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RFID News Roundup

Metalcraft introduces RFID windshield tag; NCR invests in RFID payments company; Pramari releases Rifidi LLRP virtual reader; Innovision Research growing through investments, staff; new system for analyzing tags and tag location; Avery Dennison, RedPrairie partner to create RFID-enabled inventory management; Cortegra offers RFID labels for pharma companies.
By Alexander C.H. Skorna and André Richter
Aug 10, 2007The following are news announcements made during the week of Aug. 6.

Metalcraft Introduces RFID Windshield Tag
Metalcraft, a converter of long-life, reusable radio frequency identification labels and tags, says its new RFID windshield, which contains a passive UHF inlay manufactured by KSW Microtec, is now available in commercial quantities. The tag has a read range of up to 18 feet when mounted on the inside of a vehicle's windshield. The tag measures 4 inches by 1 inch and was designed for use in automatic vehicle access-control applications for gated communities, secured parking and other areas. The inlay is mounted inside the tag between thin layers of polypropylene designed to protect the inlay from the effects of electrostatic discharge (ESD), while the tag's adhesive protects against harmful ultraviolet rays. Printed on the tag are a bar code and the number encoded to the bar code and inlay. Prices vary by quantity, but start at $2.25 per tag when purchased in volumes of 500 or more.

NCR Invests in RFID Payments Company
NCR, a provider of retail payment and inventory systems, has invested an undisclosed sum of money in ViVOtech, a provider of payment terminals that use RFID interrogators to collect payment data from RFID-enabled credit and debit cards developed by American Express, MasterCard and Visa, or collected from near-field communication (NFC) tags embedded in mobile phones. Banks have issued many millions of RFID-enabled credit and debit cards to consumers in the United States, and thousands of merchants can process payments with these cards by using ViVOtech payment terminals. ViVOtech also provides electronic payment applications that can be deployed on NFC devices enabling consumers to receive product promotions and conduct over-the-air (OTA) provisioning to link credit or debit accounts to an NFC device. The ViVOtech readers are built into vending machines and other self-service payment systems. Bill Nuti, NCR's resident and CEO, says ViVOtech is helping NCR customers become leaders in emerging e-payment solutions, while also providing consumers with a whole new world of automated services. ViVOtech's CEO, Michael Mullagh, notes that support from NCR will enable ViVOtech to push forward innovations in mobile and RFID-based payment systems. ViVOtech will also supply NCR with its RFID and NFC technology payment solutions. The two companies plan to collaborate to integrate RFID and NFC mobile transaction technology into NCR's products and applications.

Pramari Releases Rifidi LLRP Virtual Reader
Pramari an RFID systems integrator and developer of Rifidi, an open-source integrated development environment for RFID, has completed its development of a virtual reader that uses the low-level reader protocol (LLRP). This protocol provides a common but extensible interface for linking EPC Gen 2-compliant readers to middleware or other types of networking software. The purpose of the virtual reader is to provide RFID application developers, systems integrators and RFID end users a better understanding of LLRP-based readers, which reader manufacturers are currently readying for the marketplace, as well as a means of testing the readers in a range of applications and workflows. The reader was created as part of an LLRP toolkit developed through collaboration between Pramari and five other organizations (see RFID Vendors Collaborate on Open-Source LLRP Project). The virtual reader fits into the overall Rifidi product roadmap of establishing a suite of applications enabling analysts, developers, architects and managers to design, develop, validate and manage an RFID infrastructure. Additional information about Rifidi is available at www.rifidi.org, and about the LLRP Toolkit at www.llrp.org.

Innovision Research Growing Through Investments, Staff
Innovision Research & Technology, a Cirencester, U.K., developer of NFC and RFID solutions for the mobile handset and consumer device sectors, says it has secured investment funding valued at £6.5 million ($13 million) from undisclosed sources. The company says it will use the funds to advance its intellectual property in NFC and RFID product development. It also says it has recently signed contracts with large semiconductor companies selling to the mobile handset and other consumer markets, and is in development on a number of new products, including one integrating NFC with Bluetooth technology. Innovision says it has recently added more than 20 people to its staff, primarily new IC and software designers, and has invested in industry-standard design tools to fortify its NFC engineering design team.

New System For Analyzing Tags and Tag Location
CISC Semiconductor has developed a new measurement system designed to help companies test RFID technology in their operations. The RFID Measurement & Evaluation Test System (MeETS), available now, helps companies determine the best place to affix RFID transponders to their goods, as well evaluate various frequencies and read ranges of different transponders. The MeETS system is based on National Instruments' NI LabVIEW software, a graphical development environment for creating design, control and test applications, and PXI hardware, an open, PC-based platform for test, measurement and control. The CISC RFID MeETS is available in three different versions: the CISC RFID MeETS Library for LabVIEW; the CISC RFID MeETS-configured NI PXI hardware; and a full installation of software and hardware, which CICS recommends for laboratories and research or test centers. According to the company, the CISC RFID MeETS is developed according to the recent ISO ratifications and EPCglobal recommendations.

Avery Dennison, RedPrairie Partner To Create RFID-enabled Inventory Management
RFID printer and tag manufacturer Avery Dennison has teamed with RedPrairie to provide an RFID system for automatically printing RFID tags based on inventory and orders. The two companies have integrated Avery Dennison's Monarch 9855TM RFID printer-encoder and RFID supplies with RedPrairie's enterprise inventory management software. According to the two companies, the partnership is the result of creating an RFID solution to help increase the visibility and management of a pharmaceutical supplier's operation.

Cortegra Offers RFID Labels for Pharma Companies
Pharmaceutical packaging provider Cortegra, a subsidiary of Menasha Corporation formerly known as New Jersey Packaging and Creative Press, has introduced a line of pressure-sensitive RFID labels. The pre-printed and die-cut labels are cGMP-compliant. Current good manufacturing practices (cGMP) are recognized by numerous agencies, including the World Health Organization and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, for the control and management of manufacturing and quality-control testing of foods and pharmaceutical products. The RFID labels are part of Cortegra's RxTrackNSecure protective product line, a range of labels incorporating RFID tags and combining a variety of printable face sheets, specialty adhesives and liners with EPC Class O to Class V and UHF Gen2 inlays. According to Cortegra, yhe labels provide compliance to ISO, EPC and other standards.
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