Future-proofing RFID as Gen 2 Standard Looms

Acsis, ThingMagic ally to offer upgradeable hardware for suppliers looking to meet evolving compliance requirements

Acsis, ThingMagic ally to offer upgradeable hardware for suppliers looking to meet evolving compliance requirements

Chicago  April 12, 2005  Automated data collection specialist Acsis is partnering with radio frequency identification (RFID) equipment provider ThingMagic with the goal of offering solutions to help suppliers complying with retail and government RFID mandates to respond with greater ease and flexibility to evolving trading partner mandates and advances in technology.

Acsis specializes in mobile data collection and RFID solutions, while ThingMagic offers RFID-enabled readers, sensors and other embedded computing technologies.

Gen 2 Due Soon

As RFID enters the next phase of adoption, companies charged with compliance must now establish a strategy to cost-effectively evolve in tandem with changing technology innovations, standards and requirements. Increasing the urgency, EPCglobal, a standards organization, is due to roll out its next-generation standard for RFID, UFC Generation 2 (Gen 2), in mid-2005.

Many companies forced to migrate from current standards and technology to newer more advanced options like the Gen 2 standard will be faced with technology purchase and integration decisions.

"Suppliers to Wal-Mart and the Department of Defense have already made major investments in today's RFID technologies but also need to prepare for the developments of tomorrow," said Steve Brown, executive vice president of marketing and business development at Acsis. "Acsis and ThingMagic share a vision to protect customers' investments in RFID by providing the agility to scale current deployments while easily and economically incorporating the latest advancements."

Going Multi-protocol

Under the terms of the agreement, Acsis will support ThingMagic's Mercury4 RFID-reader technology as part of its offering of RFID hardware and software tailored for manufacturing environments. ThingMagic's Mercury4 reader is designed to provide RFID capability to label printers and print and apply machines, which can be integral components in an RFID system.

ThingMagic stakes a claim to being a pioneer in providing multi-protocol RFID solutions, and its Mercury4 RFID readers are based on a software-defined radio architecture that allows for reading any RFID tag. Network and/or protocol upgrades enable companies to meet new standards as they evolve, eliminating the need to replace RFID readers as industry standards change.

"Like Acsis, ThingMagic is committed to minimizing risk associated with RFID implementations," said Kevin Ashton, vice president of marketing for ThingMagic. "With well-established credibility and name recognition in the marketplace combined with an end-to-end RFID program, Acsis is the right partner. Acsis' long history in enterprise data collection and superior RFID Readiness capabilities bring tremendous value to our offering and customers."

Acsis has implemented RFID technology since the late 1990s, including more than 20 EPC implementations in 2004, leveraging a network of hardware and software providers.

Additional Articles of Interest

  • More news from the 2005 RFID Journal LIVE! show in Chicago (April 10-12).
 For more information on trends relating to radio frequency identification (RFID), follow this link for an extensive listing of SDCExec.com articles, featuring the latest research findings on the RFID, including adoption, return on investment and barriers to implementation.

 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.