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RFID News Roundup

TransCore combines biometric and RFID data; RTLS offers turnkey RFID pilots; Vizional launches yard-management product; SATO, Oracle to provide combined solutions; Alien certifies NCR as label converter.
By Ari Juels
Mar 18, 2005The following are news announcements made during the week of Mar. 14.

TransCore Combines Biometric and RFID Data
TransCore, a provider of RFID and transportation technology and services based in Harrisburg, Pa., has developed SmartWatch SecurePass a system that uses a combination of RFID and biometric data to provide secure access by verifying both the identity of a vehicle as well as its driver as they near a security area. The driver uses a Privaris fingerprint reader on a keychain fob to send his or her fingerprint wirelessly to TransCore's SmartWatch SecurePass software, which processes the biometric data as well as the identity of the vehicle, which is broadcast through TransCore's passive UHF eGo RFID transponder attached to the vehicle. The software can operate in an automated mode whereby it compares the vehicle and driver's IDs with information on a database. If the IDs are found on a permitted list, the system grants access to the driver, by opening a gate, without the input of a guard. A guard on duty viewing the data, however, can override the system and secure the gates and/or sound alarms. The system can also be set up for manual operation, in which the software processes the vehicle and driver ID and sends profiles of each, including a photo of the driver, to a computer terminal operated by guard, who can then grant or deny access.

RTLS Offers Turnkey RFID Pilots
Real Time Location Systems Inc., based in Sandy, Utah, has released an RFID-development program, called RFID Turnkey Pilot, that is designed to help companies quickly build an RFID system for the retail or government supply chain. The package provides the user with all the elements needed for a complete RFID deployment. RTLS and its partnering organizations provide onsite systems integration (through Advanced Integrated Technologies Group), RF testing (through Nexgenix and data management (through Legendary Systems). As part of the offering, RTLS provides Web-based proprietary data collection middleware that can tie in with the user's ERP platform. RTLS works with its clients to develop an overall RFID strategy, design the client's IT architecture and integration roadmaps, and institute detailed benefit and value metrics based on RTLS's own set of RFID industry standards and benchmarks. The metrics were developed around shipping, receiving or inventory-based systems and include benchmarks and requirements that are unique to each of these types of deployments. The solution uses passive UHF EPC Class 0 or 0+ RFID tags from Symbol Technologies (Gen 2 Class 1 tags will be available later this year) and RFID readers from Symbol or SAMSys. The typical Turnkey Pilot project runs from nine to 12 weeks and has a set fee of $150,000 to $250,000, depending on the size of the project.

Vizional Launches Yard-Management Product
Vizional Technologies, a Santa Monica, Calif., supply chain software provider, has announced the Vizional Yard RFID solution, an RFID-enabled application designed to manage trailers, tractors, shunt trucks and personnel at an industrial transportation yard. The application is designed to improve asset utilization, optimize inventory management, shorten order-cycle times and reduce overall transportation costs. It collects RFID data from both passive and active RFID tags attached to assets and employee badges and enables managers to prioritize tasks at busy yards and schedule both inbound and outbound trucks. RFID tags are attached to trailers upon arrival at the gate, and the trailer's inventory is written to the tags. The system can accommodate Global Positioning System (GPS) data linked into the application to enable operators to locate trucks as they move throughout the yard. To improve yard security, the system can be linked to gate controllers and grant access to vehicles based on RFID data read from transponders attached to them. Vizional Yard RFID integrates into existing warehouse management and transportation management systems using interfaces based on industry-standard protocols.

SATO, Oracle to Provide Combined Solutions
SATO International, a maker of RFID printing and labeling products, has joined Oracle PartnerNetwork, a network of more than 14,000 companies developing products based on Oracle's enterprise software, as an Oracle certified partner. Through the partnership Oracle and SATO will offer Oracle customers RFID solutions that combine Oracle enterprise software or its RFID middleware products with RFID printing systems from SATO in order to help Oracle customers realize a return on investment on their RFID investments. SATO is focusing its efforts on enabling end users of RFID to move away from the slap-and-ship method of manually placing smart labels on packages and switching them to SATO's automated tagging system. According to SATO, end users can begin to get real business value from RFID by using its automated tagging systems as well as Oracle's RFID-focused software and middleware.

Alien Certifies NCR as Label Converter
Dayton, Ohio-based NCR announced that it has been certified by Alien Technology's qualification program for RFID label converters. This certification means that NCR can sell its EPC Class 1 UHF smart labels with Alien RFID inlays directly to end users, without having to first send them to Alien for quality tests. Before awarding its converter certification to a company, Alien spot-tests that company's labels against a set of performance specifications. According to NCR, its label conversion solution is designed to reduce failure rates by increasing the reliability and consistency of RFID labels for use on cases and pallets. A NCR spokeswoman says the company is producing a smart label supply now reaches 98 percent reliability.
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