Wednesday, October 22, 2008

RFID System At UCSD Medical Center Is Its Major Asset

The Awarepoint Real-time Awareness Solution utilizes a patented asset and location tracking technology developed exclusively for healthcare. The RFID “plug and track” network signal sensor pick-ups that plug into any standard wall outlet (bottom right in photo above) are very easy to install and place into the system. Image Credit: Awarepoint Corporation

RFID System At UCSD Medical Center Is Its Major Asset

Knowledge and awareness is everything when one seeks to have an enterprise run effectively. One of the most overlooked areas a business can make great gains in its effectiveness of purpose comes in the area of Asset Management. The ability to know exactly what tools a business has invested in, where the tools are, which tools are being used and how – further, what tools are available now to apply to the task at hand can determine success or failure … profit or loss.

Asset Management to any business enterprise is as critical as Inventory Management to a retail enterprise … if the asset or inventory is not deployed where the need exists; it is as if it never existed in the first place. This leads to lost opportunity and lost profits. In the case of a health care environment … this lack of knowledge of where an asset is and where it is deployed could lead to a loss of life, our most precious gift.

RFID system diagram. Image Credit: Awarepoint Corporation

This excerpted and edited from a Press Release, Awarepoint Corporation -

UCSD Medical Center Adds Hillcrest Campus to its Awarepoint Real-time Location System Deployment

Expansion allows UCSD complete hospital asset tracking oversight throughout its enterprise
SAN DIEGO, October 17, 2008

San Diego-based Awarepoint Corporation today announced that UCSD Medical Center is significantly expanding its Awarepoint Real-time Location System (RTLS) deployment. Following successful implementation and a fully vetted return on investment at the system’s Thornton facility, the Awarepoint relationship has now been expanded to include its Hillcrest campus, which is the primary hospital for the University of California San Diego School of Medicine.
The expansion to UCSD Medical Center - Hillcrest more than doubles the coverage area and triples the number of equipment assets the Medical Center is wirelessly tracking with Awarepoint‘s Active RFID Real-time Location Solution.

“RFID asset tracking success at UCSD Medical Center ’s Thornton facility prompted expansion to the larger Hillcrest facility, located nearly 14 miles away. The expansion to Hillcrest also provides UCSD Medical Center the ability to see real-time status and have complete oversight of shared assets between both campuses, which are significant challenges for the Medical Center today,” said Kenny Woods, Senior Vice President of Sales for Awarepoint.
Tom Hamelin, Director of Perioperative Services is responsible for sourcing UCSD Medical Center’s Zigbee-based real-time location solution with a goal to address several persistent problems relating to asset tracking management, including:

• Lowering equipment rental costs
• Reducing staff time spent searching for equipment
• Minimizing equipment theft and loss
• Reducing equipment inventory requirements
• Improving equipment maintenance process
• Improving responsiveness to JCAHO and FDA requirements

“The significant challenge common to all of these is timely, reliable locating of important equipment and assets,” said Tom. Tom chose to install the smaller UCSD Medical Center Thornton campus first to quickly provide a quantifiable return on investment. “With the combination of capital equipment expenditure savings and increased demand for asset visibility among staff after the Thornton installation, it was not difficult to get approval to expand into Hillcrest,” continued Tom.

The Awarepoint Real-time Location System was selected because it offers UCSD Medical Center room level location accuracy on an enterprise-wide basis while providing a 100% wireless, non-disruptive installation. Awarepoint’s business model provided the hospital a low cost to start because there were no construction costs and a fully managed service model that allows easy scalability on a per asset per month basis.
Reference Here>>

Sensor signal pick-ups located throught a facility act as electronic tracking gates for better asset management. Image Credit: Awarepoint Corporation

The most unique aspect of the Awarepoint system are the RFID “plug and track” network signal sensor pick-ups that plug into any standard wall outlet. This innovative signal sensor pick-up antennae allows for a rapid-impact implementation – it needs no hardwiring, fixed infrastructure or additional cables, offers a non-disruptive, dust-free installation – can be deployed even in occupied patient rooms or sterile areas.

Awarepoint Tags can be installed on any type of equipment. Small battery-powered Tags (less than 1.5” squared) are securely attached to equipment. Patient and staff Tags can be attached via belt clip, lanyard, badge or ID bracelet.

Tags broadcast low data rate messages to Awarepoint patented Sensors. Bridge nodes within Awarenet transmit Sensor data to the Awarepoint fully managed Appliance via your wired LAN. With Awarepoint, there’s no need to modify or expand your facility’s existing WiFi infrastructure. Low power radio messages from Tags are detected by the Sensors and routed through the Awarepoint Bridge to the Awarepoint Appliance. This patented architecture results in a rapid-impact implementation, longer battery life and lower cost. The simple Searchpoint™ web interface allows one-click search access to all staff from any networked PC.

All pretty cool stuff to keep track of deployed assets and be able to place them where needed in a timely manner – RFID and its ease in implementation can become any enterprise’s most major asset.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Imagine A World Without Wires – From Milliwatts To Kilowatts

eCoupled Technology is powering at least nine items depicted in this graphic - can you name them (hint - one of the applications is mounted in the celing)? Image Credit: Fulton Innovation

Imagine A World Without Wires – From Milliwatts To Kilowatts

An innovation that has been in development for years is now ready for the general use consumer market – wireless, plugless power for everyone.

Power up anything that requires electricity to run from cellphones, radios, television sets, and even food blenders by just placing a compatible device over an inducer coil and voila … wireless electricity!

The process is called eCoupled technology™ and it is being introduced by Fulton Innovation, LLC. It uses a specially developed and smart inducing coil embedded in a surface as in a kitchen counter or workshop table and transfers electrical power via dynamic resonance.

This excerpted and edited from Fulton Innovation –

What Is eCoupled Technology?

eCoupled technology™ is intelligent wireless power. It changes the way that people and devices interact with power and data.

eCoupled technology enables low-cost, efficient wireless power. It dynamically seeks resonance and optimizes power transfer under multiple, varying load conditions and spatial configurations. It can be utilized essentially anywhere traditional power needs exist. It is a revolutionary advancement in the utility of inductive coupling for consumer and commercial applications, unleashing a new world of creative options - power and data can be efficiently transmitted to virtually any electrical device without traditional constraints.

eCoupled technology includes an inductively coupled power circuit that dynamically seeks resonance, allowing the primary supply circuit to adapt its operation to match the needs of the devices it supplies. It does so by communicating with each device individually in real time, which allows the technology to determine not only power needs, but also factors such as the age of a battery or device and its charging lifecycles, in order to supply the optimal amount of power to keep a device at peak efficiency.

eCoupled technology overcomes the limitations of spatial rigidity, static loads and unacceptable power losses. It intelligently adapts to multiple loads - from milliwatts to kilowatts - and spatial configurations while maximizing energy transfer efficiencies by as much as 98%, making eCoupled technology comparable to hardwired connections in terms of energy costs.

eCoupled technology's smart approach provides one of the safest operating systems in the marketplace. Through its identification protocol, eCoupled technology has the ability to authenticate any eCoupled-enabled device within range. If a device or object is not recognized immediately, the primary coil will NOT turn on and supply power to it, maintaining a
safe operating environment.
Reference Here>>

Image Credit: Fulton Innovation

This may have positive implications in the enterprise mobility applications such as route accounting systems or field communications applications. Printers, computers, cameras, and portable datacollectors can be powered and/or charged directly from the vehicle platform from where the mobile function is carried out.

Image Credit: Work Truck Online

And this excerpted and edited from Work Truck Online -

Leggett & Platt Wins New Product Innovation Award at The Work Truck Show 2008
Work Truck Online - National Truck Equipment Association (NTEA) Convention

Image Credit: Work Truck Online

Leggett & Platt Commercial Vehicle Products has won The Work Truck Show 2008 New Product Innovation Award for its mobile workspace shelving, storage areas, rugged docking stations, and vehicle mounts featuring eCoupled technology. Leggett’s use of eCoupled technology transforms ordinary vehicle work and storage surfaces into wireless charging centers, eliminating the need for portable charging devices and electrical outlets.
As part of an exclusive partnership with Fulton Innovation, the creators of eCoupled technology, Leggett will integrate the technology into its vehicle interior shelving systems, rugged docking stations, and vehicle mounts. The company’s eCoupled-equipped products debuted at the Work Truck Show 2008 and will hit the market in 2009.

Wireless power uses inductive coupling to transfer energy from Leggett’s commercial charging surfaces to any eCoupled-compatible device. Coils strategically placed in the surface areas adapt eCoupled technology’s operation to match the needs of the devices it powers.
Reference Here>>

So go ahead, its OK to clean-up the enterprise mobility workspace, kitchen, or office of electrical cords and power supplies with a shot of inductive transfer technology from Fulton Innovation.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Enterprise Mobility Born Twenty-Five Years Ago

In the 1980s, McKinsey & Co forecast a world maket of 900,000 phones by the year 2000. Today, 900,000 handsets are sold every three days. Image Credit: The Next Web

Enterprise Mobility Born Twenty-Five Years Ago

It's hard to imagine but yesterday, Oct. 13, 2008 marked the 25th anniversary of the first commercial cellphone. Today, more than three billion people worldwide use cellphones, making them the most popular personal electronic device ever.

The Brick Cell Phone. The first cell phone that most of us remember. Image Credit: Motorola

The first cell phone that most of us remember is the one that’s now called “the block” or “the brick”. The name comes from the fact that it was about the shape and size of a traditional brick. It wasn’t quite as heavy as a brick, of course, although it might feel like it today to those of us that are used to using the thinnest and lightest cell phones available on the market.

These were the phones that were available to people in the 1980’s, the phones that were based on the Motorola DynaTAC 8000X design.

Martin Cooper and the First Cell Phone. You might not recognize Martin Cooper’s name but you’ve probably seen his picture because he was photographed excessively when he made the first call on the world’s first cell phone back in 1973. The phone call was placed to a rival working at Bell who was also attempting to make a mobile phone. It happened on the streets of New York City and people were apparently struck dumb by the site. It’s funny to think about today since you’d be hard pressed to find someone walking New York City’s streets today without a cell phone in their hand or pocket. This phone may be clunky and impossible to use today but it’s the one that set the stage for all that came after it. Image Credit:

This excerpted and edited from the Technology Expert –

The Cell Phone Celebrates 25 Years
Technology Expert - Tuesday, October 14, 2008

When I watched an old 1988 thriller, "
Miracle Mile," one of the things that struck me was the huge cellular phone used by Denise Crosby. And even that handset was five years newer than the phone used in the first commercial cellular phone call.

That call was made on October 13th, 1983, 25 years ago. Bob Barnett, president of Ameritech Mobile communications, called Alexander Graham Bell's nephew [Martin Cooper] from Chicago's Soldier Field using a Motorola DynaTAC 8000X handset.

That baby was known as the "Brick," based on its heft (2.5 pounds) and shape. 8 hours of standby time and 30 minutes of talk time (woo hoo!). Service plans were a bit pricey, at costing $50 a month for the service, plus 40 cents a minute at peak hours and 24 cents a minute at off-peak times.

Nope, there were no unlimited plans.
Reference Here>>

Monday, October 13, 2008

The QR (Quick Response) Code And You

Image Credit: Ralph Lauren

The QR (Quick Response) Code And You

A cellphone with a camera isn’t a communications device with a way to capture pictures and share them with friends… rather, it’s a web enabled handheld with a display and a scanner which automates the way to reach out, get information and get things done.

In order to have one's phone behave more like a tool than a personalized toy, all one has to do is download a simple program into the cellphone and presto – the camera takes a picture (scans) of a symbol printed on a billboard, flyer, magazine, or display screen then decodes it and has the phone access a “(dot) mobi” webpage on the internet through a series of pre-scripted commands. Quick, Simple, and Easy.

Image Credit: Ralph Lauren

So why hasn’t this form of consumer automation been adopted right here in North America (after all, in large consumer societies found in Europe and Japan, this kind of symbology enabled automation has been used and perfected for years. Fact is, this is why a camera was added to the cellphone in the first place.)? Hard to say, but get ready because the symbology revolution will be vying for your attention at a cellphone or specialty retail store around the corner from where you live, soon.

There will be many codes (symbologies) offered, each with their own strengths and benefits, however, if your phone has limited memory space in which to store the software necessary to decode the symbology, then the one code program the cellphone should contain is the one to decode the QR Code … the best code ever.

Image Credit: Ralph Lauren

This excerpted and edited from Multichannel Merchant Magazine -

R U Ready 4 QR Codes?
By Tim Parry, Multichannel Merchant - Oct 1, 2008 12:00 PM

CONSIDERING MOBILE MARKETING? Then you should probably start thinking about quick response (QR) codes. These two-dimensional barcodes can provide a vital link between print media and mobile commerce.
WHAT ARE THEY? QR codes store information — namely mobile Website URLs — that can be read by devices with cameras, like cell phones. A user with a Web-enabled camera phone equipped with the QR reader software can scan the image of the QR code; decoding software reads the information and prompts the phone's browser to go to a programmed URL.

WHAT'S THE BENEFIT TO YOU? Let's say you have a QR code printed on an advertisement or catalog. A customer could scan it with his cell phone to be directed to your mobile site — and hopefully start buying immediately.

IS ANYBODY USING THEM? Upscale apparel brand Ralph Lauren, for instance, burst onto the mobile commerce scene in August using the technology. The merchant put QR codes on print advertisements, store windows and mailers so that with one wave of a Web-enabled camera phone — with QR reader software — the user is whisked away to a landing page at

The mobile site initially launched with a showcase of its limited edition 2008 U.S. Open Collection and other Ralph Lauren classics such as polo shirts, oxfords and chinos. Mobile users could also check out a Ralph Lauren style guide, watch tennis videos, and read articles about the U.S. Open.

“We see mobile as a key channel for marketing, advertising and commerce for all of our brands and retail concepts,” says Miki Berardelli, Ralph Lauren's vice president, global customer strategy and retail marketing. “QR codes are part of the strategy and they serve as a conduit, providing an easy way for people to access the mobile Web.”

Users can download the QR reader application for free from Ralph Lauren; the technology is also available from numerous other sources online.

David Harper, founder/CEO of Website development firm Engagelogic and mobile content management and social networking software company Winksite, hopes the Ralph Lauren launch will encourage others to incorporate QR codes in their mobile commerce campaigns. But the early adaptors like Ralph Lauren may need to do more to educate people about the technology.
Why aren't more using QR codes? Creating a basic QR code is easy enough: Multichannel Merchant generated the code that appears on this issue's cover in a matter on minutes on (Test it with your cell phone camera.)

Dave Sikora, CEO of m-commerce provider Digby, blames a lack of consumer awareness of the technology, and the inability of phones to accurately read the codes.
But Harper contends that adding a QR code reader application to a phone is no harder than downloading software to your personal computer. You can do a search for “QR code reader” on your mobile browser and find a site you want to download it from. Once installed, the reader application will show up in the applications folder, and its icon will appear on the screen.

And the QR reader does not have to point perfectly perpendicular for the QR code to be correctly translated by the mobile device, he adds. Even a wave over the code can bring the user to the correct mobile site.
Big in Japan

QR codes can be seen everywhere in Japan — no surprise, since Japanese firm Denso-Wave created the technology in 1994. Cell phone users in Japan can click a QR code printed on a poster at a movie theater and view its trailer.

It helps that QR code readers come as a standard feature on cell phones in Japan and Australia. And Harper says they're starting to become standard in certain parts of China, such as Beijing. (The software remains open-source in the U.S., though Nokia did add it to its N95 model.)
“When a customer scans the barcode with their phone, it launches a mobile-ready product detail and ordering page,” says Nina Matthews, marketing coordinator for CBC America. “This enables the customer to grab the page for follow-up while on the go or for sharing with others.”
Once consumers embrace the technology, Harper envisions some merchants using QR codes on the covers of their catalogs. Eventually, they may generate individual codes to be used for each product offering.

Technology notwithstanding, Digby's Sikora wonders how some merchants would handle the creative elements of incorporating a QR code into their print advertising and catalogs.
Reference Here>>

Image Credit: Ralph Lauren

FAQ's from Ralph Lauren -

Frequently Asked Questions
What is a mobile site?
A mobile site is simply a normal web site formatted to fit your mobile phone or device.

Is it necessary to download anything to shop the mobile site?
No. Just enter into your mobile phone browser and voila...

Can any phone access the mobile site?
Any phone equipped with a web browser can access

Will it cost me on my phone bill to use the mobile site?
This service is free from Ralph Lauren but charges from your carrier may apply. Be sure and double-check your plan.

Is it secure to shop from my phone?
Yes. Shopping via mobile device is just as safe as shopping from your home computer.

What can I buy through
Right now, you can purchase anything from our US Open collections and our RL Classics shop as well as our iconic Ricky Bag. In the coming months, more and more products will be available and eventually you will be able to shop a range of Ralph Lauren products from anywhere you take your mobile phone.

What is a QR code?
These are two-dimensional bar codes—just like you’d find at the grocery store—that direct you to a specific website when you scan them with your cell phone. Learn more about QR, how to get it, and what type of device you need to operate it HERE.

Reference Here>>