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ISO approves Gen 2 EPC Protocol

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THE International Standards Organisation (ISO) has approved the EPC Gen 2 Class 1 UHF standard, publishing it as an amendment (Type C) to its 18000-6 standard RFID air interface for item management using devices operating in the 860MHz to 960MHz ISM band.

Steve Halliday, Chairman of the ISO sub-group responsible for the standard said: "The publication of this amendment to ISO/IEC 18000-6 gives the EPCglobal UHF Gen 2 specification global approval and makes it available to an even wider range of applications. This was the first of hopefully many opportunities for EPCglobal and ISO to cooperate."

Incorporation of the Gen 2 EPC Protocol into the ISO standard comes just 18 months after it was ratified as a hardware standard by EPCglobal in December 2004.

More than a dozen RFID readers, tags, and integrated circuits have been certified as Gen 2 compliant by EPCglobal and are commercially available today.

"The World Trade Organisation (WTO) has guidelines about following standards endorsed by ISO and other global standards bodies so for us, the recognition of Gen 2 as part of a global standard is extremely important," said Sue Hutchinson, Director of Industry Adoption for EPCglobal US.

Ms Hutchinson facilitated a group of more than 60 of the world's leading technology companies that created the EPCglobal Gen 2 standard, which describes the core capabilities required to meet the performance needs set by the end user community.

EPCglobal Gen 2 is a foundational element for creating standard interfaces and protocols to drive the development of new RFID hardware products to provide accurate, cost-efficient visibility of information throughout supply chains.

GS1 Australia is the local custodian of EPCglobal standards, which support the EPC Network.

Maria Palazzolo, CEO of GS1 Australia said, "We have already begun using Gen 2 protocol with Australian businesses, including the recent frozen food trials with Patties Foods and Montague; we expect this announcement to significantly impact on the uptake of EPC/RFID supply chain management solutions among Australian businesses and their trading partners."

Chris Adcock, President of EPCglobal Inc., said "This is a significant milestone because it provides recognition of the work that the EPCglobal community is doing to build user-driven technical standards to advance the adoption of EPC/RFID technologies in supply chains throughout the world."

GS1 Australia's Impetus 2006 conference includes a presentation on global RFID activity by Chris Adcock, and a case study report on the Patties Foods and W.F. Montague trial.

Impetus 2006 runs from July 25 – 26 and will be held at the Sofitel, Melbourne.

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