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RFID News Roundup

Preco partners with Conductive Inkjet Technology; Dover Technologies acquires Datamax; RFID-enabled kiosk ready to sell.
By Bob Violino
Jan 07, 2005The following are news announcements made during the week of Jan. 3.

Preco Partners With Conductive Inkjet Technology
Preco Industries, a Lenexa, Kan., maker of printing equipment, announced a strategic partnership with Conductive Inkjet Technology (CIT), a U.K. business venture formed by technical-plastics developer Carclo and inkjet-technology company Xennia Technology. Through this agreement, Preco will work with CIT to provide machinery for the in-line digital manufacture of printed electronics, utilizing CIT's proprietary metal-printing technology. The alliance will develop low-cost radio frequency identification (RFID) antenna designs, as well as additive-process flexible printed circuitry. Printed antennas and circuitry could greatly improve yield and reduce manufacturing costs of RFID antennas and tags. Preco's printing equipment is also used to apply pressure-sensitive adhesives, plastics and foam and to manufacture biosensors, air-bag seat sensors, chip capacitors, flexible displays, medical appliances and supplies, nameplates, ID and smart cards and packaging.

Dover Technologies Acquires Datamax
Dover Corp. has announced that its subsidiary Dover Technologies has acquired Datamax, an Orlando, Fla.-based maker of RFID smart label and bar code printers. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Datamax products are sold in more than 65 countries. Dover is a diversified industrial manufacturer with more than $5 billion in annualized revenues from operating companies that make specialized industrial products and equipment. Dover Technologies includes a product identification and printing group under which Datamax will operate. The group also consists of Imaje, a world leader in industrial inkjet and thermal marking, and Mark Andy, a leading manufacturer of narrow-web printing equipment. Datamax president William Bouverie says being part of Dover will enable Datamax to make further investments into growth areas, including RFID.

RFID-Enabled Kiosk Ready to Sell
Nanonation, an Omaha, Neb., developer of interactive kiosks for consumers and event participants, is marketing an RFID-enabled kiosk. Nanonation has created one demonstration kiosk and is hoping to bring it into production by selling it to retailers. The kiosk enables a customer to view specific product information on an electronic monitor. The demonstration kiosk uses tags, a reader and antenna provided by Texas Instruments. When the customer picks up a product with an embedded RFID tag and holds it in the center of the kiosk, an RFID antenna reads the RFID tag and triggers Nanonation's software to display information on that product. When the customer removes the product from the range of the antenna or places it back on the shelf, the product information disappears. Customers can also interact with the display by choosing links on the touch-screen monitor to read additional product information. The company says the kiosk can be programmed to read tags attached to any number of products, from CDs to power tools, and then display product information about each item.

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