Anand Parthasarathy was at RFID World Asia 2009 and Cards Asia conferences in Singapore last week to bring you this exclusive report of tech breakthroughs unveiled by Indian ingenuity-fuelled players worldwide
April 27; 2009: SINGAPORE: Indian ingenuity was on display -- at Asia's biggest annual showcase for the smart card and radio frequency tagging industry -- RFID World Asia 2009 now in its 6th year and Cards Asia that completes 14 years, were overlapping events at the Suntec Convention Centre and drew simultaneously industry's best and brightest for 3 days of conferences, tutorials complementing a well attended technology and solutions exhibition.
San Jose-based Redpine Signals used the Singapore event to launch the industry's first module for Wi Fi based real time location system based on 802.11n. The Redpine "Find-iT" solution provides all the functionality needed to build location sensitive 2-way communication systems for industrial and enterprise applications. Using Wi Fi with active RFID, allows users to boost the range and positioning accuracy while consuming very low power. The module is also the first to meet the Cisco Compatible Extensions (CCX) tag spec for 802.11n, explained Redpine General Manager and Sr. Vice President ( System Products), Dhiraj Sogani. The product flows from Redpine's Hyderabad-based 100-strong R&D centre, he added.
A key member of the team at Microsoft that helped put together Biztalk RFID server the first software solution specifically tailored to work with radio tags, Anush Kumar moved on with some other team members to to start their own real time solutions company, S3Edge -- headquartered in Portland OR with a development centre in ( yes, again!) Hyderabad. At RFID World Asia, Anush, who is the Chief Technology Officer at S3Edge, showcased real time solutions that married mobile and hand held scanning and data logging devices to fixed placement, retrieval and warehousing systems. One of the applications demo'ed at the event mimicked the solution provided to the 10-store RiteCare pharmacy chain in Hyderabad which allowed it to reduce inventory by almost 60 percent and increase order fulfillment accuracy by 97 percent.
Microsoft's Biztalk RFID server was also the engine that fuelled an innovative RFID-based event tracker from the Australia-based Breeze. Breeze Event Tracker ( BET)-equipped stands could track how many attended their presentations; a break up of their job functions and nationality, their areas of professional interest.. and the live data was available as an instant graphic.
The world's largest manufacturer of cards -- 5 billion plus --is headquartered near Chicago, Illinois in the US and is the principal supplier to both Visa and Mastercard. Not very well known is the fact that the company -- Versatile Card Technology ( VCT) founded in 1986 by an Indian, Pethi Veluchamy -- and has a significant manufacturing muscle in Chennai, India, a 6000 sq m plant, which accounts for almost half its global output. They were at Cards Asia to show the flag.
Another global player with an India base, was Bar Code India -- having long outgrown its name to become a major player in auto ID and data capture technologies. Solutions on display included some in partnership with the safety and security divisions of Tyco.
And the Ahmedabad-based Aseptic Technology had its own niche in the global market -- for scratch cards and scratch card based personalization systems. In Singapore for the first time, they were offering not just printing services but made-in-India, print machinery as well.
Singapore govt. initiative
In a concurrent announcement, the Singapore government said last week it will be investing S$ 1 million into 8 projects involving wireless tagging. This includes one at the National University Hospital to ensure that pieces of surgical debris like gauze is not left behind in patients after surgery, reports The Straits Times. Also being tagged are scalpels -- even the patients themselves.
.. and tagged bags in HK
And Hong Kong will go boldly where no airport has gone so far -- RFID tagging all baggage that passes through it. The HK International Airport (HKIA) has just awarded a contract for the supply of 70 million tags and the associated baggage tracking system to Motorola, and its tech partners, Avery Dennison RFID and Printo-O-Tape.
RFID World Asia and Cards Asia were organized by Terrapinn