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RFID News Roundup
Dundee Precious Metals tracks safety with Wi-Fi RFID; Zebra Technologies, IBS team up on RFID-enabled safety and logistics planning; TagMaster announces major port installation in the Persian Gulf; Omni-ID secures $8 million in additional funding and announces new CEO, partner; Google Wallet rollouts begin.
Omni-ID Secures $8 Million in Additional Funding and Announces New CEO, Partner
Omni-ID, a supplier of passive ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) RFID tags, has announced that it has secured almost $8 million in additional funding. The investment capital will be used primarily to expand the company's growing portfolio of industry-specific solutions, including new product and sales channel development, though the firm declines to comment further at this time. Omni-ID has also announced its recent appointment of technology industry veteran George E. Daddis Jr. as its president and CEO. Prior to joining Omni-ID, Daddis served as the CEO of WorldGate Communications, a publicly held video telephony firm in Philadelphia. Daddis started several companies, including InSciTek Microsystems Inc., which provided digital hardware and software design services. In addition, Omni-ID has unveiled a new reseller partnership with Yeon Technologies, a provider of RFID consulting and deployments services in Asia. The agreement, the company reports, will expand Yeon's portfolio of available passive RFID solutions for harsh environments, and for areas where long-read ranges are required. In a press release, Roger Tsu, Yeon Technologies' president, cited durability and long read ranges as key attributes of Omni-ID's tags that made the company's product line attractive to his firm.
Google Wallet Rollouts Begin
Google has released the first version of its Google Wallet application to Sprint. Announced in May 2011, the mobile-payment application, based on Near Field Communication (NFC) RFID technology, will enable consumers to pay for goods and redeem coupons simply by touching or waving their NFC-enabled mobile phones near a receiver (see RFID News Roundup: Google Unveils NFC-based Mobile-Payments Service). According to Osama Bedier, Google's VP of payments, his company has been testing the app extensively. As expected, he says, the app is first being made available to current users of Google's Nexus S 4G, through Sprint. According to Bedier, the rollout is being conducted as an over-the-air update, and will show up on the phones as the Wallet app. NXP Semiconductors is providing the NFC solution used in Nexus S 4G for the Google Wallet, leveraging NXP's PN65 NFC mobile-transaction solution that integrates an NFC radio controller, the embedded secure element and NFC software into a single device. Also as expected, Google Wallet will support both a Citi MasterCard credit card and a Google Prepaid Card, which can be funded with any plastic credit cards. The wallet currently works with MasterCard's PayPass technology, which leverages passive 13.56 MHz RFID tags and readers complying with the ISO 14443 standard. Visa, Discover and American Express have also made available their NFC specifications—a move that will enable their cards to be added to future versions of Google Wallet, Bedier wrote in a Google blog. As a thank-you to early adopters, he added, "we're adding a $10 free bonus to the Google Prepaid Card if you set it up in Google Wallet before the end of the year."
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