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Impinj enhances ItemSense software, unveils Monza 4i tag chip ••• NXP intros Icode DNA chip for secure vicinity applications ••• Trimble unveils ThingMagic Sargas RFID reader ••• TrackX, Quest Solution partner to accelerate asset-tracking implementations ••• CYBRA announces RFID Lock & EnCode SmartSeal ••• RR Donnelley, Smartrac collaborate on smart packaging solutions ••• Metalcraft RFID tags perform well in university study.
By Beth Bacheldor

RR Donnelley, Smartrac Collaborate on Smart Packaging Solutions

R. R. Donnelley & Sons Co., a provider of communication services and printed electronics, and RFID company Smartrac have announced a partnership to jointly market a new process for RFID implementation that, according to the two companies, will enable growth in the number of products connected to the Internet of Things (IoT) via smart packaging and related solutions.

The two companies say they will each bring specific strengths to the collaboration. RR Donnelley will leverage its printed electronics capabilities, including customized antenna design and printing, and its capabilities in the labeling and packaging markets. Smartrac will contribute its chip attachment capacity, along with the data-collection and -processing capabilities of Smart Cosmos, the company's IoT services and solutions platform.

By leveraging each other's fields of expertise, the companies explain, they have developed a unique method for manufacturing RAIN inlays using two distinct components that need not be adhered together. This method expands upon current use cases and creates new opportunities for value-added products and services, according to the companies. For example, they report, it provides brand owners with a means to simplify their RFID compliance needs, by making all product tags, labels and packaging RFID-ready, and then enabling them on an as-needed basis. Additional use cases include inventory management, asset tracking, authentication, retail theft prevention and consumer engagement.

"We are excited to enter into this agreement with Smartrac, one of the world's leading RFID providers. This agreement leverages the scale and expertise that our respective companies possess, allowing us to bring innovative RFID solutions to customers across many market segments, in whatever form they require," said Dan Knotts, RR Donnelly's COO, in a prepared statement. "Our joint developments with Smartrac will also enable a wider variety of RFID-based value-added services, helping to broaden adoption of RAIN UHF RFID technology."

Christian Uhl, Smartrac Technology Group's CEO and chairman of the management board, said in the statement that the collaboration will strengthen Smartrac's product portfolio, boost its development abilities and support its transition into a provider of solutions based on RFID and IoT technologies. "In particular," he said, "we will take advantage of our joint strengths to drive IoT innovations in smart labeling and packaging."

Both companies demonstrated use cases enabled by this collaboration at last week's RFID Journal LIVE! conference and exhibition, held in Orlando, Fla.

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