This article was originally published by RFID Update.
June 25, 2009—International activity plus product and service developments in the healthcare industry account for much of this week's RFID news, which also saw the release of several reports on market developments.
- Global RFID sales will be five percent higher this year than in 2008, an impressive growth rate considering the major national ID card project in China is completed and no longer producing significant revenue, according to a new report from industry analyst firm IDTechEx. Government and military projects are driving the current RFID market, according to the study, which also found several application segments are experiencing growth of 10 percent or more.
- Twenty-eight percent of trucking companies now use RFID, according to a fleet automation study released this week by transportation industry research and conference firm eye4transport. The 2009 Fleet Technology Report found 44 percent of trucking companies surveyed do not use RFID because they don't believe it would improve their operations. An additional 19 percent said RFID use was cost prohibitive, and nine percent cited technical and implementation concerns.
- Silicon.com reports that the VP of systems architecture for mobile giant Ericsson predicts that all new mobile phones will come equipped with NFC by next summer. Håkan Djuphammar told attendees at Ericsson's Business Innovation Forum in Stockholm, "A year from now basically every new phone that's sold will have [near field communication]." That is a much faster penetration forecast than other industry professionals and market watchers have offered. Meanwhile, Wired reports some concerns about RFID-enabled phones.
- The European EPC Competence Centre (EECC) has published its annual UHF Tag Performance Survey, or UTPS, which reports testing data on the performance of many commercially available tags. This year's report, which costs €795 + VAT, features 30 tested tags. GS1 Germany CEO Jörg Pretzel noted in the announcement that tag performance jumped across the board when compared to last year, largely thanks to new RFID chip products from the likes of NXP, Impinj, and Alien. This year's report for the first time devotes an entire chapter to tagging on metal. More information is available here.
- Wavemark announced that its RFID-enabled clinical inventory tracking solution has been selected by Tufts Medical Center in Boston to manage nearly 5,000 assets at the hospital.
- SensoTech, which develops RFID-based wireless sensor systems, announced healthcare purchasing organization Amerinet will offer SensoTech's environmental monitoring solution to its 2,300 customers. The solution includes RFID tags with temperature sensors plus web-based software for managing the data and integrating it into hospital systems.
- Vestac, a WiFi tracking technology developer, announced a multimodal RTLS system that combines infrared (IR) and WiFi. Low-cost infrared transmitters are used where WiFi coverage isn't present. The New Jersey-based company is also seeking distributors.
- Valtra implemented an RFID system to trigger replenishment orders at its tractor manufacturing facility in Suolahti, Finland. Vilant Systems, a solution provider in Helsinki, reported the system it provided Valtra tracks pallets from the time they are received and automatically generates replenishment requests through the ERP system when materials fall below set buffer levels.
- TagStone, a wireless technology integrator headquartered in Dubai, announced it reached an agreement to resell technology from Zebra Enterprise Solutions in the Middle East. The firms will focus on vehicle tracking systems for the automotive dealer market. TagStone CEO Mike Meranda is the former president of RFID standards body EPCglobal US.
- Toronto-headquartered Sirit announced it teamed with Mexican integrator Axiompass to implement the first electronic vehicle registration system in Mexico. The system was installed on a toll road in the state of Alpyeca and was inaugurated by Mexican president Felipe Calderón.
- AdvantaPure of Southampton, Pennsylvania introduced GammaTag 500, an RFID tag that can withstand exposure to gamma radiation that is used in sterilization procedures. The 2.45 GHz read-only tag measures 4 by 52 millimeters and is available in a variety of form factors.
- FEIG Electronics and smart-TEC have developed an RFID solution for medical lasers to ensure patient safety. A robust, temperature-resistant RFID tag is attached to a laser connector to store usage and sterilization data about the laser. If a surgeon attempts to use the laser without properly sterilizing it, the RFID solution prevents the laser from functioning. See the announcement for additional information.
- Management Health Solutions, a Fairfield, Connecticut company that provides inventory management solutions to the healthcare industry, announced it is expanding its services and offers RFID and bar code tracking.
- SMARTRAC introduced dual-frequency pre-laminated inlays. The new additions to the Dutch transponder maker's PRELAM family are available in combinations of LF, HF and UHF frequencies.
- Omni-ID, IBM Japan and Mitsubishi Electric will jointly market RFID asset tracking solutions in Japan. The firms