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RFID Weekly News Roundup -- July 9, 2009

The Fourth of July wasn't a holiday for RFID technology as several organizations collaborated to provide an RFID-based access control system and public safety officer identification system to manage the Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular. This article highlights that, plus all the other RFID news and developments from the past week.
Jul 09, 2009This article was originally published by RFID Update.

July 9, 2009—The Fourth of July wasn't a holiday for RFID technology as several organizations collaborated to provide an RFID-based access control system and public safety officer identification system to manage the Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular. RFID Global Solution reportedly led the project, which also included Fenwick Technologies and Middlesex Community College. Other news highlights from the past week follow.
  • The Global RFID Interoperability Forum (GRIFS) met last week in Washington, DC to discuss and coordinate standards development among various industry and technical bodies. More details here.
  • Seoul Subway expects to save $2.4 million annually with a new RFID ticketing system that recently went live. The savings will come from the use of new reusable RFID fare cards that passengers can add value to, which will reduce the use of disposable paper tickets. Seoul Subway also introduced a deposit system for paper tickets to encourage recycling, according to an announcement from STMicroelectronics, which provided the RFID system.
  • Alien Technology has announced the latest in its growing list of garment supply chain tracking deployments in Europe. Alien partnered with local solutions provider Aton to develop an item-level garment-tracking solution for apparel designer and manufacturer G&P Net, producer of the Peuterey and GeoSpirit brands. The deployment will use over a million tags.
  • METRO Group will use inlays from Avery Dennison as part of its systems to track pallets in distribution centers. Avery Dennison announced its AD-843 UHF inlay was selected and is being evaluated for other uses with METRO.
  • Semiconductor manufacturer NXP and Siemens announced their collaboration on a pharmaceutical-tracking project at NXP's RFID facility near Graz, Austria. The Siemens IT Solutions & Services team designed a pharma tracking system based on high frequency (HF) chips from NXP. It complies with the forthcoming HF Gen2 standard from EPCglobal.
  • VeriChip announced it has sold its VeriTrace system including 1,000 human-implantable RFID tags to Prince Calvert Hospital in Frederick, Maryland for emergency management operations. The chips will be implanted in victims of disasters or other mass casualty events to help emergency personnel track and manage patient workflows.
  • St. Louis VA Medical Center will implement a patient and staff tracking system from Versus Technology, the Michigan RTLS provider announced. Versus created custom reporting capabilities that will provide key performance indicator metrics, patient wait times and other data.
  • ABI Research has released its latest RFID Vendor Matrix, which ranks vendors' positions according to technology innovation and actual implementation in the market. This matrix looks at specialty UHF tag vendors. Confidex ranked at the top, followed by Omni-ID in second and William Frick & Company/TROI in third.
  • PC World reports that news and rumor site MacRumors has uncovered an Apple patent that suggests the company is considering incorporating an RFID reader into future versions of the iPhone.
  • Electronics maker Freecom Technologies introduced an external hard drive that must be accessed with an RFID identification card before it will exchange data. The drive has an internal RFID reader and comes with two cards.
  • The EU-funded BRIDGE project released details from a new white paper that describes how Gen2-standard RFID tags can be used for product authentication without compromising privacy.
  • Bharat Book Bureau announced a new report on RFID use in the airline industry. It provides forecasts for RFID spending on airline baggage tagging, aircraft parts tracking, asset management, cargo tracking and more.
  • More than $60 million of RFID middleware was sold in the Asia-Pacific region last year and sales will triple by 2015, according to new research from Frost & Sullivan.
  • Chinese RFID market research firm Analysys released a report to RFID Update that shows China's RFID market reached 2.397 billion yuan (approximately USD $351 million) in the first quarter of 2009. That figure is down 6.4 percent from the fourth quarter of 2008, but Analysys notes that this is to be expected since the first quarter is historically weaker than later quarters. The report is not available on the firm's website.
  • CenTrak announced a new temperature monitoring tag for use with its TouchCare 2.0 indoor RTLS system. The Newton, Pennsylvania company markets the system to the healthcare industry and said its new TempTag was developed to monitor refrigerators and freezers, and can withstand cryogenic temperatures.
  • Patient Care Technology Systems (PCTS) of Charlotte, North Carolina and Awarepoint of San Diego jointly announced they will co-market RTLS workflow solutions to the healthcare market. PCTS develops workflow monitoring software and uses Awarepoint's ZigBee-based RTLS technology to provide complete solutions. Earlier this year the firms collaborated to implement a surgical tray tracking system at Good Samaritan Hospital in Downers Grove, Illinois.
  • Awarepoint technology is also used in the Skytron Asset Manager system that medical equipment maker Skytron reached an agreement this week to provide to the Amerinet healthcare purchasing organization. See the announced for more details.
  • FCI Smartag released a new line of RFID labels for CDs and DVDs at this week's American Library Association show in Chicago.
  • Netherlands-headquartered Dialoc named Integrated Technology Group, the Norcross, Georgia-based division of Vernon Library Supplies, as its exclusive US distributor to the library industry.
  • Finnish firms Idesco and Norfello jointly announced they will collaborate on RFID and sensor product and solution development.
  • Previously this week RFID Update covered an item-level trial by Australian telecommunications provider Telstra in which the company tracked 15,000 cellular phones across the supply chain to its retail outlets (see Item-Level RFID Pilot Sees Major Benefits, Proves ROI).
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