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Trimble Acquires ThingMagic

The provider of positioning and tracking solutions will incorporate ThingMagic's EPC RFID technology into its own products for the construction and mobile services sectors, while ThingMagic will also continue to operate as an RFID reader and solutions provider, as a Trimble division.
By Claire Swedberg
Oct 26, 2010Trimble Navigation Ltd., a U.S.-based provider of devices and solutions that employ GPS and other technologies designed to provide users with location and positioning data, has acquired ThingMagic, a manufacturer of EPC Gen 2 RFID embedded and fixed readers and antennas. According to Trimble, the company will use the acquisition to add RFID technology to its portfolio, enabling it to offer a wider range of tracking solutions to its existing worldwide customer base.

Initially, Trimble will focus on RFID-enabled solutions for the mobile resource management (MRM) market, as well as in the construction and utilities sectors. ThingMagic, which will operate as a division of Trimble, will also continue to sell its branded products, as it has in the past. ThingMagic is maintaining its office in Cambridge, Mass., as well as its existing staff of 33 employees, and intends to continue using the same marketing and research and development strategies.

Jürgen Kliem, Trimble's VP of strategy and business development
The two companies, says Jürgen Kliem, Trimble's VP of strategy and business development, began working together several years ago, in response to requests from Trimble's customers that had been using Trimble's GPS services on their vehicles, and that wanted an RFID solution for tracking tools stored in those vehicles. Trimble worked with ThingMagic to develop an asset-tracking solution for Trimble's existing MRM customers, and the resulting solution ultimately included ThingMagic's reader modules.

"Our engineering team worked together with ThingMagic's team, and customers liked that way of thinking," Kliem says. Since that time, he notes, the two partners have "exchanged good information on the R&D side, and now can make that integration of information even tighter," as a single company.

ThingMagic will work with its parent company to develop the RFID portion of Trimble's solutions—not only for the MRM market, but also for the construction sector, in which the tracking of tools on multiple building sites is required—says Tom Grant, formerly ThingMagic's chairman and CEO, and now the general manager of Trimble's ThingMagic division.

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