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RFID News Roundup

GSA to deploy 3M's RFID file tracker; PEAK announces three packaged solutions; ThingMagic ups security with Shannon.
By Ari Juels
Jul 29, 2005The following are news announcements made during the week of July 25.

GSA To Deploy 3M's RFID File Tracker
The General Services Administration (GSA) of the U.S. government has signed a five-year contract with 3M. The GSA will use 3M's RFID File Tracking System to track paper files. 3M's RFID File Tracking System operates at 13.56 MHz and uses 2-inch-by-2-inch passive RFID labels embedded with a Texas Instruments (TI) Tag-It chip. The system includes database software, which runs on a Microsoft SQL server; an RIFD tracking pad, which acts as the tag reader; and handheld readers, or interrogators. Office clerks can input information into the software system regarding files associated with specific tags, such as the files' numerical codes and names. A file can then be checked in or out of a location (such as a file room or an individual office) by placing its folder within range of the 13.56 MHz tracking pad with a built-in RFID antenna and a cable that plugs into the office computer system. This file data can be integrated with existing records management systems. According to 3M, the tracking pad has an 8- to 10-inch read range and the handheld readers have a range of 6 to 7 inches. For more on the system, see Marin County DA Saves With RFID.

PEAK Announces Three Packaged Solutions
PEAK Technologies, an RFID systems integrator based in Columbia, Md., has announced three new packaged solutions to help companies comply with RFID tagging mandates from retail or government. The packages combine software, hardware, testing services, installation and support services. The PEAK Compliance Express package is designed for users who want to generate and apply RFID tags encoded with electronic product codes (EPCs) quickly, then validate the data on the tags and hand-apply them to cases and pallets of goods. It also provides the ability to produce advance shipping notices. The PEAK Compliance Mobile package offers the same features, but includes a mobile RFID interrogator, or reader, as well. The PEAK Compliance Gateway package also offers the same features as the Express package and helps users validate tags on cases and pallets moving on conveyors and through portal locations in the warehouse. The Gateway package includes a site assessment to design the placement of readers on a conveyor system. It also provides users with records taken as tags are encoded and printed, and as cases and pallets move throughout the warehouse. This allows for visibility of the movement of tagged goods through a facility. Customers can chose printer-encoders from Printronix, Zebra Technologies or www.intermec.com/ Intermec; fixed-position interrogators from SAMSys Technologies or Symbol Technologies; or mobile interrogators from LXE, PSC, Symbol or Intermec. PEAK partners with both IntelliTrack and TagsWare for the software components of the solutions. PEAK will work with clients to test the RFID components of their system inside PEAK’s testing facility in Columbia. All PEAK compliance packages are available now. Pricing for the kits start at $25,000 for the Compliance Express package.

ThingMagic Ups Security With Shannon
ThingMagic, a Cambridge, Mass. developer of RFID, sensing and embedded computing technologies, has released MercuryOS 2.2 Shannon, a software upgrade to its Mercury4 line of RFID readers (interrogators). Shannon allows users of the Mercury4 readers to increase tag data security significantly. It does this by enabling administrators to encode RFID tags by using one of two standardized encryption methods: Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) or Secure Shell (SSH). Shannon also includes updated RFID tag support, allowing Mercury4 interrogators to kill tags, lock data on a tag, utilize passwords and read and encode a wider variety of tags than the current Mercury4 OS. The Shannon upgrade also comes with application-specific APIs for reading multiple tags on fast-moving conveyor belts, as well as a synchronization API for loading-dock applications. Users of Mercury4 readers should contact their suppliers to receive the upgrade. Shannon will be pre-installed on newly purchased Mercury4 readers. Acsis, ADT/Sensormatic, CIT, IconNicholson, Omron Corp., http://www.rfidglobalsolution.com/ RFID Global Solutions, www.ventureresearch.com Venture Research and Zebra Technologies all supply ThingMagic readers.
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