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RFID News Roundup

Tagsys launches Six Sigma program; Mobile Aspects adds new features to RFID cabinet; Impinj signs agreement with MD Soluciones de Identificación; MasterCard, USA Tech announce vending partner; Omnitrol, Ekahau form partnership; SATO announces new printer-encoder.
By Andrew Price
MasterCard and USA Tech Announce New Vending Partner
MasterCard and USA Technologies, a provider of payment terminals for vending machines, have partnered with Great Plains Coca-Cola Bottling Company in a major push to equip 6,000 Coca-Cola vending machines and self-service food stations with USA Technologies' e-Port G6 RFID payment terminals. This will allow them to process payments made with any RFID-enabled credit or debit card from MasterCard, American Express or Visa. Great Plains Coca-Cola Bottling Company operates and maintains beverage and snack vending machines throughout central and northeast Oklahoma and northwest Arkansas. it will add the e-Port-reader to machines in colleges and universities, health-care and hospitality facilities, and businesses and industry workplaces in Oklahoma City and Tulsa. MasterCard and USA Technologies are working with bottling companies in more than a dozen cities nationwide to reach its goal of installing 6,000 e-Port readers into vending machines and self-service stations. Other major cities deploying the technology include Las Vegas, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Boston, Denver, Seattle, Miami, Orlando and Washington, D.C. Last summer, MasterCard and USA Technologies worked with the Philadelphia Bottling Company to RFID-enabled 1,000 vending machines in the Philadelphia metro area with the e-Port terminal (see link http://www.rfidjournal.com/article/articleview/2461/1/1/ Philly to Get RFID-enabled Vending Machines>).

Omnitrol, Ekahau Form Partnership
Omnitrol Networks, a Mountain View, Calif., provider of RFID and auto-ID device networking appliances, has formed a reseller agreement with Ekahau, a Finnish provider of a Wi-Fi-based real-time location tracking platform. Omnitrol has also integrated Ekahau's Positioning Engine software, used to locate Wi-Fi RFID tags or other Wi-Fi-enabled devices, into the Omnitrol reader appliance software. The Omnitrol appliance is designed to pool inputs from multiple types of hardware, including RFID interrogators, bar-code scanners, sensors, biometric devices and programmable logic controllers (which operate conveyor systems) into one device. The appliance can also act as an access point and receive data over the Wi-Fi and Wi-Max protocols. The appliance already supports the following RFID readers: AWID's MPR-3014 reader (EPC Class 1 Gen 1 and 2, ISO 18000-6B UHF); Alien Technology's ALR9800 reader (EPC Gen 1 and Gen 2 UHF); and RFID Inc.'s EXR1 (ISO 18000-7 RTLS standard for 433.92 MHz active tags). With the ability to track both Wi-Fi tags and Wi-Fi-enabled devices through the Ekahau Positioning Engine software, a company could use a combination of passive and active UHF tags, as well as Wi-Fi tags in a single deployment, with tag data being sent through the Omnitrol appliance to backend software.

SATO Announces New Printer-Encoder
RFID printer-encoder provider SATO America has released a new RFID printer-encoder, the GL4e, designed for medium-duty industrial applications. The device uses the AWID MPR-1510 reader module, certified by EPCglobal as conformant to the EPC Gen 2 standard. The printer is available with either a 200 dots-per-inch resolution printhead or a 300 dpi resolution printhead. The GL4e is available with either a USB 2.0 port or an 802.11g wireless card. By using SATO’s SATOnet Connect software option, end users can remotely control and monitor all SATO printers on their network. Both versions of the GL4e printer-encoder are available now. Pricing information has not been released.

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