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RFID News Roundup

Industry automation group releases reader standard; Deister announces new RFID Mouse; Metro, Deutsche Post hosting workshop; California legislature passes ban on forced tagging; Maxell introduces long-life batteries; Vuance plucks Security Holding Corp; HEI sells RFID division to Smartrac.
Sep 07, 2007The following are news announcements made during the week of Sept. 1.

Industry Automation Group Releases Reader Standard
Controller Area Network (CAN) in Automation (CiA), a nonprofit organization working to develop standardized data and communication systems for different industries, has released the CiA 445 CANopen device profile for RFID interrogators. The profile's objective is to enable users of RFID technology to more easily install and integrate readers into networks in such applications as factory automation, laboratory automation, medical systems, product and asset management, and identification systems. Various interrogator manufacturers will be able to use the profile to make CiA 445-compliant interrogators that will be interchangeable with one another. CiA says it developed the profile specification with the help of several member companies, including DeLaval International, FH Regensburg, Hans Turck, IFM Electronic, Ixxat Automation, RM Michaelides, Schneider Electric, Sick, Siemens Medical Solutions and Vector Informatik.

Deister Announces New RFID Mouse
Deister Electronics, a developer and manufacturer of RFID products, has introduced the RFID-Mouse, a miniaturized tabletop RFID interrogator integrated into a computer mouse. The device's small profile is designed to make it easy to transport, and to use it for establishing mobile RFID reading or encoding stations with a laptop computer. The RFID-Mouse connects to a computer through a standard USB port, which also powers the device. Deister says the RFID-Mouse can be used for a wide range of RFID applications in logistics, retail, supply-chain and other industrial uses. The mouse is available in UHF and HF versions. The HF version can read 13.56 MHz tags complying with the ISO 15693 and 14443 A and B air-interface protocols. The UHF version follows the EPC Gen 2 air-interface protocol and can be set to operate in compliance with the UHF frequency range sanctioned in North America, Europe or Japan. Both devices have a read range of 1 to 2 inches and will be available beginning in October. The UHF version will cost $499; pricing for the HF device has not yet been established but is expected to be less.

Metro, Deutsche Post Hosting Workshop
German retailer Metro Group and courier Deutsche Post World Net are hosting a workshop on Sept. 10 to discuss guidelines and regulatory issues surrounding the deployment of RFID technology, at the DHL Innovation Centre in Troisdorf/Bonn, Germany. This workshop is part of the European organization Coordinating European Efforts for Promoting the European RFID Value Chain (CE RFID), formed last year to shape European RFID policy (see CE RFID Holds Its First Meeting). The group is made up of RFID users, vendors and technology providers, including Metro Group, Deutsche Post World Net, NXP Semiconductors (formerly Philips Semiconductors) and RFID hardware makers Feig Electronic and UPM Raflatac. The workshop will discuss guidelines for using RFID as a business process, as well as the legal regulations around RF use. Experts from the Federal Office for Information Security (BSI), NXP Semiconductors Austria GmbH, and Deutsche Post World Net will lead discussions.

California Legislature Passes Ban on Forced Tagging
California may soon join Wisconsin and North Dakota in adopting laws to prohibit forceful implantation of RFID tags into human bodies (see Wisconsin Governor Signs 'Chip Implant' Bill and RFID News Roundup: N.D. Bans RFID Implants; Calif. Senate Approves School ID Bill). Both houses of the California legislature recently passed Senate Bill 362, which would prohibit a party from forcing any person to undergo implantation of a subcutaneous RFID device in their body (see RFID News Roundup: Calif. Legislature Advances RFID Bill). Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is now considering the bill, which will become a law if he signs it. Senator Joe Simitian (D-Palo Alto), who authored the bill, says the legislation could help establish an important privacy protection for California's citizens. The notion that humans could be forcibly tagged as a means of identifying them, Simitian says, is the "ultimate invasion of privacy." He adds that the lack of industry support for the bill is "unfortunate and regrettable."

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