Savi, Intermec Beef up Active RFID Reader System for DoD

Joint offering to help military logistics personnel identify, track in-transit military supplies marked with bar code, radio frequency ID tags

Joint offering to help military logistics personnel identify, track in-transit military supplies marked with bar code, radio frequency ID tags

Sunnyvale, CA — November 22, 2005 — Solution providers Savi Technology and Intermec Technologies have introduced a new active radio frequency identification (RFID) reader system designed specifically to read bar codes and active RFID tags to boost the ability of U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) logistics personnel to identify and keep track of in-transit military supplies marked with bar code and active RFID technologies.

First orders and shipments of the dual-frequency reader system already have been made to the U.S. Department of Defense.

Savi Technology, a provider of RFID supply chain solutions, holds the DoD's procurement contract for active RFID technologies and related software and services. Intermec, provides technologies that identify, track and manage supply chain assets, is the DoD's prime contractor for mobile computing and related automatic identification technology (AIT) systems and services.

The new ruggedized reader system includes additional functionality and is lighter and smaller than previous generations of similar devices. It is able to read from and write to Savi's active RFID tags and also can scan and process data from standard linear, matrix, stacked and composite bar codes.

The RFID reader system integrates three key technology components:

  • A special edition of Intermec's 700 Series color mobile computer with a full alphanumeric keypad. It supports batch 802.11-standard wireless LAN and GSM/GPRS wide-area wireless capabilities and offers integrated bar code scanning options. The unit was ergonomically designed for a full day's use in harsh environments, the solution providers said. This special edition of the 700 Series is available only as part of the Savi/Intermec active RFID reader system.

  • The Savi Mobile Reader (SMR-650), based on Savi's EchoPoint technology, uses both 123MHz radio frequency for short-range transmissions and 433.92 MHz radio frequency for long-range radio transmissions up to 200 feet. The SMR is a low-profile, lightweight, battery-operated reader that commissions, reads and writes to Savi's active RFID tags. The SMR-650 mounts on the back of the Intermec mobile computer.

  • Savi SmartChain Mobile Manager software, which is installed on the Intermec mobile computer, enables users to read, write and edit active RFID tag data through the SMR. SmartChain Mobile Manager also provides export features that allow data files to be transferred between the Savi Site Manager software and the handheld device.
The system provides capabilities previously unavailable in RFID handheld reader systems used by the DoD, including:

  • More than 300MB of memory, compared with 32MB in a previous version.

  • Omnidirectional RFID read ranges of up to 200 feet; prior handhelds used directional antennas that provided a read range of up to 100 feet.

  • A bracket to mount the Savi SMR-650 onto the Intermec mobile computer, which allows the SMR to draw power from the handheld and eliminates the need for a separate charger. The SMR-650 also can be interfaced with other models of Intermec 700 Series mobile computers.

  • A docking station to upload data collected by the Intermec mobile computer into the DoD's information systems, including the Total Asset Visibility network.
"The new mobile computer and reader system developed by Savi and Intermec is a perfect example of how the private sector teamed up with the defense sector to advance critical technology that supports our most important asset, the war fighter," said David Stephens, Savi senior vice president for the public sector. "Partnering with Intermec has generated a multitude of new features and functions that have been integrated into this handheld computer to meet the needs of the DoD's logistics operations."

Additional Articles of Interest

— RFID technology has the potential to change the way supply chains are managed, but in order to be effective businesses need to take a holistic look at the deployment. Read more in the article "Time for RFID: Applying RFID in the Supply Chain."

— For a contrary view of the future of the RFID market, see the article "The O'RFID Factor: A 'No Spin' Look at Where Radio Frequency Identification Is Headed," in the October/November 2004 issue of Supply & Demand Chain Executive.

— For more information on trends relating to radio frequency identification (RFID), follow this link for an extensive listing of articles, featuring the latest research findings on the RFID, including adoption, return on investment and barriers to implementation.