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RFID News Roundup

Tagsys partnering with OTA Training; Turkish bank distributes PayPass cards; Inside Contactless, Fluensee raise funding; Arizona Cardinals rolls out PayPass system; SAP qualifies PEAK RFID software.
By Andrew Price
Sep 08, 2006The following are news announcements made during the week of Sept. 4.

Tagsys Partnering With OTA Training
RFID hardware provider Tagsys and RFID workforce training provider OTA Training are partnering to bring OTA's RFID training course to the U.S. Northeast. The next training course, entitled "A System's Approach to RFID Implementation," will be offered on Sept. 26-28 at Tagsys' Cambridge, Mass., headquarters. The three-day course is designed to provide students the background necessary to implement an RFID system. This includes knowledge of RF communication, RFID hardware functions, installation, connectivity, networking, automatic data-collection technologies and configuration of interrogators (readers), antennas, printers-encoders and RFID tags. Participants can also partake in a certification training module, held in parallel with the OTA class, to prepare for the Computing Technology Industry Association's (CompTIA) RFID+ certification exam, which will be offered at the site on Sept. 29. The RFID+ exam tests knowledge and skills in the areas of RFID installation, maintenance, repair, hardware and software upkeep and RFID product functionality. Participants taking the exam will receive their results on-site. Individuals interested in registering for the training course and certification should visit OTA's Web site. The cost is $3,495 for just the three-day OTA course, or $4,490 for the course, RFID+ certification training module and exam.

Turkish Bank Distributes PayPass Cards
Garanti Bank of Turkey, that country's third-largest private bank, is issuing 25,000 MasterCard PayPass RFID-enabled payment cards to select customers. Fort Lee, N.J., payments technology firm On Track Innovations (OTI) says it is providing the bank with the RFID-enabled cards. Garanti says it selected OTI as its card vendor because of the latter's experience in bringing RFID payment solutions to market.

Inside Contactless, Fluensee Raise Funding
French tag maker Inside Contactless says it has closed a new funding round of $25 million, led by Silicon Valley firm Granite Global Ventures (GGV). Other investors consist of EuroUs Venture, French firm Sofinnova Partners, Vertex Venture Capital, GIMV and Siparex Ventures. Inside Contactless says it will use the funds to further expand its sales and marketing presence in Asia and the United States. It will also reinforce Inside's research and development efforts, accelerating new product introduction across the company's two major business lines: contactless payment and near-field communication (NFC) applications. In 2005, Inside raised $10.6 million. Denver-based RFID-enabled asset-management provider Fluensee says it has closed an undisclosed amount of financing from DFJ Mercury, a Texas-based, early-stage venture-capital fund. This is in addition to its initial round of financing that was led by IllinoisVentures in May. Fluensee says it will use the combined funds to expand its asset-management presence across several key industries and grow strategic partnerships in the United States and internationally.

Arizona Cardinals Rolls Out PayPass System
The Arizona Cardinals Football Club says it has rolled out a MasterCard PayPass contactless payment system at the new Cardinals Stadium. Fans will be able to purchase goods at concession stands throughout the stadium this fall by using MasterCard's RFID-enabled PayPass cards. The Cardinals have also rolled out a PayPass Cardinals-branded credit card, which fans will be able to use at the stadium to earn loyalty reward points.

SAP Qualifies Peak RFID Software
Columbia, Maryland-based RFID software and services firm Peak Technologies says that enterprise software provider SAP has awarded the Peak Automation Controller software, designed for users of SAP enterprise platforms, with SAP's "Powered by SAP" qualification. To achieve this designation, the Peak Automation Controller software successfully completed certification tests on the SAP NetWeaver Application Server and SAP NetWeaver Portal components of the SAP NetWeaver platform. The Automation Controller resides on SAP's Web Application Server, serving as a gateway between RFID interrogation devices (such as RFID interrogators, smart label printer-encoders and handheld readers) and SAP's Auto ID Infrastructure. The Peak software uses a configurable rules processor to filter the aggregate reads from the RFID reader network, sending only the tag data requested by users. The Automation Controller is written in SAP's software language, APAB, and does not require any other middleware or custom software.
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