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Item-Level RFID Tagging Aims To Curtail Counterfeiting

Vue Technology and Symbol Technologies on Wednesday said they'll jointly develop and offer an item-level radio-frequency identification software and hardware package for retailers and manufacturers.

Vue Technology and Symbol Technologies Inc. on Wednesday said they will jointly develop and offer an item-level radio frequency identification (RFID) software and hardware package for retailers and manufacturers.

The item-level RFID solutions will offer visibility into inventory levels, location of products in the supply chain, as well as provide authenticity to guard against counterfeiting for products from electronics to clothing to pharmaceuticals. "Tagging everything all the time doesn’t provide a lot of value, but tagging specific items to try and prevent counterfeiting does, such as high-end apparel, shoes, jewelry, sporting goods and pharmaceuticals," said Kara Romanow research director at AMR Research Inc. "Tagging specific high-value items where counterfeiting is a problem holds tremendous potential for return on investment on technology projects."

Tagging individual items, along with cases and pallets, could become the deterrent to counterfeiters and thieves the retail industry needs, according to AMR Research.

The TrueVUE RFID Platform enables manufacturers and retailers to streamline the tracking of individual items throughout the supply chain. Vue Technology will combine their patent-pending RF Networking technology and electronic product code (EPC) management software with Symbol’s RFID fixed and handheld readers, tags and peripheral devices to deliver the platform as retailers, such as Best Buy Inc., move toward putting RFID tags on individual items vs. cases and pallets of merchandise.

"The solution is based on software, hardware and antenna multiplexers and Symbols XR400 RFID reader," said Alan Melling, Senior Director of Business Development at Symbol. "We've been working with Vue to make sure our XR400 has the feature that work well as part of the Vue solution."

RFID-enabled item-level inventory tracking projects can produce stock availability improvements by more than 50 percent in targeted merchandise categories, with in-store labor investments required to manage stock and handle replenishment lowered by as much as 20 percent, according to AMR Research.

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