Apr 02, 2009This article was originally published by RFID Update.
April 2, 2009—This week's news roundup is heavy on product introductions, with a strong international flavor, plus announcements of unusual RFID and RTLS deployments.
- Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) began tracking $65 million worth of spare parts inventory at its Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant in Avila Beach, California with passive RFID tags and readers from Sirit. "Our RFID system is capturing the data we need to ensure accurate inventory for our nuclear power plant and we have been able to reduce inventory processing costs by 60 percent," PG&E's Del Ritchie said in the announcement. The Cal Poly Center for Global Automatic Identification Technologies California Polytechnic State University (PolyGAIT), a university-based organization that trains students and conducts RFID research and development, integrated the system, which involved interfacing the RFID inventory control application with PG&E's SAP enterprise resource planning system.
- MicroStrain, which develops inertial measurement systems and other technology used in unmanned vehicle navigation, process control, orthopedic implant monitoring and other applications, will use DecaWave's ScenSor UWB chips in its wireless sensor networks. MicroStrain will use DecaWave's IEEE 802.15.4a-standard chips in sensor networks to monitor structures and report on their conditions.
- Reva Systems announced it will demonstrate a passive UHF real time location system (RTLS) at next week's HIMSS healthcare IT show in Chicago. The new Reva-4-Healthcare system was designed to integrate with AeroScout's location tracking platform and can be used with AeroScout's active WiFi RTLS technology.
- AeroScout made a host of announcements in advance of its exhibition at next week's HIMSS show. The Redwood City, California-based WiFi RTLS solutions provider announced it now supports ultrasound technology in its location platform, can monitor humidity and temperature with its tags, and that it teamed with World Wide Technology to deploy a temperature monitoring system for Providence Health & Services' 390-bed healthcare facility in Olympia, Washington.
- AIM Global has provided context and background information on the new ISO/IEC TR24729-4 RFID tag security implementation guidelines. Members of AIM Global's RFID Experts Group contributed to the guidelines, which were developed to help RFID system developers protect data encoded in tags.
- Savi Networks has enhanced its wireless cargo tracking capabilities with a new tag device that can provide real-time location and condition information using GPS, cellular and active RFID technology. See the announcement.
- austriamicrosystems, an Austrian IC designer and manufacturer, and IE Technology, a Bangkok-based RFID integrator, announced they have jointly developed and released a Gen2-standard fixed-position reader.
- Digant Technologies of Bangalore, India announced a new 30 by 30 by 10mm high frequency OEM reader module. It includes a USB module for integration with laptops or other USB devices.
- SkyeTek released the SR70, a desktop UHF reader/encoder for smart cabinet, POS and other applications. The reader measures 5.8 by 3.5 inches, according to the announcement.
- Ekahau released a family of small, battery-powered transmitters that can be used to increase the location accuracy of its WiFi RTLS system. The beacons can provide bed-level location accuracy when deployed in a hospital, according to Ekahau's announcement.
- PowerID, a battery-assisted passive (BAP) RFID technology developer headquartered in Israel, announced new Gen2-standard labels that are 56 percent and 62 percent smaller than the company's previous-generation products. The new products have been read from as far as 40 meters (131 feet) and were designed for asset tracking.
- Ingram Micro will distribute PsionTeklogix's line of rugged mobile computers, including models with integrated RFID readers, the companies announced.
- VUANCE, which develops active RFID-based security solutions, announced record revenue of $20.7 million for fiscal 2008, a 55.1 percent increase over the previous year. The Rockville, Maryland-headquartered firm reported $12.2 million in gross profit for 2008, but also reported it expects a $9.1 million net loss for the year.
Previously this week RFID Update covered:
- Details of TOP Food & Drug's rollout of an RFID-based payment and loyalty program at 18 Washington state grocery stores (see Grocer Uses RFID to Increase Customer Loyalty).
- Collaboration between UPM Raflatac and Blue Spark Technologies that adds production and marketing muscle to the burgeoning battery-assisted passive RFID market (see Battery-assisted RFID Deal Extends Range, Markets).
- A profile of Hong Kong-headquartered RFID manufacturer Convergent Systems Ltd. (CSL), which is branching out from its geographic and product line roots (see CSL Has Long Range Plans for RFID Market).