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Wrap-Up of RFID World News

This week's RFID World saw a flurry of announcements as the many exhibitors jostled to make an impact at what was, by all informal accounts, the biggest RFID show ever. This article highlights those announcements RFID Update deems most newsworthy.
Mar 03, 2006This article was originally published by RFID Update.

March 3, 2006—This week's RFID World saw a flurry of announcements as the many exhibitors jostled to make an impact at what was, by all informal accounts, the biggest RFID show ever. Following are those announcements RFID Update deems most newsworthy. (For a more comprehensive run-down of the announcements, see this document that the RFID World conference organizers sent to the media. It includes all the announcements that exhibitors submitted prior to the show's start.)
  • RFID reader manufacturer Sirit of Toronto acquired plug-and-play reader manufacturer TradeWind Technologies of Knoxville, Tennessee, for $2 million Canadian (approx. $1.7M US). Sirit also announced its own line of plug-and-play reader products for use in everyday devices like PDAs, handhelds, and laptops. The first announcement and second announcement.
  • RSI ID of Chula Vista, California, and labeling giant Avery Dennison both announced that CPG manufacturer and RFID early adopter Kimberly-Clark selected their tag solutions (Avery Dennison inlays in RSI finished labels) for its RFID deployment. Avery Dennison noted that it expects $10 million in inlay sales for 2006, from the Kimberly-Clark deal and other sources. RSI's announcement (pdf) and Avery's announcement (pdf).
  • Avery Dennison also announced a new portfolio of Gen2 inlays, which it calls "the industry's broadest". See the announcement here (pdf).
  • The Metroplex Technology Business Council unveiled a new identity for north Texas: the RFID Hub. Bill Sproull, president and CEO of the MTBC, said in a statement, "We are creating an additional identity for our region, the RFID Hub, so the international business community recognizes that North Texas is a global center of RFID excellence." The initiative includes a new map graphic that highlights the area's RFID assets, as well as a new logo.
  • Checkpoint Systems expanded its existing RFID line to include a complete portfolio of HF and Gen2-compliant UHF tags, labels, tickets, and inlays.
  • Intermec announced a trade-in purchasing program targeted at end-users looking to upgrade from Gen1 to Gen2 technology. Through August, those companies that trade in Gen1 tags, readers, and printers will receive a discount off the price of comparable Gen2 Intermec products. The company also announced a tag purchase program, offering a free Gen2 reader for every purchase of 50,000 Gen2 tags. Details of both announcements here.
  • RFID solutions provider ODIN technologies released EasyReader, automated RFID configuration and deployment software that the company says vastly streamlines and simplifies RFID reader deployment. More details on EasyReader here.
  • Real-time location systems (RTLS) provider Ekahau and Symbol released a product that incorporates Ekahau's technology with Symbol's handheld RFID reader, allowing location information to be stored and associated with each RFID tag read. Read the announcement.
  • Texas Instruments announced that MasterCard has certified TI's payment card inlay product for use in the credit card giant's PayPass contactless payment program. TI also co-announced with Smurfit-Stone Container Corporation what it calls the first Gen2 strap-on-box prototypes, whereby the RFID straps are integrated directly into the corrugated box packaging. First and second announcement.
  • UPM Raflatac (previously known as Rafsec) announced a portfolio of passive HF and UHF tags and inlays. Details here.
  • IBM announced the opening of a 50,000-square foot RFID testing and pilot center in Dublin. Here's the announcement.
  • TrueDemand Software of Los Gatos, California, released a suite of execution-based replenishment and forecasting applications which serves to curb out-of-stocks and labor costs for retailers and CPG manufacturers. The suite supports both RFID and non-RFID environments. More here (pdf).
  • Reader manufacturer AWID selected RF Identics to provide 25 million finished RFID labels, securing a low per-label price that AWID said will be passed on to customers. Read the announcement.
  • The Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) conducted a follow-up survey to one last year regarding the supply of RFID workforce talent. Seventy-five percent of those surveyed replied that the "pool of talent" in RFID is insufficient to meet demand. This is slightly down from last year's 80%, but a very significant majority nonetheless. Here is the announcement.
  • Savi Technology announced the SmartStart Solution, which the company says is a "simple, low-cost and low-risk" active RFID solution for asset tracking. Read more here.
  • Zebra announced expanded conversion capabilities with a host of new supplier agreements from the likes of Alien, Avery Dennison, Raflatac, Symbol, and Texas Instruments. Read the announcement (pdf).
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