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RFID News Roundup

NorthPeak, Epsilia unveil RFID-enabled solution to improve cold-chain performance; Ingersoll Rand Security Technologies, TagMaster NA combine long-read-range and smart-card technologies; London's Portland Hospital implements patient security solutions from Stanley Healthcare; NXP delivers NFC to Microsoft's Windows Phone 8 devices; Murata, Cogiscan intro RFID-based PCB traceability solutions; Ekahau introduces Vision 2.0 location analytics platform for hospitals.
Nov 01, 2012The following are news announcements made during the past week.

NorthPeak, Epsilia Unveil RFID-enabled Solution to Improve Cold-Chain Performance
NorthPeak, a provider of intelligent infrastructure solutions in the United States and Latin America, and Epsilia, a supplier of traceability and business process management (BPM) software solutions, have announced that they have jointly created a solutions suite designed to help growers and distributors of fresh produce maximize the shelf life of their products "from field to fork." The FreshMax suite, the two companies report, combines Intelleflex's battery-assisted passive (BAP) RFID sensors and software to provide growers, manufacturers and distributors of fresh produce, meats, seafood and dairy products with the information they require to deliver maximum freshness in the foods they supply to their customers. Intelleflex's sensors are based on the firm's XC3 technology, which complies with the ISO 18000-6:2010 (Manchester BAP) standard for Class 3 BAP RFID tags, as well as the EPC Gen 2 RFID standard for passive ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) tags. According to Intelleflex, the technology enables the tags to offer a read distances of up to 100 meters (328 feet) in open air, or to be readable in RF-challenging environments, such as those involving metals or liquids, or inside packages and containers. The company reports that its patented technology is uniquely suited for the cold supply chain, in which product-level monitoring is critical but has, to date, often been cost-prohibitive. Designed to provide both operations and management with easy-to-use information in real time, FreshMax features simple graphical user interfaces (GUIs) and a business intelligence module that can generate preloaded or customized performance and exception reports, according to NorthPeak and Epsilia. Specifically, the FreshMax Solution Suite includes FreshMax PreCool, designed to ensure that each pallet of produce in the pre-cooler is removed at the proper temperature. According to the two companies, it provides the ability to know the temperature status of each individual produce pallet throughout the pre-cooling process in real time, and to manage multiple products with variable temperature ranges in a single pre-cooler. The GUI displays the status of the product within the pre-cooler to operators and management, without requiring them to open the pre-cooler, thereby reducing labor costs and simplifying operations. As a result, the company adds, management now has complete visibility of several pre-cooling units simultaneously, from a single control point (on-site or remote). The business-intelligence engine creates reports that track both pre-cooler performance and exceptions to performance standards. The solution suite also includes FreshMax Storage, which monitors the temperature status of warehouse refrigerators and freezers and provides real-time updates (these can be segmented by sector to provide more precise information). Both FreshMax PreCool and FreshMax Storage are available now. During the first quarter of 2013, NorthPeak and Epsilia plan to release FreshMax Grower, designed to monitor produce temperature from field to pack-house. Next month, the two companies expect to begin offering FreshMax Distribution, which will track the temperature of each pallet of produce within a refrigerated truck, from packinghouse to distribution center. According to the companies, an algorithm can provide a "fresh grade" that gives warehouse operators an indication of what to ship out or deliver first.

Ingersoll Rand Security Technologies, TagMaster NA Combine Long-Read-Range and Smart-Card Technologies
Ingersoll Rand Security Technologies has announced that companies using both Ingersoll Rand's aptiQ smart cards and TagMaster North America's long-range tags now have an option that combines the features of a long read-range tag with the benefits of the secure aptiQ MIFARE DESFire EV1 smart card for gaining access at parking garages, buildings and interior office space. The two technologies have been combined into a dual tag, known as the MeM duo Tag, that includes the aptIQ inlay, providing 13.56 MHz smart card and 125 kHz passive RFID technologies contained within the TagMaster semi-passive (also referred to as battery-assisted) 2.45 GHz RFID transponder. The 2.45 GHz transponder is designed to allow customers hands-free access to a corporate garage utilizing TagMaster's long-range RFID readers, with read ranges of up to 46 feet. The MeM duo Tag and long-range interrogator are available from TagMaster North America. The aptiQ inlay is supplied by Ingersoll Rand, which offers a full line of access-control readers and credentials supporting aptiQ 13.56 MHz smart-card and 125 kHz proximity technologies. The two technologies work together in a single housing, according to Diane Kehlenbeck, Ingersoll Rand's director of technology; for example, a user can affix the S1242 MeM duo tag to his or her vehicle's windshield or dashboard in order to attain hands-free access to a gated parking area. "When they leave the car, the user takes their MeM duo with them and can gain personal access to buildings, offices, elevators, etc.," Kehlenbeck explains, "by putting the tag within range of an aptiQ-compliant Ingersoll Rand reader, just as they would their aptiQ credential." The aptiQ smart card utilizes extra layers of security protection, such as mutual authentication, AES 128-bit diversified key encryption, and message authentication coding (MAC), to provide security to each transaction between a contactless smart credential and reader.

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