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World’s only Major Conference on Active RFID and RTLS Grows Again

by Sarah Lee | posted on 22 October 2007


IDTechEx again stages the world’s largest conference on Active RFID in the USA. This year it is in Dallas where there is an unusually large amount of activity in the subject, so delegates can see many forms of active RFID in action.

The conference is titled “Active RFID and RTLS” this year to emphasise the fastest growing part - Real Time Locating Systems (RTLS) used from hospitals to dockyards for locating people and assets. Indeed one speaker from Australia will talk about monitoring and controlling forest fires with RTLS and BP will describe locating people in three dimensions in its oil refineries for safety and evacuation. RTLS has been installed in about 100 hospitals in the USA in the last year this will be covered by Hospital Corporation of America.

The RFID market is quintupling from five billion dollars today to over $25 billion in ten years but the active RFID part is doing much better than that, rising from 15% to 26% of the RFID market, powered by RFID for sensing, long range and location.

The IDTechEx conferences are famed for being truly international. Speakers from the UK, The Netherlands, Sweden, Korea, Belgium, Canada, Australia and the US will scope the future of Ubiquitous Sensor Networks for everything from controlling microclimate in industrial greenhouses to automotive manufacturing and hurricane response.

Information Mediary Corporation of Canada describes how RFID monitors compliance with medication instructions, saving lives and improving the integrity of data in drug trials, such as the US National Institutes of Health Azithromycin trial recently. The US Army present on supply chain and shelf life management such as recording temperature time profile.

As the challenges of achieving ultra low-cost batteries, logic and sensors for mass use of USN are overcome, hundreds of billions of these devices will be networked. Boosting the tags with tiny solar cells is possible. But there are challenges with the ZigBee and other protocols being used with huge numbers of tags in self-healing networks, power consumption being one. Phase IV Engineering Systems reports on “How Wireless Mesh Networks are Enabling Sense and Respond Systems”. Green Peak of Belgium will discuss active RFID using ZigBee in hospitals and there is analysis of action activated printed sensors in Sweden.

There is so much interest in this subject that suppliers that are relatively new to the US are frequently encountered, often with remarkable new approaches. Indeed, this year the Headline Sponsor is RFTRAQ of the UK which will speak about experience in installing and integrating active RFID and GPS/GPRS systems and solutions in the paper industry and elsewhere, achieving a level of accuracy and reliability of 99.98% over 2 years and unusually long ranges up to 400 meters. G2 Microsystems developed a chip that conquers the cost and power drain problems of RTLS based on pre-existing WiFi. This company has relocated from Australia to the US and it will present its latest results.

Gold sponsor is local company IDENTEC Solutions, which made it first active RFID successes all over Europe, and now serves many blue chip corporations worldwide. Logistics companies TNT and DHL plus Ford and Boeing are among the blue chip users that will present results and future needs.

There are three optional Masterclasses alongside the conference and a Meet the Experts dinner. Delegates get free access to the unrivalled IDTechEx RFID searchable database of over 3000 RFID projects in 100 countries, 21% of them involving active RFID. This lets you learn from the successes and mistakes of others and determine which users and suppliers are active and where. Delegates also get six months’ free subscription to the monthly IDTechEx RFID Analyst magazine which interprets and goes into depth rather than printing unfiltered press releases.

There is even the admired IDTechEx RTLS 2007-2017 report free to those registering before November 10. It is worth $2500.
As IDTechEx always says, “You don’t just catch up. You keep up!” It is little wonder that no one tries to copy this conference and exhibition.

IDTechEx Dates:

  • Printed Electronics USA 12-15 November, San Francisco, USA www.IDTechEx.com/peUSA
  • Active RFID & RTLS Summit 5-6 December, Dallas, USA www.IDTechEx.com/active
  • RFID Smart Labels USA 2008 20-21 February, Boston, USA www.idtechex.com/rfidUSA
  • Printed Electronics Europe 2008 April, Dresden, Germany www.idtechex.com/peEUROPE

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