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RFID News Roundup

PDC introduces new payment products; XINK to release ink for antennas; EXI upgrades Assetrac software.
By Bob Violino
Nov 26, 2004The following are news announcements made during the week of Nov. 22.

PDC Introduces New Payment Products
Precision Dynamics Corp., a San Fernando, Calif., maker of automatic wristband identification systems to the healthcare and patron management markets worldwide, released two new products: the Smart Kiosk and Smart Reader. The Smart Kiosk is a free-standing booth with a touch screen, similar to an ATM, that allows patrons to load money using cash, credit or debit cards onto RFID wristbands provided as patrons enter a park, event grounds or other facilities. The Smart Reader is a stand-alone unit that combines a point-of-sale terminal with an RFID reader. Patrons approach the Smart Reader, use the touch screen to select a service or item, and wave their RFID wristband by the reader to complete the transaction. Precision Dynamics Corp. supplies its RFID-enabled payment and identification systems to a number of water and amusement parks, where carrying wallets is inconvenient for patrons. The company's products operate at 13.56 MHz and are ISO-certified.

XINK to Release Ink for Antennas
XINK Laboratories, based in Ottawa, Ontario, is launching its new line of InstaCure silver and carbon conductive flexographic printing inks next month. The inks are polymeric formulations targeted for the printing of UHF antennas on RFID tagged smart packaging for use in the supply chain as mandated by Wal-Mart, and for pharmaceutical counterfeit protection. XINK says its conductive ink, which is comprised of a water base, a binder and large silver flakes, cures in seconds at room temperature on flexographic roll-to-roll presses and can be applied to paper or plastic substrates. The company says sufficient conductivity can be reached when the ink is applied in one to two print layers on a flexographic press (the company claims other inks require up to five layers). XINK says its InstaCure ink will be used in trials with undisclosed packaging and converting manufacturers starting soon and that the ink will be production ready in early 2005.

EXI Upgrades Assetrac Software
Canadian RFID systems provider eXI Wireless has announced version 5.0 of its Assetrac software for tracking, managing and securing assets. The updated Assetrac 5.0 software runs on eXI's new E-Tegra Auto-ID technology platform (see EXI Broadens Its RTLS Platform), which is an ID data-collection and decision-processing middleware platform that eXI is deploying across its core RFID proprietary asset- and people-tracking systems, which include UHF and HF RFID systems that use active and passive tags, as well as bar codes. Assetrac 5.0 has a Web-based user interface and can operate on fixed-reader workstations or on mobile wireless devices. Through an XML-based application program interface, Assetrac 5.0 can be integrated into an end user's existing asset management and maintenance control systems. The company says that Assetrac 5.0 is also "future-proof" because the software can expand in scope and evolve to support personnel identification tags, such as those worn by staff in a workplace, for access control, and also non-RFID asset identification tags.

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