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DOD Issues RFP for Active RFID

The new request for proposal will enable the military to purchase active RFID technology from more than just a single vendor.
By Mary Catherine O'Connor
Now, the DOD is opening the contract to multiple vendors in an effort to generate competition among suppliers, and to move away from a single-vendor sourcing model to ensure that all active RFID systems in use throughout the department will interoperate herein. What's more, the current RFP calls for a much wider set of RFID applications than the container tracking for which the earlier active RFID acquisitions were used.

"RFID III is not your grandfather's ITV [in-transit visibility] container-tracking contract," says Erik Wood, VP of business development for active RFID vendor Hi-G Tek. That's because the RFP for RFID III has a longer list of applications for active RFID than those described in the RFID contract, and because the types of active tags and their functions are more varied in the RFP for RFID III than for those employed under RFID II.

Vendors will need to offer five separate tag types to meet the RFP requirements. These tags range from a simple battery-powered license-plate type of identifier to a tag used for container security, and must support five sensors used to track light, temperature, humidity, shock and tampering.

To create active RFID systems that comply with the department's requirements, however, Hi-G Tek and other vendors that plan to submit proposals for the RFID III contract first had to license intellectual property from Savi, since that company holds IP essential to meeting the ISO 18000-7 standard (see Seven Companies Sign Up for Savi IP License).

Of the seven companies that licensed the IP, three have confirmed to RFID Journal their intention to submit proposals for the RFID III contract. Hi-G Tek and Identec Solutions have decided to band together to meet all of the RFP's requirements.

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