Tech Users/Suppliers Form Wireless Alliance

Michelin, the US Department of Energy, Savi Technology and others have formed an industry initiative to promote use of wireless technologies.

Michelin, Lockheed Martin’s Savi Technology, Texas Instruments and others are forming the cross-industry DASH7 Alliance to expand commercial and government use of wireless data technology. The current technology is commonly used in the global defense industry and increasingly by commercial customers. The US Dept. of Energy and three of its laboratories, Argonne National Laboratory, Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, as well as the University of Pittsburgh plan to serve as technical advisors.

The technology, based on the ISO 18000-7 standard, provides commercial and government users with the ability to track the location and status of a wide range of everyday objects, including vehicles, shipping containers, pharmaceutical products, hazardous materials, perishable goods and manufacturing and operational equipment.

The DASH7 Alliance will work to ensure cross-vendor interoperability as well as to promote greater use of the ISO 18000-7 wireless data standard, which the group says is more cost effective, more reliable, and operates at lower power levels than ZigBee and similar wireless data technologies. The DASH7 Alliance will also foster new wireless data innovations based on the standard, including advanced sensor networking, electronic seals, mobile phone integration, and other advances enabled through upcoming DASH7 developer resources available at http://www.dash7.org

“The DASH7 Alliance is an important next step for the wireless industry as DASH7-ready products become more ubiquitous,” said David Stephens, CEO of Savi Technology. “By assembling this coalition of both end users and technology companies, we can promote greater interoperability and reliability, but also inspire greater innovation around a common standard.”

“As United States companies grow RFID technologies from their infancy into an industry, it is incredibly important to set a common standard for how all of these new applications are going to be designed and built,” said Dr. James Shuler, Manager of the United States Department of Energy’s Packaging Certification Program.

Commenting on the US Department of Defense move to an RFID III multi-vendor contract earlier this year, Lt. Col. Pat Burden, the DoD’s Product Manager Joint-Automatic Identification Technology, stated, “This is a significant milestone for DoD in that this migration will not only give DoD and other Federal agencies’ customers best-value solutions at competitive prices, but it moves us to ISO 18000-7:2008 compliant products, thus broadening interoperability with DoD and our coalition partners.”

“In ABI’s opinion, the DASH7 Alliance is both timely and mission critical to growing the active UHF segment of the RFID market,” Michael Liard, Practice Director, RFID, of ABI Research, said in a just-released report entitled, “Introducing the DASH7 Alliance: Bringing Balance and Vision to Active RFID Markets.”

The University of Pittsburgh plans to serve as the initial test and certification lab for DASH7-enabled products. After successfully completing DASH7 test and certification, alliance members will be able to deploy the “DASH7 Certified” logo on their products to demonstrate reliability and interoperability to prospective end users.

The DASH7 Alliance is a coalition of organizations from multiple industries committed to collaborating on the promotion of wireless data technologies based on the ISO 18000-7 standard. Organizations initially planning to participate include Analog Devices, Dow, Evigia Systems, Hi-G-Tek, IDENTEC SOLUTIONS, KPC, Inc., Lockheed Martin, Michelin, Northrop Grumman, RFind, Savi Technology, STMicroelectronics, Texas Instruments, and Unisys Corporation. The US Dept. of Energy and the DOE's Argonne National Laboratory, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, as well as the University of Pittsburgh, plan to serve as technical advisors. Membership is open to end users, technology providers and research organizations.

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