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Summary of Baird RFID Monthly for June

Baird has released its June report. The twelve-page document is a worthwhile read for anyone requiring an overview of the industry's last 30 days. For those without time to do so, we have reprinted here the report's summary.
Jun 27, 2006This article was originally published by RFID Update.

June 27, 2006—Wealth and asset management firm Robert W. Baird & Co., known to most simply as "Baird", has released its RFID Monthly for June. Baird has given RFID Update permission to reprint the Key Developments section (below), which offers the report highlights. For those wanting more detail, the complete twelve-page document is available free here. The report includes its usual matrix of primary RFID providers on page 9, and following are the Key Developments:
  • Item Level Standards Progress. The HF Item Level Work Group had a three day meeting in Chicago in late May with three proposals submitted for an HF tag/reader standard. Our understanding is that Magellan submitted one proposal, similar to ISO 18000-3 Mode 2, which is based on the Magellan technology. We understand that this technology did particularly well at the HF/UHF field testing this past March. Philips and Impinj also submitted a proposal. There will be a follow-up meeting in July in France. Industry contacts suggest the process is moving along smoothly, and they expect the standard to be in place by year-end.
  • China Standards Progress. China's Ministry of Science and Technology announced that it will establish a national standard for RFID technology. China will apparently leverage the existing ISO 18000 standards framework; however, a government spokesman said China will adopt its own standards and will not be pressured by outside influences. The Ministry also announced that it will build a research facility in the Zhangjiang hi-tech park in Shanghai. We expect the Chinese standard to have slight differences in order to foster increased Chinese firm involvement in developing RFID technology.
  • Increased Government Action. During the past month, we have seen a wide variety of government action with respect to RFID, some advancing the technology and some potentially slowing adoption. Such actions include the FDA releasing a positive report recommending further adoption of RFID to combat drug counterfeiting; the FDA is also adding a compliance requirement based on the Drug Marketing Act of 1987. By contrast, a report by the Department of Homeland Security suggests the technology does not offer incremental benefits for tracking people in border applications over existing technology. In addition, several states have implemented or are seeking restricted uses of RFID in tracking people.
  • Increased National Exposure. During the weekend of June 3 and 4, RFID applications in the pharma industry received some national exposure on NBC's Today and Dateline shows. NBC reporter Chris Hansen highlighted the heavy flow of counterfeit drugs entering the U.S., and several times during the show mentioned the e-pedigree initiatives and RFID, particularly with the Vi*gra and OxyC*ntin pilots currently underway. Margaret Glavin, the FDA's enforcement chief, was interviewed as part of the segment, and she seemed to suggest that RFID is a good tracking technology.
  • Alternative Wireless Technology -- "RuBee." The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) has commenced work on creating a new wireless tag network standard, IEEE P1902.1, named RuBee. Operating at frequencies below 450 KHz, RuBee will be designed to work in environments where RFID systems struggle, such as in proximity to liquids and metals. The key downside element of the RuBee technology in comparison to RFID is a slower read rate. Given the more robust read potential and the slower read speeds, it appears that the most likely applications for RuBee products include medical implants, environments with steel shelving, and high-value asset tracking where fast read rates are not required. The IEEE expects to complete the RuBee standard in late 2007.

Download the full Baird RFID Monthly (pdf)
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