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RFID News Roundup

Alien Technology releases compliance package; retailer- and DOD-compliance packages from EIS; SmartCode providing education, materials for DOD suppliers; supply chain security courses available; IDVelocity updates software for RFID; Vizional receives $3.5 million; ScanSource to distribute Printronix goods.
By Ari Juels
Mar 04, 2005The following are news announcements made during the week of Feb. 28.

Alien Technology Releases Compliance Package
Morgan Hill, Calif.-based RIFD systems provider Alien Technology has released a RFID Ready Kit for Retail, a package that includes either the ALR-9780 UHF reader (which reads EPC Class 1 tags) or the ALR-9774 UHF reader (which reads Class 0 or Class 1 EPC tags), as well as 2000 96-bit EPC Class 1 smart labels, antennas, a power supply, serial interface cord and a developer's software disk. The package also includes a software development kit with documentation on hardware setup, a reader-interface guide and sample source code and royalty-free Java, .NET and Visual Basic libraries. With the ALR-9780, the kit costs $6,990 and with the ALR-9774 the price is $7,990. Both versions are available now.

Retailer- and DOD-Compliance Packages From EIS
Enterprise Information Systems (EIS), a provider of automatic identification and RFID systems, is offering end users two RFID compliance goods and service packages: Compliance 1st and RFID QuickStart. The company says both packages can help end users quickly comply with RFID mandates from the Department of Defense or the retailer Wal-Mart for the use Electronic Product Code (EPC) tags. Both packages include on-site RFID education presented by EIS analysts (including instruction on tag placement and achieving high read rates), the generation of RFID labels using a Printronix UHF printer-encoder, a handheld Intermec UHF reader and Class 1 smart labels that are included with the package, on-site tag testing using EIS-owned equipment, and ROI forecasting by EIS analysts, which highlights areas where the application of RFID technology has the potential to produce a return on investment. RFID QuickStart includes a more thorough tag-testing process than the Compliance 1st program, covering multiple products and pallet configurations. It also provides DOD suppliers with the ability to electronically submit Wide Area Work Flow (WAWF)-DD250 forms—part of a paperless contracting DOD-wide application that lets DOD contractors and DOD personnel create invoices and receiving reports. QuickStart provides integration of EPC data with the user's back-end business system and provides a UCCNet Data Study that analyzes the client's current ability segments of the retail mandate. EIS representatives spend one week at the end user's facility providing the goods and services for the Compliance 1st package, and three to four weeks for the QuickStart package. Pricing for Compliance 1st starts at $20,000, and QuickStart starts at $35,000. Both products are available now.

SmartCode Providing Education, Materials for DOD Suppliers
New York-based RFID systems provider SmartCode has announced a new packaged offering called the RFID DOD Compliance Package. This includes a two-day RFID DOD Compliance training class in Washington D.C., the DOD RFID Ready Guide and SmartCode's EPC-900 Developer Kit. The classes are available Mar. 30-31 and Apr. 13-14 and provide basic information and training for an implementation plan for DOD suppliers subject to the department's DOD mandate. SmartCode's RFID Ready Guide is reference kit compiled by the DOD course instructors. The guide includes relevant DOD publications regarding the DOD RFID Policy and is designed to help suppliers start shipping RFID tagged products, pallets and cases to the DOD per its policies. The EPC-900 Developer Kit includes SmartCode EPC RFID readers, antennas, and tags. The package is available now for $6,395.

Supply Chain Security Courses Available
The International Cargo Security Council, an Annapolis, Md.-based association of nearly 1,200 cargo transportation and security professionals, has selected Lockmasters Security Institute, of Nicholasville, Ky., an educational center that offers technical training and security management courses, to a teach 3 1/2-day course on supply chain security. The course covers all security issues relating to the supply chain, including the technologies such as RFID that are used to secure cargo during transportation, storage, shipping and receiving. The course will be offered in April, May and June in Mobile, Al.; Baltimore; and Long Beach, Calif., and Nicholasville, Ky. The fee for the course is $1,050.

IDVelocity Updates Software for RFID
IDVelocity, an auto-ID software provider based in Greensboro, N.C., has released the fifth generation of its IDVelocity ADC a software platform, which can be used to integrate bar code, sensor, RFID, cellular and Internet data for applications such as inventory management, asset tracking, shipping and receiving. The new generation of the software supports the major RFID tag formats and specifications, as well as deployments in Windows or Linux operating systems. It also includes a graphical process-modeling tool. The software is available now. Pricing information was not released.

Vizional Receives $3.5 Million
El Segundo, Calif.-based Vizional Technologies, a provider of RFID supply chain solutions for logistics, transportation and retail industries, has announced the completion of a $3.5 million Series A financing led by Menlo Park, Calif.-based Draper Fisher Jurvetson and Los Angeles-based Zone Venture Fund. The financing also involved the conversion of some outstanding securities into common stock. Proceeds will be used to grow the five-year-old company's product business and to further its sales and marketing activities. Vizional sells a number of products designed to help end users of RFID manage orders and track items and assets in a supply chain.

ScanSource to Distribute Printronix Goods
Irvine, Calif.-based enterprise printer manufacturer Printronix announced today that ScanSource, a Greenville, S.C.-based distributor of technology products, will distribute its RFID products and services. The distribution agreement includes Printronix's RFID SmartLine printer family, thermal transfer and direct thermal printers, consumables (such as toner) and service packs, as well as RFID and auto-ID consulting services. This agreement gives more integrators and resellers access to sell Printronix's RFID platform. Printronix and ScanSource will collaborate on joint marketing activities directed toward RFID integrators and resellers. These include educational seminars, business development and online initiatives.
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