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RFID News Roundup

Intermec unveils new fixed-position reader; AeroScout launches formal reseller program; Worldlabel.com offers custom label converting; Mind Commerce issues ZigBee report; NFC Forum holding innovation competition; epcSolutions, A2B offer DOD labeling solution.
By Andrew Price
Mind Commerce Issues ZigBee Report
Market research firm Mind Commerce has released a research report on the use of RFID devices employing the ZigBee air-interface protocol, a communication standard for active 2.4 MHz, low-power, wireless devices designed for sensor networks. The report, "ZigBee: A New Frontier for Low Cost Active RFID Devices," provides introductory information about ZigBee and its use as a tool for building automation and other applications. It also evaluates the role of ZigBee in location-tracking applications and presents analysis, case studies and real-life experiences culled from the author's utilization of ZigBee devices. The report offers recommendations on how to design and implement a location-tracking system with ZigBee devices, while also conveying the hurdles and limitations ZigBee could present in such an application. Additionally, it provides information on the use of alternate air interface protocols, such as Z-Wave and XMesh. The 49-page report is intended for RFID and ZigBee hardware, software and solution vendors, as well as those responsible for automation systems within manufacturing or other types of enterprises. Priced at $295 for a single license and $995 for a company-wide license, it is available for download from Mind Commerce's Web site.

NFC Forum Holding Innovation Competition
The NFC Forum, a non-profit industry association advancing the use of near field communication (NFC) technology, a short-range communication protocol operating in the 13.56 MHz frequency band, is holding a competition to promote innovation and excellence in NFC technology service deployments in Europe. NFC technology enables cell phones and other mobile devices to be used for electronic payments, data collection and sharing. The competition, "Touching the Future," is open to all interested parties. Finalists will be judged on April 18, 2007, at the NFC Developers Summit, to be held in Monaco. Entry forms and competition details are available now at www.nfc-competition.com. The deadline for submitting a preliminary proposal is Feb. 19, with a final submission deadline of March 12. The competition's theme is "the simplicity of a touch," and the 16 finalists will be selected based on the innovation, commercial potential and usability of the competition entrants' proposed applications, as well as the quality of their design and implementation of NFC technology.

epcSolutions, A2B Offer DOD Labeling Solution
RFID solutions provider epcSolutions and A2B Tracking Solutions, a provider of unique ID (UID) data management solutions for suppliers to the U.S. Department of Defense, have collaborated on a new labeling solution. RFIDTagManager for DOD combines epcSolutions' RFIDTagManager RFID software with A2B's Flagship product, UID Comply, a labeling system designed to enable DOD suppliers to comply with UID label requirements. The integrated offering is designed to assist DOD suppliers in managing all aspects of UID creation, registration, validation and UID labeling requirements while integrating that label data with a complete RFID labeling and Wide Area Workflow (WAWF) submission in a single package. The latter is needed for compliance to the DOD RFID-tagging mandate. First, the system creates and prints UIDs for items requiring bar code UID labels using UID Comply. Then, RFIDTagManager prints and encodes the RFID tags for those shipping containers and pallets requiring them. RFIDTagManager's WAWF Wizard then imports the UID data directly from UID Comply software, based on the contract. The combined UID and RFID data is saved to a UDF file, which is electronically submitted to the DOD via the WAWF. The package includes MIL-STD-129P-compliant RFID labels and MIL-STD-130M-compliant UID marks/labels, as well as a combined RFID/UID WAWF remittance and material-handling document to the DOD, and hard-copy generation of the DD250. The companies say their solution, available now through resellers, supports all major brands of RFID and bar-code printers.

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