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RFID Weekly News Roundup April 16, 2009

This article highlights news and developments from the previous week, which was was a fairly slow news week in the RFID industry. RFID Update suspects companies are holding major product and customer announcements to try to create buzz just before the upcoming RFID Journal LIVE! event scheduled for April 27-29 in Orlando.
Apr 16, 2009This article was originally published by RFID Update.

April 16, 2009—It was a fairly slow news week in the RFID industry. RFID Update suspects companies are holding major product and customer announcements to try to create buzz just before the upcoming RFID Journal LIVE! event scheduled for April 27-29 in Orlando.
  • The Los Angeles Marathon will use an RFID system to time runners for the second consecutive year. The May 25th event is expected to attract more than 20,000 participants, who will receive passive UHF RFID timing tags to attach to their shoeleaces, tag and label producer UPM Raflatac announced. ChronoTrack Systems, an Evansville, Indiana company focused on the race timing market, is again managing the system.
  • Various outlets have reported on proof-of-concept projects involving RFID-enabled Apple iPhones, though there is no confirmation on the company's website.
  • The New York Times reported on a new trial by Visa in Malaysia to enable NFC cell phones as payment devices. Why Malaysia? Visa believes that NFC-based cell phone payments will gain traction differently in different markets, and Malaysia happens to be particularly fertile ground for such an application. "My read is that [NFC cell phone payments] will be driven by the ecosystem and the landscape of each particular region," Visa's Pam Zuercher told the New York Times. "When we look at Malaysia, there is extremely high penetration of smart mobile devices that have the capability of hosting multiple applications."
  • Loctronix, a Woodinville, Washington company that develops location and sensing systems that integrate multiple technologies, announced it received its first patent, for positioning systems that use RTLS and other technologies.
  • The European Commission has accused the UK of not adequately protecting consumer privacy against behavioral advertising (see coverage here, here and here). As part of its public message about the issue, the commissioner for information society and media Viviane Reding also cited social networking and RFID as new technologies that the European Commission might regulate if vendors and nations do not sufficiently protect individual privacy. You can watch her related video address here (she starts talking about RFID about two-thirds of the way in).
  • Cleveland-area RFID and labeling solutions provider The Kennedy Group released web-based software for asset tracking with RFID. The new eP360 product announced this week was developed to track totes, pallets and other capital assets and to integrate with ERP systems.
  • Checkpoint announced an enhancement to its OAT Foundation Suite that simplifies integration of real-time RFID data into SAP enterprise software applications. SAP has certified the software.
  • RFID chip manufacturer Impinj has released its Monza 3 RFID tag chip in packaged format. The packaged chips are specifically designed to exhibit durability and performance in harsh operating environments. They would be used in tags for industrial applications where exposure to high temperatures and physical stress is common. Examples include pallet tagging and work-in-process printed circuit board tagging by electronics manufacturers.
  • Cisco Systems has given Cisco Compatible Extensions (CCX) interoperability certification to Ekahau's WiFi RTLS technology.
  • J.C. Renfroe & Sons has integrated RFID reading capabilities into the lifting clamps it manufactures, which are used to lift and move heavy objects. The company also announced its involvement in the Field ID Safety Network, which provides a complete safety traceability service for organizations using RFID and other technologies.
  • Maryland-based automatic identification solutions provider Compu-Power formed an RFID business unit to pursue asset tracking and other opportunities. More details here.
Previously this week RFID Update covered:
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