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RFID News Roundup

Tiny tags from TagStar; SST and Dexit to combine loyalty cards with contactless payment systems; Paxar opens test lab to more customers; MPI offers labeling system; Zebra names Peak Technologies 'XML Printer Specialist.'
By Ari Juels
Mar 11, 2005The following are news announcements made during the week of Mar. 7.

Tiny Tags from TagStar
TagStar Systems, an RFID tag manufacturer based in Germany, has announced the immediate availability of a new series of very small 13.56 MHz RFID inlays. The inlays are compliant with ISO-15693 and ISO-14443. They are available in rectangular shapes ranging in size from 10x20mm (0.4x0.8 inches) to 45x76mm (1.8 x 3 inches) and round inlays with diameters of 23mm, 25mm, 34mm and 40mm (0.91, 0.98, 1.3 and 1.58 inches). TagStar is targeting the 34mm round inlay for use in tagging compact discs. All of the inlay sizes are equipped with RFID chips from Philips or Infineon. TagStar uses a proprietary process for connecting the chip to the antenna in order to form an inlay. It says it can fill orders of any quantity, starting with just one unit. Pricing depends on the volume and the chip type used. For example, 1,000 of any of these inlays with Philips I-Code SL2 cost US$0.80 (0.60 euros) per inlay. Higher volumes are significantly lower; exact prices are available on request.

SST and Dexit to Combine Loyalty Cards, Contactless Payment Systems
SMART System Technologies (SST), a provider of loyalty-based contactless payment systems based in New York, N.Y., has announced an agreement with Dexit, a Toronto-based provider of contactless payment systems for small transactions, to create a solution that combines the SST loyalty product and the Dexit prepaid payment service into a single offering. SST will market the Dexit prepaid contactless payment card with its loyalty-based payment systems in the U.S., and Dexit will provide SST's loyalty-based payment systems in Canada. "Dexit offers everyday small-value payment services and welcomes the opportunity to provide its current and future customers with loyalty services by partnering with SST," said Renah Persofsky, president and CEO of Dexit, in a statement. "SST, meanwhile, offers loyalty services and now has the opportunity to extend its product line by providing its customers with the Dexit prepaid small-value payments service."

Paxar Opens Test Lab to More Customers
Paxar, a White Plains, N.Y., provider of Monarch RFID and bar code printing products, announced that its RFID Laboratory and Testing Facility in Miamisburg, Ohio, is open for use free of charge by selected Paxar customers and partners. Paxar works closely with customers, doing cost-benefit analysis and hands-on testing to determine the optimal type of tag and tag placement on the customer's product that will result in the highest read rates at the lowest prices. The hardware the lab tests includes readers and tags from Alien, Symbol, SAMSys, UPM Rafsec and Impinj.The 1,400-square-foot testing facility uses portal readers from Alien, SAMSys and Symbol (for testing RFID labels on pallets) and readers from Alien and SAMSys mounted on a conveyor system (for testing labels on single cases). Paxar opened the test center in December 2004 on a limited basis and is now making it available to a wider group of its customers.

MPI Offers Labeling System
MPI Label Systems, a Sebring, Ohio, manufacturer of RFID labels and label applicators, has announced the availability of RFID Plug-and-Comply, a labeling system that it says offers an alternative approach to slap-and-ship labeling by automating the placement of RFID smart labels on packages. (With slap-and-ship labeling, a smart label is applied by hand to a case or pallet of goods just before being shipped.) The Plug-and-Comply system includes either MPI's 360RW RFID applicator, for use with preprinted smart labels, or MPI's 3600RW RFID label printer-applicator. Both units can verify that an RFID label is functioning, and then encode and affix the label, while the 3600RW also prints the label. Both units can be interfaced with a host system or can operate in a stand-alone offline configuration The Plug-and-Comply system includes a powered-roller conveyor system that can fit into areas as small as 200 square feet. The system also includes the SAMSys downstream portal reader, an operator control panel and all of the programmable logic controllers (PLCs) to run the entire system. The system is currently available; pricing is dependent on the system's configuration

Zebra Names Peak Technologies 'XML Printer Specialist'
Columbia, Md.-based PEAK Technologies, a printing services company and reseller owned by RR Donnelley, has been named an authorized XML printer specialist by Zebra Technologies in support of SAP's Auto-ID Infrastructure (AII) and Oracle's RFID and Sensor-Based Services. Zebra recently announced the world's first RFID smart label printer-encoders designed to interoperate with SAP's Auto-ID Infrastructure (see Zebra Merges Hardware With SAP's AII) and Oracle RFID and Sensor-Based Services. The Zebra-authorized XML printer specialist status is granted to a limited number of value-added resellers and systems integrators in North America. PEAK was granted this status by meeting Zebra's authorization criteria, including in-depth training, dedicated XML-RFID integration resources, and technical proficiency.
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