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RFID News Roundup

Trimble announces Juno T41 rugged handheld computer with UHF RFID; STMicroelectronics unveils NFC development kit; Lab ID intros UHF RFID tags for tracking very small items; MAINtag launches FLYchip64 high-memory chip for aerospace; Indiana school district implements Ekahau RFID panic buttons; Radius Networks announces USB-powered Bluetooth beacon; Asset Vue, No Limits Software partner on RFID-enabled data center asset-management solution.
By Beth Bacheldor

Indiana School District Implements Ekahau RFID Panic Buttons at Three Schools
The Bluffton-Harrison Metropolitan School District in Bluffton, Ind., has implemented Ekahau's RFID-over-Wi-Fi real-time location system (RTLS) at its three schools, according to Ekahau. The RTLS solution--designed to support school-safety and emergency-response procedures and practices--consists of Ekahau's Wi-Fi-based RFID tags, infrared (IR) beacons to make location data more granular and Ekahau's Vision software. A teacher wears an Ekahau safety badge with the RFID tag embedded in it and, in the event of a medical, disciplinary or other type of emergency, pulls down on the badge's safety switch in order to alert coworkers and police dispatchers of the situation. If an alert is issued, the software captures and interprets the emergency's location, as well as other information. Within seconds, the software transmits a message directly to the appropriate badges inside the facility, thereby informing other personnel of the emergency's nature and where it is occurring. This, Ekahau says, helps police minimize emergency-response times by avoiding the need for map lookups and phone calls. The Ekahau Vision software also allows school officials to send mass notifications to teachers' badges, displayed as text messages on each badge's light-emitting diode (LED) screen. In addition, the software automatically time-stamps and records all emergency events and resolutions for review by school boards and police departments. For the Bluffton-Harrison school district, a pilot project that included 180 Ekahau badge tags worn by teachers on lanyards was successfully completed prior to the district-wide implementation, according to Ekahau. A number of other schools across the United States are also using Ekahau's RTLS (see RFID News Roundup: More Schools Select Ekahau's Location-Aware Panic-Button Solution).

Radius Networks Announces USB-powered Bluetooth Beacon

RadBeacon USB Bluetooth Beacon
Radius Networks, a provider of mobile proximity services, announced its RadBeacon USB, a beacon that uses Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) to transmit a unique ID number to notify cell phones and other mobile devices when they come within 100 feet. This micro-location proximity awareness can be leveraged to deliver a wide range of new innovative solutions, such as precision indoor navigation, automatic ticketing, guided museum tours and location-relevant offers and promotions, according to Radius Networks. The RadBeacon comes in form of a USB dongle that can be powered by any available USB power source. It is ideal for integrating with self-service kiosks, digital displays, point-of-sale terminals, fuel dispensers, vending machines and a host of other customer facing systems, according to Radius Networks. It comes with the iOS RadBeacon app , which can be used to configure the RadBeacon USB. The RadBeacon app gives users full configuration control of the RadBeacon USB's iBeacon advertisement data configuration, transmit power and advertising rate, making RadBeacon USB highly adjustable to suit a wide variety of deployment scenarios, according to the company. The iOS app is the first of several configuration tools and mechanisms that Radius Networks will be releasing shortly, says David Helms, VP of business development at Radius Networks. Other options will include a RadBeacon configuration utility for other platforms including (in order of planned release) the Android, Macintosh and Windows; direct access to the RadBeacon BLE configuration service for any BLE-capable client system through a published API; and a USB driver library for configuration through the USB serial interface of the device. Radius Networks also offers free "Locate for iBeacon" apps--one version for Android devices, the other for Apple iOS devices. The apps enable users to discover iBeacons around them, display the advertising information of those iBeacons and measure their proximity and distance to those iBeacons. The iOS version has an additional feature that enables users to transmit iBeacon advertisements, essentially turning an iPhone or iPad itself into an iBeacon.

Asset Vue, No Limits Software Partner on RFID-enabled Data Center Asset-Management Solution

AssetVue passive RFID Tag
Asset Vue, a provider of passive RFID-enabled asset management and data center management solutions, has announced it has forged a strategic partnership with No Limits Software, a provider of data center management solutions, to provide data center customers with IT asset audits that the two companies say are fast and easy to use. The solutions combine the Asset Vue Inventory with No Limits Software's RaMP data center infrastructure management (DCIM) solution. Asset Vue Inventory is an RFID-enabled data center asset management (DCAM) solution that includes all the hardware and software required for an organization to monitor data center assets within its data center and throughout its facilities. It includes both fixed and handheld data capture that provide read ranges from inches to feet making it fast and accurate to locate data center assets. The company has such customers as media, entertainment and communications company Comcast Corp. (see Comcast Puts RFID in Data Centers to Track Assets). The Asset Vue Inventory solution lets Comcast to use ultrahigh-frequency EPC Gen 2 RFID tags and readers to conduct audits, manage location data regarding thousands of IT assets, and provide alerts to employees conducting inventories, thereby indicating when a server is not at its expected location. No Limits Software's RaMP is designed to help companies solve issues faced in data centers by provides much greater data accuracy, automatic discovery of detailed device configuration and real-time monitoring of both IT and facilities equipment. Its real-time monitoring capabilities monitor power from the utility all the way down to the IT device level (servers, blade servers, and virtual machines) as well cooling devices and environmental conditions and can receive SNMP traps from any device and automatically acknowledge cleared alarms.

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