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RFID Journal LIVE! News Roundup

Motorola unveils RFID readers for retail, offices; 3M gets to work at Marine Base, unveils new reader pad; Avery Dennison enters HF tag market; Intermec, Infratab team on cold-chain tracking solution; RFID Global Solution intros platform for RFID, sensors and more; Reva Systems unveils RFID item-level solution for retail.
May 01, 2009The following are news announcements made during the RFID Journal LIVE! 2009 conference, held in Orlando, Fla.

Motorola Unveils RFID Reader for Retail, Offices
Motorola has announced a new business-class RFID interrogator as an alternative to the industrial-sized fixed readers presently on the market. The FX7400, currently being trialed by several businesses, is half the size, weight and price of standard fixed readers, says Chris Warner, Motorola's senior marketing manager. The interrogator is specially designed for "carpeted" environments—that is, retail stores, business offices and other sites where standard fixed readers would be cumbersome and unattractive to the public. Motorola calls this new product an easy-to-install, easy-to-use, versatile solution for customers requiring a small, inexpensive interrogator that can be easily moved. The UHF EPC Gen 2 reader can transmit data over an Ethernet cable, and also can be powered over Ethernet. The FX7400 can be installed at stores in such locations as the point of sale, on store shelves, in back rooms and in portals, as well as at offices, for file tracking and other applications. The device measures 6 inches by 8 inches by 1.7 inches, and can be integrated with Microsoft BizTalk, IBM WebSphere and Motorola's WLAN Switch RFS7000.

3M Gets to Work at Marine Base, Unveils New Reader Pad
3M's Track and Trace Solutions group has announced that it has installed its 13.56 MHz RFID tracking system at the Marine Corps Base Hawaii's Installation Personnel Administration Center (IPAC). The base is employing the system to manage more than 8,000 records—the Marines' Service Record Books and Officer Qualification Records—that are frequently moved within the IPAC facility, and that also travel with Marines when they are deployed. IPAC applies a passive tag (complying with the ISO 15693 RFID standard) to each document, and utilizes 3M's RFID Tracking Pad so personnel can automatically check the records in and out. Clerks can use 3M's RFID Handheld Tracker to search for records on shelves, as well as perform inventory. Using the RFID system, IPAC says the monthly inventory—which previously took up to a week to perform, often requiring weekend work—can now be completed in two to three hours. In addition, 3M unveiled its 3M Mini RFID Tracking Pad—a compact, portable 13.56 MHz reader that also supports the ISO 15693 and ISO 18000-3 Mode 1 RFID standards, as well as Texas Instruments' TI Tag-It specification. The pad has a read range of up to 6 inches. It measures 7.25 by 6.5 inches in size, and comes with its own 6.5-foot-long USB cable so it can be powered by the USB port of a PC or laptop. A light within the pad illuminates, indicating a successful tag read.

Avery Dennison Enters HF Tag Market
Avery Dennison RFID has unveiled its first high-frequency (HF) market for RFID inlays, with three new 13.56 MHz products compatible with the ISO 15693 standard. The AD-709, AD-719 and AD-720 models are offered in a variety of configurations to meet application requirements. "Expanding our product portfolio into HF enables us to offer the best product for any given application," said Jack Farrell, the company's VP and GM, in a prepared statement. "Our new HF product line is a natural extension of our experience and success in developing RFID solutions for our customers." According to Avery Dennison, the AD-709 is designed for media management, and performs well on books and documents; the AD-710 offers a read range and size optimized for use in access or patron cards; and the AD-720 is a circular tag designed for CDs and DVDs that can be applied to the center ring of a CD or DVD for media-management applications.

Intermec, Infratab Team on Cold Chain Tracking Solution
Intermec and Infratab, have partnered to integrate Infratab's semi-passive EPC 2 RFID tags for monitoring temperatures with Intermec's rugged mobile computers and ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) interrogators to offer a solution for monitoring the temperatures, shelf life and freshness of perishable goods, such as vaccines, food, chemicals and flowers, throughout a cold chain. The integrated solution can provide real-time alerts to distribution managers and workers if there are quality concerns regarding perishable goods, if those goods have expired, or if a specified temperature range has been breached. As goods are transported, the tags record temperatures and calculate remaining shelf life. As they are received, employees can use the Intermec mobile computers equipped with the handheld RFID readers to access each tag's temperature history, length of time in transit and other information. "Our partnership with Intermec ensures accurate and inexpensive tracking using passive RFID in conjunction with current business processes and cold-chain applications that can be directly integrated into existing enterprise resource planning and quality assurance systems," said Terry Myers, Infratab's CEO, in a prepared statement.

RFID Global Solution Intros Platform for RFID, Sensors and More
RFID solutions provider RFID Global Solution has announced its Visi-Trac software, an enterprise-wide platform designed to capture data from a variety of RFID and sensor technologies, including active and passive RFID, ultra-wideband (UWB), GPS, bar-code and temperature-sensor technologies, then map that information in a variety of dashboard applications. Built on Microsoft's BizTalk Server, Visi-Trac enables businesses to create zones for location tracking, as well as set alerts that can be sent out via e-mail, SMS and other alerting options if a particular asset crosses a zone. In addition to zone tracking, the software's mapping functions also support chokepoint read capabilities. The Visi-Trac software can be integrated, via application programming interfaces, into enterprise systems including those from IBM, Oracle, SAP and others. Visi-Trac is RFID Global Solution's first packaged software application; until now, the firm has provided systems integration and custom software solutions. The company, headquartered in Eldersburg, Md., works with customers in the aerospace and defense (such as Boeing), government, health-care, manufacturing, retail, transportation and logistics industries, as well as in the art market. It focuses on asset tracking, location awareness and supply chain visibility for high-value assets, tools, parts and supplies.

Reva Systems Unveils RFID Item-Level Solution for Retail
Reva Systems, a provider of RFID infrastructure, has announced a new solution for retailers that leverages its Tag Acquisition Processor (TAP) technology, a retail application, and support for pre-qualified handheld RFID interrogators and standard, item-level RFID tags. The solution is designed to help retail stores leverage EPC Gen 2 RFID tags attached to individual goods for inventory applications within their stores. The Reva-4-Retail runs on the REVA Tap device, and includes the company's Handheld Inventory Reporting Application (HIRA). "We've been in many industries with our TAP appliance and have learned, in particular with retail, that we need to make it easier for them to adopt RFID at the item level," says Ashley Stephenson, Reva's chairman. "So we've built a straightforward application that's hosted on TAP. In many ways, it is turnkey." The HIRA application lets stores run inventory reports on sales-floor and back-room inventory counts by stock-keeping unit (SKU), non-displayed item or replenishment, as well as compare expected inventory to observed, or actual, inventory.
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