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RFID News Roundup

Russian Olympic city picks NXP's Mifare Plus for transportation systems; Ohio RFID business incubator extends services to companies around the world; Equipment BC offers RFID-based meters for monitoring forklifts, machinery; Ryzex, Zebra Technologies launch educational microsite on warehouse management that features RFID; Ekahau Site Survey offers ZyXEL customers advanced Wi-Fi planning, auditing; Nordic ID launches new mobile RFID readers.
Sep 09, 2010The following are news announcements made during the past week.

Russian Olympic City Picks NXP's MIFARE Plus for Transportation Systems
Sochi, Russia—the city that will host the 2014 Winter Olympics—is implementing a contactless automatic fare-collection (AFC) system based on NXP Semiconductors' Mifare Plus technology to power its ground-transportation network. According to NXP, this will be the first rollout of Mifare Plus in Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States. Announced in 2009, the Mifare Plus chip supports a number of data security protocols, including those employing the advanced encryption standard (AES). The project, currently in its pilot phase, includes solutions provider and equipment manufacturer Strikh-M, inlay manufacturer Smartrac and Russian card manufacturer Novacard. According to NXP, the Mifare Plus-based contactless system will serve Sochi's population of 500,000 residents and 1 million tourists annually. The aim of the system is to improve the passenger experience and drive operational efficiencies, by eliminating the need for cash and providing contactless travel cards and season tickets that can be purchased and refilled at automatic smart-card payment terminals. The project is an essential part of Sochi's preparation for building a highly secure automatic fare-collection system for the Olympic Games, NXP reports. The city expects to receive approximately 400,000 additional visitors during February 2014, the company explains, and the Mifare Plus-based system will enable the local transport operator to scale up for the larger number of passengers it will be required to carry. "As a result, the quality of transportation service will increase, the time spent queuing to board the bus is reduced and the overall passenger experience is improved," said Alexey Smaglyuk, the director of the Sochi's transport and communication department, in a prepared statement. "We're incredibly proud to be hosting the Olympic Games in 2014, and this project will be vital to the success of the games and provide an efficient transportation service for all visitors to the city."

Ohio RFID Business Incubator Extends Services to Companies Around the World
The Dayton RFID Convergence Center (DRCC), a business incubator aimed at accelerating and assisting new businesses and entrepreneurs in RFID, sensor, data-management and data-mining technologies, is now offering an affiliate member program to businesses worldwide. The new program, the firm indicates, is designed for early-stage companies that would like to utilize the DRCC services and programs, but that are unable to commute or relocate to the Dayton region and the DRCC, as well as those that have leased office space somewhere else, or that are not ready to rent office space. Membership includes a DRCC virtual office (a business mailing address with a mailbox, an affiliate office cube space, conference room use and Wi-Fi access during visits to the DRCC); business coaching (up to 6 to 8 hours per month, as well as three to four monthly meetings, in person or via telephone); access to DRCC's network of business and professional advisors for assistance with sales and marketing, business planning, operations, technology commercialization and finance; member marketing services, including the company name, a Web link and a description featured on DRCC's Web site and literature, with the business listed on an affiliate suite door; and invitations to all DRCC events. The fee for affiliate membership is $333 per month (paid quarterly at $999), with a minimum commitment of six months. Affiliate members must go through the same application and three-step selection processes as resident members, except that an affiliate member may be in an earlier development stage. The DRCC, which opened in 2009 (see Dayton to Foster New RFID Solutions), is a public-private partnership between the city of Dayton, Citywide Development Corp. and EPC Technologies Inc. It is part of a regional effort to grow the emerging RFID sector in southwestern Ohio, and operates out of a $6 million state-of-the-art facility located in the Dayton Tech Town business park.

Equipment BC Offers RFID-based Meters for Monitoring Forklifts, Machinery
Equipment BC is offering an RFID-enabled wireless meter designed to monitor and control equipment usage. The Smart Meter, which contains a Nordic ID 2.4 GHz active RFID chip, can be installed on forklifts, fleet equipment, oil drilling site equipment, mining equipment, electric motors, and other types of machinery and equipment. An RFID reader collects information such as equipment usage, and transmits that data wirelessly to a software application running on a PC. The application can be programmed to send out e-mail and text alerts when user-defined thresholds have been reached. If the PC has Internet access, the application can be accessed online, enabling the remote control and monitoring of equipment. The wireless meter has a 400-foot read range without the use of an optional RF repeater. In an effort to help organizations ensure that preventative maintenance is performed on their equipment, the system can also be set to alert them when routine maintenance is required; the Smart Meter can be programmed to disable a machine's operation in the event that a critical maintenance service is missed or ignored. Equipment BC is also offering complete intellectual property for 2.4 GHz RFID design packages, starting at $4,995. The company says it can provide inexpensive, straight-to-production, turnkey solutions to engineering firms, or to companies wanting to incorporate proven wireless technology into existing products, or to develop new products at a fraction of the cost.

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