Visible Assets Inc. announced that the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) has approved RuBee®, a long-wavelength, packet-based, magnetic transceiver protocol, as a new international standard designated IEEE 1902.1. Visible Assets and Seiko Epson Corp. sponsored creation of the standard and the workgroup and are responsible for its development.

RuBee (IEEE 1902.1) overcomes many of the problems seen with RFID and other wireless asset visibility solutions in harsh environments through its ability to work on steel and in liquids. RuBee tags and antennas are volumetric in harsh environments, not line-of-sight as is often the case with other wireless technologies and bar codes. RuBee tags work over a range of 1 to 50 feet depending on antenna configuration, and can be powered by a single coin-size lithium battery with field-proven battery life from 5 to more than 15 years. RuBee tags and systems are easily combined with sensors, buttons, displays and LEDs. RuBee tags with sensors have been directly embedded into items such as firearms, weapons, mission-critical tools, medical devices and mobile phones.

IEEE 1902.1 has been used to ensure the visibility and safety of government owned firearms, high valued evidence, military weapons, patient visibility and optimal patient flow in hospitals, hospital disposable and implantable inventories, livestock, disaster recovery equipment and safety systems, mission-critical tools, aircraft maintenance tools, and many other categories of highly valued goods and services. RuBee wireless asset visibility networks are cost-competitive with other wireless networking solutions, including RFID.

"RFID loses its ability to read and write reliably when it is near steel, liquids, people and animals," said John K. Stevens, CEO of Visible Assets Inc. "IEEE 1902.1 signals are not affected by liquids, and steel can actually enhance RuBee's range. RuBee has no eavesdropping, target or tempest risk as seen with other wireless technologies. In addition, since each tag has a clock with date and time stamp enabling high packet security, IEEE 1902.1 has met the highest possible standard for wireless data security. RuBee is in use at many high-security government sites."

Human and intrinsic safety of RuBee has been extensively tested. The IEEE 1902.1 protocol produces no significant RF energy (40 nanowatts) and very low magnetic energy (600 mGauss). It presents no known human safety risks. In July 2006, the FDA classified RuBee as a Non Significant Risk (NSR) Class 1 device for hospital operating room applications. In May 2007, a peer-reviewed study was published by the Mayo Clinic showing that RuBee has no effect on pacemakers or ICDs, and other recent studies show that RuBee has minimal adverse EMI or EMC issues in hospitals. RuBee tags are NEBS GR-1089-CORE compliant for no EMI, and have passed MIL STD 810F for use in harsh physical and chemical environments. RuBee received the 2007 Logistic Technology of the Year Award from Frost and Sullivan.

"RuBee has proven itself in many real-time, real-world visibility applications," Stevens added. "We are excited about approval of IEEE 1902.1 as a standard, and expect that it will expand use of RuBee in many new-visibility applications."

IEEE 1902.1 is available for licensing from Visible Assets Inc. Tags, routers and systems are available from a variety of sources.