Avante is introducing a cost-effective active tag solution for identifying pallets, boxes, cases, totes, and containers of high value. The patent-pending active Zoner tag differs from traditional active tags by emitting a burst of signals at several discrete power levels with adjustable communication ranges of 10 to 100 meters. The device emits beacon signals at a programmable time period or data packets on-demand. When coupled with a network of readers, this technology is capable of providing real-time location of tagged items. The frequency used is the same as conventional EPC applications of 860-960 MHz. The tags are as small as a credit card with twice the thickness. The replaceable battery can be used for over 3 years. The tag has a unique ID for security along with 4kb memory for EPC codes and data from optional temperature, shock and other sensors. Active tag technology resolves the problems of low read rate, water and metal absorption and shadow effect of the 915MHz passive tags found in the electronic product code (EPC) applications.One of the biggest advantages of using the Zoner active tag for EPC applications is the savings in terms of reader and engineering costs, according to the company. The reader uses a standard USB or serial interface and costs less than $50. There is no need for middleware and engineering that may cost as much as $250,000 for even a modest size implementation.Avante pioneered the first RFID technology for tracking attendees in event management using its patented technology. This capability is now strengthened with the issuing of U.S. patent on "Article Tracking System and Method" (10/260127) filed in 2000. "The basis of the innovation is the gathering of RFID tag data in different tracking stations that are distributed over wide areas. The data is shared between stations to users over the Internet and other communication means," said Dr. Kevin Chung, CEO of Avante. "This patented solution provides true end-to-end visibility of the supply chain in real-time as envisioned in EPC."