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RFID News Roundup

Confidex offers tag services to ease deployment; IDtronic intros mobile Bluetooth RFID reader; UPM Raflatac, Hansaprint to offer online NFC printing service; Bouygues Telecom gives boost to NFC startup Twinlinx; TagStone, noFilis to bring RFID, supply chain expertise to Middle East; Visonic Technologies adds 433 MHz RFID reader to portfolio.
Jun 18, 2009The following are news announcements made during the last week.

Confidex Offers Tag Services to Ease Deployment
Finnish tag manufacturer Confidex has launched new services designed to help companies more easily deploy RFID in their organizations. The new tag personalization services include tag encoding, visual marking and fixing tools. With tag encoding, a customer can order and receive tags pre-encoded with an Electronic Product Code (EPC) or some other type of serial number. If necessary, each tag can also include visual markings such as a printed bar code, as well as any other visual information required by a particular client. According to Confidex, it's often necessary to add customized visual information onto the tag to provide a method for discerning that tag's serial number without using an RFID interrogator. The service for visual marking includes bar coding, color printing and laser engraving. The bar-coded data can be easily matched with any information encoded to the tag. The fixing service includes such options as a magnetic bracket or adhesive backing, enabling the tags to be easily applied directly to items. "Our new personalization services mean that integrators and customers who don't have the equipment and resources needed to customize tags now have another option," said Hanna Kosunen, Confidex's product line manager, in a prepared statement.

IDtronic Intros Mobile Bluetooth RFID Reader
IDTronic, an RFID hardware provider based in Germany,
has announced I-Collect, a mobile RFID interrogator with Bluetooth functionality. The device is available in two versions: I-Collect LF for reading low-frequency (LF) 125 kHz transponders, and I-Collect HF for reading high-frequency (HF) RFID 13.56 MHz tags. Designed for logistics, inventory-management, asset-tracking, security, maintenance and access-control applications, the I-Collect has an integrated 1700-mAh rechargeable battery that lasts for up to 16,000 tag readings (the reader has internal memory that can hold that many tag reads) and can be fully charged within two hours. The programmable interrogator has an integrated real-time clock for time stamps, a user interface with three buttons, and a screen for displaying a tag's unique ID (UID) number and the time it was read. The reader also beeps whenever a successful read is completed. Data can be transferred via the integrated Bluetooth communications or via a USB port to Windows XP, Vista and Mobile applications. The USB and Bluetooth interfaces also allow for communication with a variety of devices, such as PDAs, smart phones, laptop computers or tablet PCs. The I-Collect comes with demo software and eight standard applications, and the software menu is available in six languages.

UPM Raflatac, Hansaprint to Offer Online NFC Printing Service
RFID tag manufacturer UPM Raflatac has partnered with Hansaprint, a Finnish company specializing in printing and logistics services and E-media solutions. The duo plan to offer a solution that will provide companies with the ability to create and procure low or high volumes of customized Near Field Communication (NFC) tags and labels via an online service. The service will leverage UMP Raflatac's tags and inlays, as well as Hansaprint's digital printing techniques.

Bouygues Telecom Gives Boost to NFC Startup Twinlinx
Bouygues Telecom Initiatives has announced it will provide financial backing, office space and other resources to Twinlinx, a French startup firm focusing on Near Field Communication (NFC) RFID tag development. Bouygues Telecom Initiatives, a venture of French mobile operator Bouygues Telecom, is designed to help selected startups bring their technology to market. Twinlinx has developed the MyMax sticker, a thin electronic sticker that can add NFC communication capability to Bluetooth-enabled mobile phones. The MyMax employs Bluetooth communication to connect to the phone, and has an internal rechargeable battery so it won't drain the phone's battery. Depending on the mode of operation chosen, the MyMax can operate as a multi-chip contactless card, as a communication mechanism between itself and the mobile phone, and as a contactless interrogator that can read external NFC RFID cards and tags, and either store received data in its flash memory or transmit it to the phone through a Bluetooth interface. It can also communicate with another My-Max sticker. Bouygues Telecom has been involved in developing and promoting NFC. The company is partnering with Carrefour and other retailers, as well as financial services firms and other cellular carriers, on a large-scale pilot slated for year's end. The pilot will enable consumers with cell phone accounts from the carriers to utilize their mobile phones to pay for purchases in the retailers' stores, as well as to receive and redeem mobile coupons, and to replace their existing store cards with virtual loyalty cards running on their phones (see Moversa Debuts Universal NFC Chip).

TagStone, NoFilis To Bring RFID, Supply Chain Expertise to Middle East
TagStone, an RFID consultancy based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, has announced that it has partnered with RFID software company NoFilis. Among NoFilis' product portfolio is its CrossTalk software, designed to format data collected via RFID for enterprise resource planning (ERP) and other back-end systems. CrossTalk can be run on small devices like RFID readers and "out-of-the box" appliances, as well as in clustered data-center environments. The software can be distributed across geographically separate networks with ease, NoFilis reports. "Our partnership with noFilis will allow us to leverage their expertise in the supply chain and logistics sector to offer a cost-effective management solution," said Mike Meranda, TagStone's CEO, in a prepared statement. For NoFilis' part, the company indicates its partnership with TagStone will provide it with an opportunity to bring its software and expertise to the Middle East region (see Middle Easterners Imagine RFID's Power and Possibilities).

Visonic Technologies Adds 433 MHz RFID Reader to Portfolio
Visonic Technologies (VT), a supplier of active RFID and real-time location systems (RTLS), has announced the availability of its new Elpas2 433 MHz RFID interrogator. The device is designed to read and relay location and status data from the company's Elpas 433 MHz active RFID tags for assets, personnel or infant protection. The reader, which will be marketed through VT's worldwide network of qualified partners, also supports XML messaging for integration with third-party applications.
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