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Asiana IDT Manufacturing and construction logistics also to be improved By concentrating its research in the niche area of flight baggage, Asiana IDT (www.asiana.com), a corporation of the Kumho Asiana Group specializing in the field of IT, is poised to pull ahead of the crowd in the Radio Frequency Identification/Ubiquitous Sensor Network (RFID/USN) business. What is especially worthy of note is that the company will implement its plan by the end of this year or by the first half of next year at the latest, according to Asiana IDT CEO Park Keun-sik. In a special exclusive interview with The Korea IT Times regarding the RFID/USN Korea 2006 conference which will kick off on Nov. 7 at COEX, Seoul, Korea, the CEO noted: "Niche market like flight baggage is a field which deserves to be challenged sufficiently by us possessing the technological capabilities and know-how gathered from the main areas of business of our group including air/land transportation, finance, construction, leisure, manufacturing, and logistics because worldwide ordinary tag developers don't show their interest in such a niche market in that it doesn't pay." Speaking about the company's RFID/USN business direction, Park explains that Asiana IDT has set a goal to develop the best suited tags, readers, and antennas to fit the environment. He added that the company particularly concentrates its efforts on developing equipment specialized for its purposes. In conjunction with this, Park said that Asiana IDT's RFID/USN Center established in 2005 will eventually pay for itself. The technology it will develop will be applied to the fields of aviation, tires, complex cargo logistics, and construction, according to him. Ticketless travel, labelless baggage Asiana IDT is slated to display four items in the forthcoming RFID/USN Korea 2006 exhibition: a solution regarding flight reservations, ticketing, and note issuing; a sensor tag reader for USN; middleware developed by its RFID/USN Center; and a mobile RFID solution. In more detail, the solution regarding flight reservations, ticketing and note issuing will enable a literal one stop service by making all reservation and note issuing processes ticketless with just a customer's cellular phone required for identification. Second, regarding the Sensor Tag Reader for USN, joint collaboration research and development is under way by teaming up with the Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute (ETRI) in Daejeon, Korea. Third, the middleware developed by Asiana IDT's RFID/USN Center boasts of fast performance. Its tag transaction speed per second is unrivaled, being able to scan 8,000 to 12,000 tags per second. For comparison, competitors' tag scanners can only scan 300 to 500 tags per second. Fourthly, Asiana IDT will showcase its Mobile RFID solution as reader functions and tags are expected to be eventually embedded in all cellular phones. Many applications of RFID technology Park elaborates on his expectations of participation: "Seeing through RFID/USN technology field's bright prospect and its growth possibility a little earlier, Asiana IDT has chosen this field as its strategic business rearing field. So after establishing its RFID/USN Center, we are applying spurs on technology accumulation and its upbringing." As a result, its RFID/USN Center has created an astonishing outcome in a short period and perhaps is expected to show off its research results continuously from now on, Jung Hong-Chae, Ph.D., director of the RFID/USN R&D Center, said. Jung added that he believes this exhibition display is also one of its preparation processes and in particular he hopes this exhibition will acquaint the market with our company's RFID/USN brand. In consideration of the fact that Asiana IDT is supporting Kumho Asiana Group's IT division, the company is now preparing for preferential solutions to apply after reviewing and analyzing RFID/USN application fields related to Group business content, according to Jung. Asiana IDT is preparing for a tire tag application solution which will be applied to tire manufacturing lot management and circulation logistics. It is also developing a flight cargo and baggage application solution and a construction site logistics solution. Regarding the RFID/USN R&D Center's new technology development, the director emphasizes: "For instance, Asiana IDT is preparing solutions fitting to there after selecting Business Model alone which is possible to commercialize within five years at the latest by applying RFID/USN." As stated earlier, it is worth taking note of Asiana IDT because the company is increasing its business potential by surveying and analyzing niche markets such as flight baggage. Asiana IDT's current key R&D content encompasses middleware as well as specific tag and reader technology and solution excavation through Business Process Modeling. But starting next year its R&D scope will be extended to the USN field, Jung said. Growth and Extension CEO Park commented about the company's growth vision as well as execution strategy as RFID/USN Leader by saying: "Our RFID/USN R&D Center prepared from March last year, is showing a remarkable achievement in a relative short period." He added that the performance of the middleware which was launched recently is quite light compared with competing manufacturers at home and abroad. He has committed himself to carrying out the company's preparation as planned. The company's road map includes a market activation period of 3 to 4 years and will confidently multiply the personnel and budget during this period. The Asiana IDT RFID/USN R&D Center envisions a company which is number one at home in the fields of aviation, tires, construction and logistics. The company's first execution strategy is to, above all, provide the best system performance at the most reasonable price, according to Park. Director Jung also said that because there have not been any examples of trial and error from predecessors, pioneering technology causes a bottleneck in carrying out such tasks and adds a mental burden to have to produce results fast. The two gentlemen were of the same opinion in that in the field of RFID/USN, semiconductor, telecommunication, and network technology as well as infrastructure conditions are very important problems. However, in Korea all fields are good without omitting anything. Provided we go forward by making the most of such infrastructure, Korea will be able to become a RFID/USN power before long, they said.