Archive for September, 2010

Advanced ID Corp. receives Bridgestone order; U.S. lags others in tire tracking solutions

Tuesday, September 28th, 2010

Advanced ID Corp. has announced that Bridgestone/Bandag in Brazil has purchased its RFID tire badges and UHF RFID readers, and that it expects to receive larger orders as the commercial RFID tire program is further deployed.

Advanced ID says that the Bridgestone RFID tire management system is ready for full commercial introduction. In Brazil, Bridgestone’s new ‘Bridgestone Radio Frequency Indicator’ program adds an RFID badge to commercial tires during the retread process or to existing tires on fleet operations.

Bridgestone introduced this program to its distributor network earlier this month as a solution in the challenging quest to identify and protect tires as a major asset in the trucking industry. Bridgestone has developed a portable installation kit that will be deployed throughout the country as the requirements ramp up.

“The RFID tire tag business continues to be the core business for the company,” says Advanced ID president Dan Finch. He says that Advanced ID, which provided the first RFID tire tags for Goodyear’s NASCAR program in 2006, has persevered in the belief that RFID tire management will save fleet operators millions of dollars a year with the right products.

However, it’s believed that tire makers in the U.S. are at least two years away from deploying similar systems.

WSJ: Avery Dennison RFID revenue headed for $1B

Thursday, September 23rd, 2010

RFID continues to see increased exposure, most recently in the Wall Street Journal, which just published a very revealing piece on Avery Dennison’s promising RFID business, which is being driven by the phenomenal growth of retail apparel tagging.

The article pegs Avery’s RFID revenue is estimated at $50 million this year, possibly increasing to $150 million in 2011. Some analysts predict the company’s RFID revenue will eventually reach $500 million to $1 billion a year.

Avery’s net sales last year were $5.95 billion.

Click here to read the full Wall Street Journal article.

TAGSYS solution pushes RFID to the next level for libraries

Tuesday, September 21st, 2010

Libraries around the world have deployed RFID technology for years, including the Vatican and the Hamburg Public Library System in Germany, which holds 1.6 million books, 130,000 CD’s, and 55,000 videos and other media.

AS RFID technology matures, the options available to libraries have increased greatly. No more just slapping an RFID tag onto a book and installing a mundane reader at the checkout counter to capture transactions.

Now solutions offer the ability to do much more, and to deploy the technology in a way that is aesthetically pleasing to both libraries and their customers. On Tuesday, TAGSYS announced a suite of new solutions designed to enhance security, functionality and increase branding, if requested, through logo add-ons on RFID equipment.

“Both librarians and architects are more focused on aesthetic integration of RFID solutions into the library environment,” says Maria Kaganov, marketing director at TAGSYS. “By providing a more versatile, flexible platform, TAGSYS can help both its customers and channel partners develop a security solution that blends more naturally into the overall design of the work space.”

The new TAGSYS solutions include the Medio P200 high-performance proximity reader and the L-SP3 LX and L-SP3-GPP detection system platforms, which complement the industry’s leading L-SP3 Clear and Opaque security pedestals.

The L-SP3 Global Personalization Program (GPP), allows customers to develop their own identity and brand by customizing the look and feel of the security equipment. There are three basic designs available (Diamond, Jade 1 and Jade 2) in several colors and decorative materials, including wood and metal finishes. Customization options also include aesthetic elements such as ambient lights or additional panels, as well as logo add-ons.

TAGSYS has enhanced its L-SP3 security pedestal family of products with the new L-SP3 Global Personalization Program (GPP) and L-SP3 LX. These new products give libraries the freedom to choose a security system that best suits their particular security needs, ranging in the feature-to-cost paradigm from fully aesthetically customizable platforms to standard low-feature, cost-efficient solutions.

The new L-SP3 LX security pedestal has been designed for maximum cost efficiency, which means librarians can begin working with RFID at a very low entry price point and have the flexibility to upgrade to more advanced features and functionality in the future.

The Medio P200 platform is a new high-performance proximity reader that offers improved flexibility for integration thanks to its multiple interface options such as USB, Serial and Ethernet, support for the TAGSYS Universal SDK (U-SDK), as well as an up to 20% performance improvement over previous models. The Medio P200 is fully backwards compatible with previous generation TAGSYS readers allowing for a seamless transition for the partner community and end users.

Wal-Mart’s multi-billion RFID tag order drives optimism in the market

Thursday, September 16th, 2010

The market for RFID products and services will surpass $6 billion next year, according to a report released today by ABI Research. ABI’s “RFID Annual Market Overview” includes traditional applications such as access control, automobile immobilization, electronic toll collection and e-ID/ID documents as well as “modernizing” applications such as animal ID, asset management, baggage handling, cargo tracking/security, contactless payment and ticketing, RTLS, and supply chain management.

The latest research indicates CAGRs of between 21.7 percent and 28.8 percent for the five primary applications from 2010-2014. Practice director Michael Liard sums up the “big picture” as generally optimistic despite last year’s economic woes, and growing more so.

Emblematic of the industry’s generally cheerful outlook is Wal-Mart’s recent multi-billion unit  passive UHF RFID apparel tag and 15,000+ handheld reader RFP order and its expected U.S. rollout, which some observers believe has sparked renewed interest in RFID for item-level tracking.

“In response to the weakened economy, most RFID and RTLS value chain participants reported reductions to marketing expenditure, staff, and on-hand inventory levels beginning in late 2008 and continuing throughout 2009,” says Liard.

As the end of 2009 approached, however, ABI Research’s conversations with vendors and solutions providers grew more positive – the market was growing, orders were being placed and user interest was picking up across industries. “Overall 2009 continued the forward momentum for both RFID solution providers and the user community,” says Liard. “That trend continues in 2010.”

More than a billion RFID tags to combat drug counterfeiting in Africa

Wednesday, September 15th, 2010

For those that may have missed this week’s issue of RFID 24-7, here is our lead story. Let us know what you think!

RFID technology is playing a greater role in eliminating counterfeit products, from high-fashion apparel to costly pharmaceuticals. Chinese apparel maker Jossy Jo says an item-level solution has pulled the plug on counterfeits that formerly accounted for as much as three percent of sales.

And in Africa, more than a billion RFID tags and one million mobile readers could be in circulation within one to two years in an effort to curb the out of control drug counterfeiting that plagues many African nations, where counterfeit rates can reach 30 percent and higher.

The low-cost RFID authentication solution, which will rely on pen-like RFID readers/authenticators, will start to be deployed in Nigeria early next year. Developed by Verayo and SkyeTek, the solution offers authentication and security for a wide range of applications, including crucial documents and food items.

The two companies have partnered with GLOBALPCCA an investments and healthcare solutions group, to address the counterfeiting problem in Africa. In turn, the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) of Nigeria has approved the use of the RFID-based system to authenticate pharmaceutical products and has signed on with GLOBALPCCA to manage the program. According to Dr. Steve Ams, the CEO of GLOBALPCCA, the Nigerian government will require all pharmacies to adopt the system once some pricing concerns and the logistics of tagging product at the source of manufacture is worked out.

Josh Peifer, director of business development at SkyeTek, says that the goal is to allow consumers or pharmacists to scan RFID-tagged product at the point of sale before the customer makes a purchase. In addition, pharmacists will have the ability to scan the product when it is received, assuring that products are authentic and were not swapped out during transport in the supply chain. Peifer says that the simple to use pen-like reader, which is battery operated and lasts for 12 hours on a single charge, uses Verayo’s PUF authentication protocol and flashes a green light if the product is authentic, and a red light if the product was tampered with.

The solution includes Verayo’s PUF technology based unclonable RFID ICs paired with SkyeTek’s compact RFID readers to provide a secure, easy-to-use authentication solution at the lowest cost. Per GLOBALPCCA’s specifications, SkyeTek created RFID readers in several form factors: a small pen-sized form factor for consumers to carry in their pocket or handbag to authenticate products at the point-of-sale, and a tray-sized form factor for pharmacies to authenticate products before sale to consumers.

“We are excited to partner with Verayo and incorporate its innovative PUF technology with our RFID readers to provide consumers with the ultimate anti-counterfeiting solution,” says Daniel Frydenlund, CEO of SkyeTek. “It has been a privilege to work with GLOBALPCCA in implementing this solution in a way that will ultimately help people in Africa fight this counterfeiting threat.”

NAFDAC intends to make the readers available to consumers free of cost, and expects that pharmaceutical manufacturers, importers, distributors and retailers will absorb the cost of implementing the program. In addition, the Nigerian government will fund part of the project.

“The goal is to make sure not a single drug [increases] in price because of added technology,” says Ams. “We are working with NAFDAC to make sure that is the case.”

“Counterfeiting is a huge problem seeking a solution,” says Anant Agrawal, CEO of Verayo. “The only way to address this problem is by empowering the consumers so that they themselves can authenticate the product they are buying. Working with SkyeTek and GLOBALPCCA, we have created what I believe is a very simple, secure and yet low-cost RFID authentication solution. We believe this solution will help consumers in Africa easily and securely authenticate everyday products and lead a safer life.”

As for the Jossy Jo application, the solution from Jawasoft China and UPM Raflatac provides real-time data for logistics operations and streamlines cooperation between Jossy Jo and its franchisees. The solution is an efficient brand protection tool, helping prevent counterfeit products from reaching stores. Jossy Jo currently uses more than two million ShortDipole RFID tags a year from UPM Raflatac to track and trace their garments.

The solution covers Jossy Jo’s entire operations, from production planning where production tasks are generated and assigned, to specific plants. RFID labels are sent to each production plant and attached to every garment during the production phase, boosting quality control as faulty garments can be easily traced back to the point of production.

ODIN RFID Reader Benchmark reveals industry leaders

Wednesday, September 8th, 2010

Who has the best RFID reader in the land? According to a new research by ODIN technologies, Motorola does when it comes to reader distance. ODIN’s 2010 Handheld Reader RFID Benchmark, released early today, makes the claim that Motorola’s CSL CS101 is at the head of the class.

Just how far has RFID reader technology come over the years? Consider that the ODIN benchmark compared current readers to the Symbol MC9000-G, which was the strongest performer in 2005 testing. Today, it is among the weakest. That’s a testament to Motorola’s investment and continued R&D in the handheld arena. Motorola purchased Symbol in 2006 for just under $4 billion.

ODIN has granted readers of RFID 24-7 an exclusive look at how readers fared in the distance category.

The eight handheld RFID readers evaluated in the Benchmark include:

  • Motorola MC3090-Z (FCC)
  • Motorola MC3190-Z (ETSI) *(name may change before official launch)
  • Intermec IP30 (FCC)
  • Intermec IP30 (ETSI)
  • CSL CS101
  • Unitech RH767
  • MacSema PCE 4050
  • Symbol MC9000 (FCC model also included in 2005 Benchmark)

Click here for more information or to view the report’s executive summary.

From the report:

Interpreting the Results

In straight apples to apples comparison at 27 dB, we can see … that the MC3090-Z from Motorola (both ETSI and FCC versions) were lead performers. They performed well with the Steelwave Micro and exceptionally well with the Omni Ultra and Alien Squiggle. MacSema PCE4050 had the best results with the Steelwave Micro and noteworthy performance with the Ultra.

When the readers are set to max power and the tests are repeated, the CSL CS101 clearly stands above the rest of the pack. It read the Steelwave Micro reliably at 15 ft. and maxed out our testing environment for the Ultra and Squiggle at 40 ft with reliable reads. Its performance was more than 30% better in read distance than the next closest handheld.

The Motorola units remained competitive even after the other units were maxed out at 30 dB for the distance testing. All other readers did see improved performance.

ClearCount Medical closes $5M in funding

Tuesday, September 7th, 2010

ClearCount Medical Solutions, an innovator of patient safety solutions for operating rooms, has received a $5 million shot in the arm from Draper Triangle Ventures and other existing investors. The Series B financing will allow the company to drive market penetration and research and development of its RFID-based solutions for hospital patient safety applications.

ClearCount has developed an FDA-approved sponge counting and detection solution that was recently put into use at VA Pittsburgh Healthcare. The RFID-based platform uniquely identifies each sponge so that they can be easily counted and detected, avoiding having surgical sponges left in patients after medical procedures.

“Thanks to the strong backing of our investors, this past year ClearCount completed a valuable distribution deal, signed major new customers and introduced an important new product that is making surgical procedures safer every day,” David Palmer, CEO of ClearCount Medical Solutions, said in a release.

“ClearCount’s patented RFID technology and offerings are more relevant than ever,” said Mike Stubler, Managing Director of Draper Triangle. “As improving the quality of healthcare continues to be a national focus, solutions that can also impact the efficiency and value a hospital offers its patients are sure to be adopted.”

Retained sponges are the most frequent and dangerous of retained surgical items, a “Never Event” resulting in non-payment to hospitals and significant risk to patients. A large multi-center trial recently demonstrated that as little as a 30-minute surgical delay can nearly double the risk of infectious complications, so clearly every minute counts.

The company was also featured recently in the Wall Street Journal. Click here to read the article.