Zebra Demonstrate EPC Generation 2 Technology in an RFID Printer/Encoder

VERNON HILLS, Ill. -- Zebra Technologies, a global leader in on-demand specialty printing solutions for business improvement, today announced it is demonstrating the use of EPCglobal's UHF Electronic Product Code (EPC) Class 1 Generation 2 (Gen 2) RFID protocol in its booth (#2221) at the Retail Systems 2005 Conference & Exposition through Thursday, May 26, in Chicago. Zebra is the first thermal printer company to demonstrate the technology using existing and readily available printer/encoders.

Throughout the Retail Systems 2005 event, Zebra will showcase the use of EPC Gen 2 RFID tags with its industry-leading line of multi-protocol RFID printer/encoders. Zebra has been working closely with several of the industry's foremost technology companies in the advancement and development of RFID solutions that support the new Gen 2 standard. The printers showcased include a firmware update that will be released once Gen 2 smart media is commercially available.

With EPCglobal's ratification of the Gen 2 protocol and the availability of products that support this standard, companies can now confidently purchase and implement supply chain RFID solutions without the risk of challenges and costs related to changing protocols. The sooner RFID can be deployed across a global supply chain, the sooner companies can start to benefit from improved efficiencies.

Zebra RFID customers who move to Gen 2 will appreciate these significant enhancements: more memory for greater storage capability; better security encryption for tag data; open standard allows tag availability from several sources, resulting in lower pricing; technology interoperability from several different vendors; and extremely high read rates.

As a pioneer and leader in RFID printing/encoding technologies, Zebra has been researching and developing RFID "smart label" technologies for more than 10 years and was the first company to produce an integrated, on-demand RFID printer/encoder more than four years ago. The company also is playing a leading role in the development of RFID standards and applications for supply chain and business improvement programs designed to help suppliers to the DoD, Wal-Mart, and other retailers meet the RFID EPC compliance labeling requirements. It is a lead member of EPCglobal's Hardware Action Group, which oversaw the process of creating the GEN 2 standard and is also a member of the AIM RFID Expert Group, which works to increase the understanding and adoption of Auto ID, RFID, and enterprise mobility.