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RFID News Roundup
Ubisense intros Trimode tag, expands Transit Yard Manager; Mojix partners with UMedia to deliver RFID to the Middle East; TagStone announces final stage of investment from Noor Telecom; RFideaWorks unveils new distribution agreement for China; Terso intros larger RFID-enabled freezer for health care; free RFID tag reference guide available online.
Oct 07, 2010—The following are news announcements made during the past week.
Ubisense Intros Trimode Tag, Updates Transit Yard Manager
Ubisense has introduced a new tag for its real-time location system (RTLS) based on ultra-wideband (UWB) active RFID tags. The Trimode tag, the company reports, combines indoor location and presence sensing with outdoor GPS tracking in a single device. Inside buildings, the tag operates in Ubisense's standard UWB tracking mode, transmitting UWB signals to a network of base stations for centimeter-level 3-D location sensing. Within indoor areas where low infrastructure cost is more important than tracking accuracy, the tag can operate in a "presence mode," using its on-board radio to simply indicate that the tag is in the vicinity. When outdoors, the tag automatically switches to GPS mode, calculating its position from the satellite signals, and reporting them to the Ubisense system via its on-board UWB radio. The tag is powered by a high-capacity lithium battery, and is housed in a rugged IP67 enclosure for protection from water and dust. The company has also announced that it has updated its Transit Yard Manager (TYM) to meet more requirements of rail yards, and that it has added the capability to monitor and control maintenance processes. The extension to the RTLS offers rail yards and maintenance facilities complete indoor and outdoor visibility of their yards, the firm explains, and provides data regarding rail-yard processes so they can be streamlined, thereby reducing maintenance costs and inventory levels. According to the company, the solution reliably tracks both the orientation of the engine or car, and its location, to a precision of 12 inches. It has a Web-based interface that organizations can utilize to search for specific rolling stock or groups of assets that share similar characteristics. Additionally, Ubisense notes, TYM now reports on an engine's dwell times (which refers to the amount of time an engine sits at a rail yard) as it moves through maintenance processes, allowing managers to be alerted by email or SMS text message if a process is taking too long, or if the correct steps are not followed. Historical data can also be gathered and used to determine process improvements. Transit Yard Manager has been installed by several bus-transit organizations and rail organizations worldwide (see Twin Cities' Bus Garages Increase Visibility and RFID News Roundup: Ubisense RTLS to Manage Buses, Trams in Berlin). Finally, Ubisense has announced that its TYN now integrates with GIRO's HASTUS, an integrated and modular solution for transit planning, scheduling and operations, and supports real-time information exchange with that software. By providing schedule-system integration through a real-time connection to the HASTUS solution, Ubisense explains, a dispatcher can select a piece of work in the scheduling system, highlight a bus on the interactive map in Transit Yard Manager and "click to assign." The application can then transmit the vehicle number and location to HASTUS. With exact vehicle location in a yard, it is also possible to further automate the scheduling process using optimization tools available within HASTUS.
Mojix Partners With UMedia to Deliver RFID to the Middle East
Universal Media (UMedia), a specialized systems integrator developing customized business solutions in the fields of real-time location systems (RTLS), enterprise resource planning (ERP), hardware distribution and e-commerce, has announced that it has partnered with Mojix to resell and provide systems integration services for the Mojix STAR system. The system, unveiled in 2008 (see Mojix Takes Passive UHF RFID to a New Level and The Brightest Star), consists of a distributed network of transmitters, known as eNodes, to power up passive ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) EPC Gen 2 RFID tags, as well as a single STAR receiver to pick up the tags' signals. Under the terms of the agreement, UMedia will offer consulting, systems integration services and support for Mojix products targeted to supply chain and asset-management applications for customers in the Middle East—specifically for entities in the oil and gas, manufacturing, logistics and aviation sectors. "We are excited to add to our RTLS offering by partnering with Mojix, the leading innovator in this field," said Sheikh Abdullah Al-Sabah, UMedia's CEO, in a prepared statement. "Mojix RFID-based RTLS solutions enhance production cycles, inventory management and security controls that offer rewarding return-on-investment scenarios. Solutions that offer such qualities are always in high demand by enterprises in the region, especially in the prevailing economics conditions, as the positive impact on operations and profitability is instant."
TagStone Announces Investment From Noor Telecom
TagStone, a Middle East provider of wireless technology and business intelligence solutions, has announced that it is in the final stage of raising second-round financing with participation from current investor MS Holding of Kuwait, and by signing a new investment partnership with Noor Telecom, an associate company of Noor Investment, also based in Kuwait. TagStone designs, builds and manages business-intelligence solutions using RFID, biometrics, closed-circuit television (CCTV), GPS and other wireless technologies. "RFID and associated wireless technologies are the best technologies for business intelligence solutions, a multi-billion dollar market, with innovative applications such as asset tracking and security," said Mohammed Al Sayer, MS Holding's chairman, in a prepared statement. "TagStone will be well positioned to identify, evaluate and pursue opportunities in the MENA [Middle East and North Africa] and Asia regions." The two companies consider this partnership to be a major step for Noor Telecom toward achieving its strategic vision and goals in terms of investments and expansion.
RFideaWorks Unveils New Distribution Agreement for China
RFideaWorks, a privately held company headquartered in Longwood, Fla., has announced a distribution agreement for its unique, low-cost patented middleware with Software per Jie Co., of Shenyang, China. Software per Jie develops tailor-made enterprise solutions, with an industry focus in government, manufacturing, logistics, distribution and other areas, according to RFideaWorks. Software per Jie also goes by the name of Budget Outsource, the company reports, with ties to such major universities as Tsinghua University, in Shenyang, and with offices in Beijing. "One of the primary areas of focus for us with a flexible middleware solution like RFIdirector is the growing automobile manufacturing and auto parts supplier industries in China," said Jian Chen, Software per Jie Co.'s president, in a prepared statement. "RFIdirector gives us the flexibility we need to develop both active and passive RFID solutions to build from. Security access using biometrics is also an emerging opportunity that we hope to capitalize on with RFIdirector. We are excited to be part of the RFideaWorks global family, and look forward to a long and profitable relationship."
Terso Intros Larger RFID-enabled Freezer for Health Care
Terso Solutions, a Madison, Wisc., RFID solutions provider for the health-care industry, has expanded its line of RFID-enabled enclosures with the addition of a larger-capacity freezer that the company says is well-suited for inventory management in hospitals, research labs, manufacturers, distributors and crime labs. Terso's enclosures leverage tags and interrogators compliant with the ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) EPC Gen 2 air-interface standard (see Terso Offers EPC-Enabled Medical Cabinets). The new freezer has a temperature range of -20 degrees to -40 degrees Fahrenheit (-29 degrees to -40 degrees Celsius), and provides 9.7 cubic feet of storage space. RFID technology enables the unit to capture inventory and transactions data at the item level, by user. In addition, Terso says, the new freezer monitors temperatures and expiration dates, and can also trigger alarms when freezer doors are left open. As of 2010, the company reports that it has deployed 800 RFID-enabled cabinets, freezers and refrigerators worldwide.
Free RFID Tag Reference Guide Available Online
Loft Media Publishing and Veryfields.net have launched the RFID Tag Yearbook 2010, a global product reference for RFID professionals. The Yearbook includes descriptions of more than 700 ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) and high-frequency (HF) RFID tags from manufacturers worldwide. The reference guide is available in a PDF edition as a free download from the RFID Tag Yearbook 2010 Web site. The guide includes a variety of technical information for each tag model, as well as a selection of background content useful for both experts and those just beginning to research and leverage the technology. The two companies expect to publish fully updated versions on an annual basis, in order to guarantee readers the best possible accuracy.
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