Second Version of Gen 2 RFID Label Bows - InformationWeek

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Second Version of Gen 2 RFID Label Bows

The new materials and design will make the labels more sensitive and easier for readers to pick up signals, the manufacturer promises.

Retail Systems International ID Technologies Inc. said it will roll out the next generation of its Gen 2 radio frequency identification tag in early November. The labels -- code named Super Gen 2 -- will meet specifications by EPCglobal Inc., the non-profit group spearheading RFID adoption.

The industry is just beginning to adopt Gen 2 technology and modifications on RSI ID Technologies' RFID Gen 2 label have already been made. "We first wanted to get the product to market with something more mainstream that the printer and the encoder can map to the technology," said Wolf Bielas, CEO at RSI ID Technologies. "We benchmarked certain materials and decided to begin using them when we got between 40 percent to 50 percent better performance on the labels, even with the same antenna design."

The materials being used and the manufacturing process are different from the previous version. The new label will have a smaller embedded antenna. The materials and design will make the labels more sensitive and easier for readers to pick-up transmitted RF signals. Another advantage to Gen 2 is the dense mode feature. This prevents cross talk between readers where two or more attempt to pick up a signal from the same RFID label. Gen 2 is meant to prevent cross talk between readers that are positioned in close proximity.

The Gen 2 labels were engineered in the United States, and will be manufactured at the company's facility in Chula Vista, Calif. Sales and distribution is throughout the U.S., along with three facilities in Mexico. In 1998, RSI ID Technologies expanded its bar code labeling business to add RFID.

In September, the company introduced a 14.9 cent Gen 2 label in quantities of 1 million. The company said it would lower its price to less than 10 cents per label by December 2006 for customers that either sign a 12-24 month contract for Gen 2 label orders or purchase labels in quantities of 1 million or more.

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