technology, nationwide later this year, following successful pilots conducted in Austin, Texas, and Salt Lake City, Utah. To use the service, a consumer must have an "Isis-ready phone"—that is, an NFC-enabled handset with an advanced subscriber identity module (SIM) card that stores and protects payment and other sensitive information, and install the Isis Mobile Wallet app (currently available only for Android phones). In addition to running the pilots to test the technology, Isis reports that during the past nine months, it has created an ecosystem of hundreds of partners focused on propelling the adoption of mobile commerce. The organization says it plans to incorporate key learnings from the Austin and Salt Lake City pilots into its planned national rollout, taking place later this year. Findings from the pilot, launched in October 2012, show that, on average, active Isis Mobile Wallet users tap more than 10 times monthly, and that two-thirds of all active users opted in to receive offers and messages from their favorite brands, following an average of seven brands. The pilots also revealed that contactless acceptance nearly quadrupled to more than 4,000 locations in Austin and Salt Lake City, with more than 80 percent of transactions taking place at everyday spend locations, such as quick-service restaurants, coffee shops, gas stations, and convenience and grocery stores. Another finding indicates that Isis Mobile Wallet users who engaged in loyalty programs and offers tap up to two times more frequently than those who only use the system to make payments. According to Isis, nearly 20 million smartphones on the market currently feature NFC technology, and 35 types of mobile devices across AT&T Mobility, T-Mobile US and Verizon Wireless presently support Isis. Support for Apple iPhone, Microsoft Windows Phone and Blackberry Q10 is expected to be introduced later this year. Consumers that activate the Isis Mobile Wallet can pay at retail locations that accept contactless payments—the number of which, according to Isis, has steadily grown throughout the past several years. Coca-Cola was among the companies participating in the Isis pilots. In a prepared statement, Rick Kanemasu, who directs vending technology strategy for Coca-Cola's North America Group, said the Isis pilots have proven the "power of mobile payments and loyalty. More than one-third of active Isis Mobile Wallets users in Austin have loaded a My Coke Rewards card into their Wallet since our pilot began, and 90 percent of these are new to the My Coke Rewards program. Coca-Cola is engaging with new and existing customers as never before and we look forward to expanding nationwide with Isis later this year." Jamba Juice also participated in the pilots, and its CEO, James White, said, "Our offer program was successful in driving incremental foot traffic, increasing the frequency of consumer store visits and introducing Jamba Juice to first-time customers. We are now making plans to expand nationally with Isis so that all our franchisees can enjoy the benefits we have seen in our pilot markets."

CAEN RFID Announces RFID Temperature Logger With External Probe

CAEN RFID's RT0005ET temperature logger
CAEN RFID has announced a new version of its RFID-enabled temperature logger designed to monitor such goods as biopharmaceutical products and fresh or frozen foods. The RT0005ET, part of the easy2log Temperature Logger product line, is a semi-passive ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) tag that can be used to monitor temperature-sensitive products during transportation and storage. Compatible with the EPC Gen 2 and ISO 18000-6C standards, the easy2log RT0005ET can be utilized with most EPC Gen 2 UHF RFID readers available on the market, without requiring any additional equipment, according to CAEN RFID. The RT0005ET includes an external probe that enables the monitoring of the temperatures of goods within a shielded box, or in a pallet's interior, the company adds. Similar to the RT0005, a data logger that CAEN announced in 2010 (see RFID News Roundup: CAEN RFID Releases New RFID Temperature Logger), the RT0005ET features a slim profile, an easy-to-use manual interface, algorithms that determine goods' remaining shelf life and up to 16 configurable temperature ranges. The device is operable in ranges of -20 degrees Celsius to +70 degrees Celsius (-4 degrees to +158 degrees Fahrenheit), and features multiple, user-configurable high- and low-temperature alarms, shelf-life alarms (shelf-life prediction calculations are based on the Arrhenius kinetic model, with a customer designation of the time-temperature dependency) and a low-battery alarm. The tag has a polyvinyl chloride (PVC) enclosure and an IP 67 rating, which means it is dustproof and waterproof, as well as able to withstand submersion in water for brief periods of time. It measures 107 millimeters (4.2 inches) in length and width and 8.7 millimeters (0.3 inch) in thickness, and weighs 85 grams (3 ounces). The external probe measures 50.8 millimeters (2 inches) and has a diameter of 6.35 millimeters (0.25 inch), and the probe cable length is 2 meters (6.56 feet). CAEN RFID has also announced that it has signed a distribution agreement with Dematic, a global supplier of logistics solutions. Under the terms of the agreement, Dematic is marketing CAEN's RFID products in Taiwan and India, as well as in Southeast Asia—Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Brunei, Burma (Myanmar), Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam.

Tyco Retail Solutions Expects 10 Global Retailers to Pilot, Deploy RFID This Summer
Tyco Retail Solutions, a provider of retail performance and security solution, has announced new and expanded pilots and rollouts by its customers. The company reports that its RFID-enabled inventory-intelligence solutions—which include cycle counting, receiving, shelf replenishment, tagging stations, stock location, store transfers, returns, and dual-technology electronic article surveillance (EAS) and RFID point-of-sale (POS) and checkout integration—are gaining traction, and that it expects 10 global fashion retailers and department stores to pilot or extend pilots or full deployments of RFID item-level inventory-intelligence solutions this summer. This expansion represents an addition of more than 350 store locations worldwide. The customers, presently in various stages of extended pilots and rollouts, include Macy's, Saks Fifth Avenue and Chico's. For the implementations, Tyco Retail Solutions is providing tags and hardware from its Sensormatic suite of RFID products, which include two-port RFID readers, POS RFID antennas, and dual-technology RFID tags and detachers. Among the most common uses cases for the pilots and rollouts are those supporting omni-channel retail strategies: cycle counting, receiving and fulfillment processes. In addition, Tyco Retail Solutions reports, use cases supporting on-floor availability, such as replenishment and shoe display compliance, are helping the retailers to improve inventory, as well as delivering a return on investment (ROI) for the RFID technology. All of the use cases are helping to support the enhanced customer experience, the company notes, by ensuring that customers have the right merchandise, where and how they want it.

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