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Epson plans offering RuBee-enabled silicon devices

Posted: 11 May 2007     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:RuBee technology  RFID tech  asset-tracking RFID 

Epson Electronics has inked a "strategic" investment deal with Visible Assets, an asset tracker specialist and one of the main backers of wireless RuBee technology. "Under the agreement, EEA plans to offer RuBee-enabled silicon devices, as well as use the technology in a wide variety of products." said Toshio Akahane, CEO, EEA.

RuBee technology is a low-frequency network protocol for tough to track goods. They work underwater and in underground environments that obstruct higher-frequency RFID signals. RuBee tags can be made as thin as 1.5mm and operate for as long as 10 years using a coin-sized lithium ion battery.

Last year, the IEEE started work on developing a standard—dubbed 1902.1—for the protocol, whose backers in the retail sector include U.K.-based Tesco and Germany's Metro Group, as well as technology companies such as Hewlett-Packard, Intel, IBM, Sony, Panasonic and Motorola.

Visible Assets is using its patented technology to offer supply chain and asset visibility platforms to retailers.

"This investment will provide both companies with new commercial opportunities in many markets," Epson Electronics America (EEA) CEO Toshio Akahane said. "EEA and our parent company, Seiko Epson Corp. in Japan, plan to offer RuBee-enabled silicon devices, as well as using the technology in a wide variety of products."

The RuBee protocol works with both active radio tags and passive tags that have no battery. A controlled reading range of 1-100ft and an integrated clock ensure high security and privacy.

-John Walko
EE Times Europe




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