May 15, 2006This article was originally published by RFID Update.
May 15, 2006—RFID reader manufacturer AWID announced last week that it had resumed shipping certain products. The move amounts to a partial lifting of the sale freeze the company initiated when it discovered that some of its readers were not compliant with the rules of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the US governmental agency which regulates the radio waves (see RFID Reader Maker Announces FCC Problems). RFID Update spoke with Louis Sirico, AWID's vice president of marketing, about the development.
"We started shipping modules again on Monday," said Sirico on Friday. He also said that the company is in the final stages of being able to ship readers to the non-US markets in which it participates. As for the US market, the company is still working through the issue. "We are still investigating and determining what we need to do to be back in FCC compliance," Sirico said. He noted that none of the companies which incorporate AWID modules into their own products have been found to be noncompliant. Such companies, which include Printronix, Psion Teklogix, and Accu-Sort, typically perform their own compliance certification tests.
AWID's announcement is a very positive development for the company, which announced its FCC issues only two and a half weeks ago. Sirico said the company's rapid progress was in large part due to the participation of partners. "A lot of the AWID partners came out of the woodwork saying, 'How can we help?'," he said. "And we took them up on that. Because they have helped us, the process sped up."
Some had worried that the AWID issue might open a Pandora's box, as RFID readers from other manufacturers were found to be noncompliant. So far, this has not happened. On the contrary, all reader companies contacted by RFID Update -- including Alien, Impinj, Symbol, and ThingMagic -- asserted their compliance. Hopefully, the only long-term outcome will be redoubled diligence on the part of the entire industry -- not just reader manufacturers -- to ensure compliance of all RFID products and deployments. ODIN technologies chief operating officer Bret Kinsella said that his company checks power-output compliance before performing any RFID implementation. "It is the responsibility of every implementer to check that equipment is in compliance," he said.
Read the announcement from AWID