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RFID News Roundup

Terso Solutions launches new RFID-enabled freezer; Omni Dallas Hotel tags RFID for uniform tracking; UPM RFID opens online store for its partners to sell NFC tags; NXP intros NFC-enabled reader IC supporting all 13.56 MHz protocols; Austriamicrosystems demos standalone NFC MicroSD; HID Global, Sony unveil NFC-enabled contactless smart-card reader platform for laptop and mobile device market.
Nov 17, 2011The following are news announcements made during the past week.

Terso Solutions Launches New RFID-Enabled Freezer
Terso Solutions a Madison, Wisc., RFID solutions provider for the health-care industry, has announced that it has expanded its line of RFID-enabled enclosures with the addition of its Ultra Low Temperature (ULT) freezer. The new freezer—which, the company says, optimizes the use of freezer space, reduces manual processes related to inventory tracking, lowers maintenance costs, and protects high-value products, such as tissue, biosamples, genetic material and reagents—is designed for use by research labs, health-care providers, manufacturers, distributors and forensic facilities. The new freezer has an embedded Impinj Speedway reader, and contains 14.9 cubic feet of storage space. It can store products down to -86 degrees Celsius (-122 degrees Fahrenheit). An EPC Gen 2 passive ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) RFID tag is attached to each item, and the reader captures inventory transactions at the item level by user. The freezer also monitors temperature and expiration dates, and can trigger alarms when its doors are left open. According to Joe Pleshek, Terso Solutions' CEO, the success of the company's -20 degrees Celsius (-4 degrees Fahrenheit) RFID-enabled freezer launched in 2010 (see RFID News Roundup: Terso Intros Larger RFID-enabled Freezer for Health Care) led customers to request a solution for managing their biosample and tissue inventory, which needs to be stored between -50 degrees and -86 degrees Celsius (-58 degrees and -122 degrees Fahrenheit). "Our integrated RFID solution can reduce the time spent opening doors to search for product, and eliminate manual inventory cycle counts," Pleshek said in a prepared statement. "The new ULT freezer not only eliminates manual processes, but ensures that all items stored inside are fresh and free of degradation due to age, temperature, or improper storage."

Omni Dallas Hotel Tags RFID for Uniform Tracking
Omni Dallas Hotel, a new convention-center hotel operated by Omni Hotels & Resorts, is employing InvoTech Systems' GIMS ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) RFID uniform inventory solution. InvoTech, a California uniform and linen efficiency technology firm, is providing the GIMS software and all related equipment, including Impinj's Speedway Revolution UHF RFID reader, Motorola's AN720 and AN480 antennas and Fujitsu's UHF RFID laundry tags. The hotel's uniform company tagged approximately 6,000 uniforms—valued at $150,000—with the RFID laundry tags before they were shipped to the property for use. GIMS, InvoTech Systems reports, will be used to automatically track the hotel's custom-designed uniforms from the moment of purchase. The laundry tags are fitted in pouches sewn into the garments, and are read as the uniforms pass by the specialized antennas. In addition, GIMS software monitors the aging of the uniform inventory, providing accurate information to forecast uniform purchases. InvoTech's GIMS solution is also in use at other hotels and resorts, including the Fallsview Casino Resort, in Niagara Falls, Canada, which is using RFID to track up to 40,000 garments assigned to staff members (see Resort Uses RFID to Track Uniforms).

UPM RFID Opens Online Store for Its Partners to Sell NFC Tags
UPM RFID continues to build out its online sales channel with a new Web site designed to be a global resource for online Near Field Communication (NFC) tag users. According to UPM RFID, the site, NFCtags.com, has been created in cooperation with a number of partners in the NFC business. The site is primarily for application developers and advertisers, the company reports, but is also a knowledge base for consumers searching for NFC-related information, products and suppliers. "UPM RFID's loyal and ambitious NFC partners needed greater visibility for their NFC tags, applications and solutions, and together we decided to invest in a high online presence to make these tags effortlessly available worldwide," said Mikko Nikkanen, UPM RFID's business development director, in a prepared statement, adding that his firm has signed dozens of NFCtags.com partners, with more expected. The online stores partnering with NFCtags.com provide UPM RFID's NFC inlays as custom-printed, encoded and converted products, as well as blank inlays. Tags are available in smaller sampling volumes, as well as for large-scale rollouts. In addition, the site offers a technology overview, product information, related links and downloadable applications for NFC phones and devices. Last month, UPM RFID, in partnership with digital agency Bolser announced the NFC-Hub.com online store to sell UPM RFID's NFC inlays (see RFID News Roundup: UPM RFID Peddles NFC Inlays Via NFC-Hub.com, Intros NFC App With Hansaprint). NFC-Hub.com is an online service in the United Kingdom, developed by Bolser and commissioned by Nokia. The online store provides ready-to-use customized products with integrated NFC tags and a custom-made campaign service, built with a back-end system to host open NFC campaigns.

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