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RFID Weekly News Roundup April 9, 2009

This article highlights RFID news and developments from the past week. RFID advances in the security, automotive, airline, retail, healthcare and livestock industries all made headlines this week.
Apr 09, 2009This article was originally published by RFID Update.

April 9, 2009—RFID advances in the security, automotive, airline, retail, healthcare and livestock industries all made news this week. Last week's roundup included several announcements made in advance of the HIMSS show held this week in Chicago. RFID Update senior correspondent John Burnell was at the event and reports that RTLS and other wireless technologies were a small but highly visible part of the exhibition.
  • Several university and state government research and development organizations in Georgia announced they have received a two-year commitment for $600,000 in investment from Microsoft Research to research RFID that can be used for authentication and security. Dubbed RF-DNA the collaborative project will involve small and printable RFID circuits and will also include student education. Research will be conducted at the Georgia Electronic Design Center's new lab on the campus of Georgia Tech University.
  • The more you pack into your car for a trip, the more stuff you can lose. To help prevent that problem, Ford this week demonstrated its Transit Connect Family One concept car, which has an integrated RFID reader and in-dash display that notifies users when tagged items are missing from the vehicle. The vehicle, which Ford announced this week, is a consumer-oriented version of the RFID-enabled pickups and cargo vans that Ford debuted last year (see Ford Builds RFID into Pickups and Vans to Track Cargo).
  • The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has selected ODIN technologies to provide testing, guidance, and benchmarking services in support of the association's effort to improve and standardize baggage tagging. According to the announcement, ODIN's first order of business will be to produce a benchmark that evaluates commercially available RFID tags designed for baggage tracking.
  • Checkpoint Systems announced what it is calling the world's first "source-to-store" merchandise visibility solution for retailers. Combining hardware, software and services, the comprehensive solution targets common retailer pain points like out-of-stocks, shrinkage, inventory accuracy, overstocking, and costly manual inventorying and stocking processes. The solution integrates the software solution from OATSystems, which Checkpoint acquired last year for $37 million. For background, see:
  • The New Straits Times newspaper in Malaysia reports the country is embarking on a major livestock tracking program, starting with 80,000 heads of cattle. Officials said the program is the first of its kind in Asia and will benefit the "halal" food market, which research firm Frost & Sullivan has singled out as an area of opportunity for RFID providers in Asia (see Asian RFID Outlook Predicts Pockets of Opportunity).
  • French-headquartered RFID card, ticket and reader provider ASK will soon begin producing inlays in the US. The firm announced this week that ASK-intTag, a joint venture it established with Wisconsin-based label converter WS Packaging Group, has leased space at an IBM facility in Vermont that will be used to produce inlays for the secure identification, ticketing, card, healthcare, food and other markets.
  • Sisvel has been tapped by the RFID Consortium to administer its RFID patent licensing pool. Sisvel's Sean Corey told RFID Update the first licenses from the pool will be made available by the third quarter of this year. See the announcement for more details. The RFID Consortium received approval from the US Department of Justice late last year, which was one of the final steps needed before it can legally begin operations (see RFID Patent Pool Approved by US Government).
  • UWB-based RTLS technology developer Time Domain announced a $995 starter pack targeted at companies that want to evaluate UWB RTLS solutions. The PLUS Proximity Zone Pak comes with a reader, an antenna, a power supply, and ten tags.
  • RF Technologies of Brookfield, Wisconsin, announced Help Alert, a WiFi-based RTLS system for medical staff to use to call for assistance when they are under duress.
  • High-performance UHF tag producer Omni-ID reached an agreement with printer/encoder maker Sato to market the Omni-ID On Demand system for producing metal-mount and other specialty tags worldwide. See the announcement.
  • Chipless RFID technology developer InkSure Technologies announced its 2008 financial results. Its revenues decreased 25 percent to $2.2 million, which the company attributed to troubles in the wider economy. Overall gross margins improved to 77 percent from 62 percent a year earlier.
  • RFID can make many operations paperless, but some aspects of the technology are best conveyed through paper. Barcelona-based RFID Magazine has published a book called RFID Projects that features 13 case studies about the deployment of RFID and is available in both Spanish and English. More information is available in the announcement.
  • Solution provider Rush Tracking Systems published a list of six best practices RFID end users should follow to recession-proof an RFID deployment.
Previously this week RFID Update covered:
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