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Savi's New Licensing Program Slashes Costs for ISO 18000-7

The UnwiredPlanet program, which aims to spur adoption of active 433 MHz RFID tags and readers, will reduce the fees that hardware providers pay Savi by as much as 90 percent.
By Claire Swedberg
"In terms of the numbers, it will be the smaller [makers of 433 MHz active tags] who benefit most," Burns says. However, he adds, "there are large companies that will be excited about this, too," as the fees per sale will be greatly reduced. This is just proof, he says, that the 18000-7 standard will be the universal option for active technology. "There's plenty of proprietary efforts out there, but they haven't been widely adopted. This is going to be the global standard."

RFind Systems is an active RFID technology vendor that manufactures real-time locating systems, and is also a member of the Dash7 Alliance, though it was not part of the military's RFID III contract. The company serves to benefit from this new standards program, says Sharon Barnes, RFind's CEO, by enabling it to affordably provide active RFID technology to the commercial sector, in automotive and other areas.

While RFind currently sells RFID solutions to the automotive industry, it is in limited deployments, rather than more universal systems that would include an automotive manufacturer and all of its supply chain partners—such as components manufacturers, third-party logistics providers that ship parts to the manufacturer and finished vehicles to dealerships, and the dealerships themselves. Within a few years, Barnes envisions an active tag being placed on an item, such as a car engine, as it is manufactured, and being tracked from that location to the auto manufacturer and then to the dealer, with data regarding that movement being shared with all supply chain participants. "That's the goal," she says.

The reduction in cost for RFID vendors using the ISO 18000-7 standard is key, Barnes adds. "Certainly," she says, "in the commercial sector, price plays a very key role."

The Dash7 Alliance will now work with a variety of end-user industries to spread the word about the new program, and to ensure that the needs of end users are being met by ISO 18000-7 technology. In the case of the automotive working group, for instance—of which she is the chairperson—that will mean working with automotive manufacturers to ensure that the Dash7 technology transfers and displays data in the format the users would want it to be in, and that it can integrate with other systems they typically use, such as (in the case of the auto industry) an existing tire-pressure-monitoring system.

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