RFID News Roundup

By Rich Handley

RMS Omega Technologies acquires RFID software provider Capturity ••• Misako to use Nedap's RFID software at more than 200 stores ••• Galatea NFC-powered jewelry now compatible with Apple smartphones ••• Avery Dennison intros new RFID inlay for supply chain management.

The following are news announcements made during the past week by the following organizations:
RMS Omega Technologies, Capturity;
Misako, Nedap;
Galatea Jewelry by Artist, Apple; and
Avery Dennison.

RMS Omega Technologies Acquires RFID Software Provider Capturity

RMS Omega Technologies, a systems integrator for bar-coding, RFID, mobile and wireless technology solutions, has announced the acquisition of Capturity, a division of Compu-Power and a software provider of RFID locating and tracking applications. The purchase was made final on Nov. 1, 2017.

"We're eager to introduce new RFID software and tracking solutions to the marketplace. Through the acquisition of Capturity, we've gained strong software applications and invaluable expertise," said Peter Vatenos, the company's VP of marketing and product development. "With the addition of new software, backed by a strong development and support team, we can offer our clients sound options and enhanced support, more efficiently."

Capturity develops specialized data-capture applications for the electric utilities, life sciences, logistics and manufacturing industries. The company's line of bar-code and RFID software applications include ASSETracs, an RFID- and bar-code-based software package that allows companies to track multiple types of assets across their entire organization; TAGTalk, an RFID-enabled middleware application that administers and controls RFID devices; and Vivarium Census System (VCS), an RFID- and bar-code-based software suite developed for the life-sciences industry. VCS is designed to allow animal research facilities to perform an accurate cage census within minutes.

"Over the past year, RMS Omega has seen a steady increase in demand for RFID tracking systems," said Clayton Vigent, the firm's VP of sales. "With the addition of Capturity's line of software applications, we're pleased to offer our customers more cost-effective solutions for fast and accurate RFID data collection."

Misako to Use Nedap's RFID Software at More than 200 Stores

Spanish fashion retailer Misako will use Nedap's !D Cloud RFID software solution at its more than 200 stores and in its distribution center. By using !D Cloud, Misako has been able to raise its stock accuracy to more than 98 percent. Having full transparency of its stock levels is an essential part of the retailer's international growth strategy, the firm reports.

"Accurate stock data will strongly contribute to our current stores' performance and enable our international expansion," said Jean François Thuilliez, Misako's deputy CEO, in a prepared statement. "We are a very lean organization and Nedap's !D Cloud solution is an excellent match with our way of working. It is easy-to-use, light on our IT resources and highly scalable."

By raising stock accuracy, Misako has increased on-shelf availability, improved DC-to-store replenishment and boosted the speed of its online and Click & Collect orders. "In today's omnichannel world, we need to know exactly where our merchandise is," Thuilliez said in the prepared statement. "Only then, we are able to speed up our processes and truly integrate our physical stores with our web shops. True integration means that we have one single pool of products and we know the exact location of each individual item."

All items are source-tagged at the retailer's production facilities. At stores, staff members perform a weekly count using a handheld RFID reader and the !D Cloud app on a mobile device to determine which items are available. !D Cloud highlights the discrepancies between Misako's enterprise resource planning (ERP) system and the RFID count. Consequently, the causes of stock differences—through losses or administrative errors—can quickly be identified and dealt with.

Galatea NFC-Powered Jewelry Now Compatible With Apple Smartphones

Galatea Jewelry by Artist has announced that its patented Near Field Communication (NFC)-empowered Momento Pearl, Gem and Diamond jewelry now works with Apple's iPhone 7, 7 Plus, 8, 8 Plus and X smartphones. Momento jewelry had previously been compatible only with Android-based phones and tablets. The Momento NFC app is now available for download at Apple's App Store.

Momento #NFC jewelry, first introduced by Galatea in 2014, contains an NFC chip that allows a user to play messages, or to view texts or images when a piece of pearl, gemstone or diamond jewelry is tapped against a compatible mobile device. Galatea has applied for seven patents for Momento, four of which have been granted. The Momento Collections currently include more than 75 unique jewelry styles. Apple unlocked the NFC portion of its operating system for app developers in September 2017, at the same time that it introduced its new iPhone 8, 8 Plus and X phone models.

The benefits of the system, the company reports, include its ability to summon a voice or a memory, and to evoke an emotional response. The company's Momento Diamond engagement ring, sold as a semi-mount, can hold a proposal, wedding vows, images, video links to a wedding ceremony, and more. Galatea has worked with gemstones, pearls and pearl culturing for the past 20 years. Known for its hand-carved cultured Tahitian and freshwater pearls, the firm owns a number of patents for its pearl and gemstone jewelry.

In 2005, the company introduced the Galatea Pearl, which is cultured using a colored stone bead. After the pearl's nacre is carved away, the color can be seen below its surface. The company's DavinChi Cut Collection, awarded an International Patent in 2012, introduced a new way of setting a gemstone in jewelry so it could absorb the colors of its surroundings. Galatea's newest Galaxia Collection features a patent-pending bonding process that adheres miniscule lab-grown diamond druzy to precious metals or pearls without a noticeable setting.

Avery Dennison Intros New RFID Inlay for Supply Chain Management

Avery Dennison has announced the expansion of its AD-68x family of ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) Gen 2 RFID inlays to include a 50-millimeter by 50-millimeter (2-inch by 2-inch) antenna design providing higher performance and additional memory capacity. According to the company, the solution is designed specifically for fast-paced, high-volume, supply chain management applications.

The AD-681 features dual-antenna technology that enables orientation insensitivity and performance at both the item and pallet levels. The inlay is recommended for a range of applications, such as supply chain management and asset tracking, and is available with Impinj Monza 4D or Monza 4QT endpoint ICs. The ICs enable read distances of up to 15 feet.

The AD-681 is available for purchase in two formats. These include 1-UP Dry Inlay and the 1-UP Wet Inlay, which each measure 2.8 inches by 2.8 inches (53 millimeters by 53 millimeters).

Equipped with 128 bits of Electronic Product Code (EPC) memory and 32 bits of user memory, the Monza 4D chip provides a moderate level of memory to support standard supply chain management applications. For applications that require greater memory and privacy safeguards, the Monza 4QT IC includes 512 bits of memory and allows tag owners to use a private data profile to store confidential data. The global design, according to the company, performs well on such materials as corrugate, plastic, wood and glass.