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RFID News Roundup

Calif. RFID bill headed for governor's desk; HF chips sales surpass half-billion mark, says report; Inside Contactless lands deal for 5 million cards; Barcoding Inc. buys Acuity ID; TrueDemand draws second funding round; Goliath Solutions joins EPCglobal.
By Andrew Price
Sep 01, 2006The following are news announcements made during the week of August 28.

Calif. RFID Bill Headed for Governor's Desk
The California State Senate has approved Bill 768, the Information Protection Act of 2005, in a 30-to-7 vote. California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger now has 30 days to sign it into law. The bill, authored by Senator Joe Simitian, would require the California Research Bureau (CRB) to conduct a research study into the use pf RFID in government-issued "remotely readable identification documents" and the security and privacy implications of the use of the technology. To advise it on the technology and its application in identity documents—everything from driver's licenses to library cards—it would also need to create an advisory board composed of government officials and representatives from industry and privacy-rights organizations. SB 768 also sets forth a number of interim rules describing the data security measures that state agencies seeking to deploy RFID in IDs before the arrival of the study would need to follow. The bill (which was initially introduced as SB 682) originated in the Senate last year and had already been approved by the Senate before coming up for vote in the Assembly this year. However, while in the Assembly, the bill had gone through a number of amendments—included the removal of a moratorium on the technology—requiring it to go back to the Senate for a concurrence vote on the changes. For more on the bill, see Calif. RFID Bill Drops Moratorium, Could Pass Senate).

HF Chips Sales Surpass Half-Billion Mark, Says Report
RFID's marriage with payment cards and identification documents led to a surge in the number of integrated circuits made for high-frequency RFID tags last year, says market research firm ABI Research. A new report, "RFID Tag IC Market Sizing Database," says chips made for tags compliant with ISO's 14443 standard—used in the American Express, MasterCard and Visa RFID-enabled payment cards for U.S. consumers, and in RFID-enabled passports being issued worldwide—led the way with an increase of 104 percent in global sales. In total, more than 565 million high-frequency RFID tag-integrated circuits were shipped between the first quarter of 2005 and that of 2006, it says. The report is available to subscribers to RFID ABI's Research Service.

Inside Contactless Lands Deal for 5 Million Cards
French RFID chip developer Inside Contactless says it has been chosen, together with packaging partner China Global Intelligence, to supply 5 million paper tickets and smart cards embedded with Inside's PicoPass high-frequency inlay to Sentosa, a Singapore resort. The inlay is compliant with the ISO 14443 and ISO 15693 communication standards. These tickets and smart cards will be used for admissions and purchases at the various attractions, retail and food and beverage outlets on the island. The PicoPass inlays to be used have 2 kilobits of memory. Ko Eng Wee, general manager of Sentosa Leisure Group, says the resort decided to deploy RFID cards to make payments and admissions into outlets on the island more convenient for guests.

Barcoding Inc. Buys Acuity ID
Baltimore-based systems integrator Barcoding Inc. says it has acquired RFID technology company Acuity ID, also based in Baltimore. Barcoding made the purchase to enhance the products and services it sells through its Capture Tech division, which is based in the United States and the Netherlands, and which Barcoding created to provide RFID products and services. Through the acquisition, Capture Tech will bring five Acuity ID employees (almost its entire staff) into its North American office in Baltimore. Acuity ID's administrative positions will be eliminated. Acuity ID specialized in antenna designs and multi-antenna controllers for RFID applications. It recently collaborated with Capture Tech in developing an inventory-tracking system called Active Shelf, which uses multiple antennas built into shelving units to monitor tagged items placed on the shelves. The Dutch bookseller Boekhandels Groep Nederland (BGN), which opened this year as a fully RFID-enabled retail store, (see Bookstore RFID-enables Its Operations) is beta-testing Active Shelf. In addition to the Active Shelf product, CaptureTech also offers three RFID kits to both the European and North American markets: one for compliance, one for experimentation and one for RFID readiness. All three kits are now available.

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