Friday, December 28, 2007

Intellareturn Helps Re-invent Postal Mail

Intellareturn has developed a patent-pending system that integrates an RFID-based transponder (with a unique identification code digitally recorded inside) onto the outer addressable surface of an envelope or package prior to sending it through the postal service. The electronic interface then links to supplemental images, text, photos, videos or music files associated with a mailing. These files are connected through Internet-based TCP/IP methods and the RFID/EPC tags inside the labels that are applied to the surface of a specific physical mailing.

Systems like this one from Intellareturn help create "mailstream innovations" that are similar to Earth Class Mail (, which allows people to view their postal mail online. The Intellareturn systems are under continuous development and work with both RFID-based transponders and various printable barcode indicia formats to represent Electronic Product Codes ("EPC"). By linking to a specific RFID/EPC transponder URL, users can retrieve supplemental text ... even without the need to affix the wireless transponder to the envelope or package.

Intellareturn Take: The Postal Service is ready for "Postal 2.0," where the Internet adds value to sent mail.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Airline RFID security luggage tag with passenger privacy-protection features

The newly patented Privatag tag system combines microchip technology with a visual passenger luggage and carry-on bag identification tag. This novel system helps verify, identify and track passengers and their baggage. The new tag can leverage ALL existing airline investments in passenger ticketing and kiosk systems to provide plug-and-play interfaces and product development partnerships, delivering a rapid solution for future TSA tracking requirements.

The new Intellareturn "BagTag" provides an airline passenger travel ID tag and recovery system that is affordable, bag-attached and electronic. BagTag allows airlines to offer accurate and immediate bag identification by both visual and ISO microchip tagging.

The plastic tag case includes a hollow cavity that is part of a novel property ID tag, which can be attached to any accessory including checked or carry-on bags to assist in helping to identify a bag and/or its owner. The tag is configured to hold an optional RFID transponder within the hollow cavity that includes passenger-controlled privacy protection features.

Intellareturn's BagTag is encased within a thin metallic coating or can incorporate another suitable radio-frequency shielding material designed to protect and disable wireless RFID tags from being read by unauthorized methods. Customers or authorized TSA professionals can activate the transponder capsule function by manually opening a protective ID tag cavity seal (or other protective "Faraday Cage"), which effectively enables the tag within the cavity to be externally read by TSA-approved radio frequency transponder methods with our Internet-linked security layer functions. The Privatag system disables the antenna and related circuits of the RFID transponder, so it cannot transmit data unless manually activated by the baggage item's owner.

* What is the product value?

This is the first airline passenger baggage microchip product to combine traditional baggage ID tag features with advanced microchip technology. The "PrivaTag" BagTag will deliver an affordable airline passenger tagging solution in the form of a permanent identification tag with replaceable RFID capsules affixed to passenger items.

The microchip built into the ReturnMe BagTag can be read 24/7 using a nationwide network of special electronic handheld readers, which can be distributed at TSA locations, police departments, baggage staff locations and/or courier/airline networks -- including airlines, FedEx, DHL and others.

RFID and privacy make TSA the winner!

Intellareturn Take: Part of the problem is that while RFID is simple, it's also misunderstood. Significant air passenger and RFID industry research has been published that documents a deep fear that "someone" can discretely "sniff" a tag while walking just inches from a person with their tag exposed -- or in their pocket. This fear has shown its ugly head most recently with the U.S. Passport program and Intellareturn doesn't think that the TSA wants to go down this same path of controversy with public perceptions and fear. If implemented, media sources and the passenger traveling public will say: "TSA got it." They "... understand the issues and have addressed them in a way that provides new levels of security and protection, balanced with the new demands of consumer privacy."

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Customer Returns Without Receipt?

A new patent-pending product purchase date system predicts a product’s purchase date without a customer receipt. The Internet-based predictive purchase system permits manufacturers and retailers to provide groundbreaking customer service by making it easy to return products when a purchase receipt or point-of-sale records are unavailable. Whether under store 30-day return policy, warranty or exchange, the hassle of proving date and source of purchase at the point of return is possible with Electronic Product Code (“EPC”) platforms being integrated into next-generation supply chain networks.

For the first time, a predictive computer analytic system helps customers, retailers and manufacturers track products through their sales lifecycles by analyzing a product’s EPC code ... a “fingerprint” that can be electronically monitored by trading partners across the supply chain and at retail point-of-sale terminals. EPC data can be tracked from an individual purchase at a store or during transit by participants in the emerging EPCglobal network.

Reading the EPC number and entering it at any Internet-connected return location provides an estimated date of sale, including source location of purchase, with an associated confidence level. For example, a digital camera can be returned to a store or e-tailer for credit, repair or other service warranty just by reading the EPC tag number on the product. Upon a return, the seller or manufacturer scans the product tag using an Internet-connected browser terminal, that reports:

“The estimated purchase date for this Canon EOS camera (Model EOS1-21), purchased from Wal-mart Store #239, was the week of July 5, 2007—with a predictive confidence/accuracy score of 85 percent.”

Intellareturn's Take: The future of customer service and returns is here.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

DHL Readies for RFID

Intellareturn is pleased to report that DHL continues to “walk the talk,” taking bold steps to prepare its courier system for RFID applications. Specifically, a new generation of handheld scanning devices (Motorola HC 700s) are being deployed nationwide by the third quarter 2007.

According to a January 16, 2007 DHL press release, the “new generation” Wi-Fi system enables DHL to transmit customer shipment information automatically –- from pickup to final delivery –- without the need to wait and place a device within a transmission cradle. The information will be immediately fed into DHL back-end systems, providing instant visibility to customers looking for shipment status through various venues including calls to customer service, visits to the DHL web site or other DHL shipping systems.

"In addition, the new DHL scanning technology is RFID-ready (Radio Frequency Identification), affording DHL the ability to integrate the new technology with future RFID products already in development. DHL is committed to bringing the benefits of RFID to the U.S. market and worldwide, and has taken a leadership position to support further development and international standardization of RFID technology. RFID is used to read and store data without the need for contact or direct line of sight and promises improvements in supply chain management for industries worldwide."

Intellareturn Take: Intellareturn believes that this new handheld device and Wi-Fi system creates the “plumbing” and network/infrastructure system to take RFID and related EPC applications to the next phase of development and implementation. Intellareturn founder Elliot Klein notes, "DHL continues to take the lead and impress us by taking all the right steps to support the benefits and new applications made possible by emerging RFID, EPC and serialized tag-related applications for parts, warranty, returns and other value-added DHL services."

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Web 2.0 Services and the "New" Supply Chain

Strong interest in the many new Web 2.0 platforms and services will set the perfect backdrop for enhanced 3PL logistics offerings. Web 2.0 has been defined as a global platform of reusable services and data. This information is consumed and integrated from counteless sources, particularly user generated areas.

Regarding 3PL, user-generated data includes warranty information, product lifestyle pedigrees and track & trace capabilities that can be built-into leading courier shipping Web platforms. A great piece of this movement is the continuous and seamless updating of data -- rapidly, combined with rich and interactive user-based interfaces.

Intellareturn Take: Intellareturn believes that the second generation of the Internet will bring about the creation of superior information models enhanced by radio-frequency identification (RFID) with forward-looking supply chain professionals that want and need to see everything at one time to make automated decisions. Courier services must re-think their traditional notion of bar code service for track & trace services, complementing them with RFID/EPC solutions to maintain competitive advantage while building new revenue streams for the demand-driven 21st century with its rapid product lifecycles.

Welcome 2007 ... we're looking forward to watching what the new year brings to the table!

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Embed Marketing in Products: Add Warranty & Return Services Convenience

Intellareturn believes the future of customer service is great products that have marketing and service features embedded in them.

In a recent DM News article, creative shop Crispin Porter + Bogusky CEO Jeff Hicks was highlighted as he raised the bar for ad agencies during a packed keynote session at Forrester's Consumer Forum 2006 conference. He said: “The future of advertising is that there isn't any. Yes, that's coming from an agency, which created memorable ads for clients like Burger King, Volkswagen and Miller Brewing."

While he noted that Google and Starbucks both don't use much traditional media to get their message across, he emphasized that their marketing is embedded in the brand itself. The role of advertising is to push consumers toward products, where the product is at the center and Advertising is at the periphery ... with packaging, CRM and distribution as the layers between it and the product. The agency's job is not to interrupt but to create content that’s entertaining.

Intellareturn Take: Ad agencies, as marketing leaders for their clients, should see the value of convenient and automated return processing with RFID tagging as a real competitive advantage with customer relationship management. That's what Intellareturn can provide with RFID tagging embedded into products, enhancing warranty and return services so consumers say "WOW" as loyal, repeat and lifetime customers.

Monday, September 11, 2006

WSJ Names IBM's RFID Clipped Tag Innovative ...

We highlighted IBM's "Clipped Tag" technology a few months ago as a solid advancement for the utilization of RFID and advancement of privacy protection. Today, the Wall Street Journal was highlighted as a winner of the Innovation Awards.

With concerns over consumer privacy protection with RFID initiatives taking a significant place in debates, IBM's clipped tag technology will help to offer the benefits while safeguarding people against inappropriate uses. The IBM solution provides consumers with the ability to easily "opt out."

Intellareturn Take: IBM has stepped forward to enable the proliferation of RFID usage by protecting consumers against safety concerns. Intellareturn applauds this great step and looks forward to new ones as the technology continues to be utilized throughout the world in every industry.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

The Logistics Transformation Continues ...

According to a survey by EyeonTransport, Europe's 3PLs companies are expanding their operations, technological capabilities and services to satisfy customer demands.

The EyeonTransport website states: "Companies in the global marketplace are finding that supply chain engineered logistics is not a commodity, and understand it is a vital means to boost their cost savings, enhancing their cash flow and improving servicing levels for getting their products to market."

Intellareturn Take: Perhaps one of the most interesting factors of this study were the promising opportunities with reverse logistics. As organizations in the logistics arena learn how to better service their customers with new innovation (for example 49% of all the respondents said they intend to provide RFID capabilities within two years), they gain competitive advantage and better equip their end-users to succeed, optimize processes and streamline operational costs. The transformation of the industry continues ...

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Tony Bennett left his heart in San Francisco, but what about his baggage?

According to an article in RFID Journal today, the San Francisco airport has approved an RFID-based baggage tracking pilot program in collaboration with Asiana Airlines, Korean Air and Incheon International Airport to improve baggage handling.

By attaching RFID tags to checked luggage for sorting and tracking, these airlines and airports are hoping to improve on the barcode-based technology used today. Since RFID does not require line-of-sight, it captures information more reliably. According to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), RFID has increased the read rates by more than 90%.

Intellareturn Take: Utilizing the benefits of RFID in day-to-day activities is an important step for realizing the potential of this technology. Baggage handling for travelers is often a tedious process with a significant failure rate.

In fact, the Aviation Consumer Protection Division estimates that 3.6 million pieces of luggage were lost by airlines domestically last year. While the process is extremely manual and will always be, this is a positive step for improving what has left travelers around the world searching for their lost belongings. What's the real reason to do this?

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) believes that RFID can improve baggage-handling accuracy and save airlines and airports $760 million a year if implemented worldwide. With the state of the airlines in severe distress, an extra $760 million each year could be the savior that industry professionals have been looking for.

Saturday, August 12, 2006


Yup, that's right - Impinj.

Good news! This RFID chipmaker has developed new RFID chips that focus on enhanced user data and product authentication.

According to the company, the Monaco/64 chip reinforces applications where adding rewritable data to a tag is important:

  • Product information, warranty or expiration and lot data for manufacturers
  • Baggage inspections and baggage logs for airlines using RFID-enabled tags
  • Encoding a drug's "chain of custody" (pharmaceutical companies)

The Monaco/64 chip is compliant with the EPCglobal Gen 2 standard and can be password-protected for authorized people and/or organizations.

The Monza/ID chips focus on encoding unique, unalterable identifiers that will be used to authenticate products or assets -- reducing counterfeit situations. By incorporating a serialized, unique ID with each chip and relevant EPC data, manufacturers and their supply-chain trading partners can work together to stop illegal product activities.

Intellareturn Take: Incorporating high-memory RFID chips with EPC data is a terrific way for organizations to authenticate their products. Intellareturn has been a proponent of and evangelist for the utilization of RFID innovation through serialization with EPC data for authentication, warranty and returns -- or the whole gambit under "reverse logistics." This is yet another step in the right direction ... reverse!