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RFID News Roundup

Omni-ID adds to line of tags for industrial and warehouse applications; Nanotron, Mecomo unveil new RFID solution combining GPS and indoor tracking; Elatec-RFID intros development kit for mini NFC reader; GlobeRanger announces cloud-based version of its RFID edge-management and middleware solution; SpaceCode partners with Sarin Technologies for gem and jewelry solution.
By RFID Journal
Dec 13, 2012The following are news announcements made during the past week.

Omni-ID Adds to Line of Tags for Industrial and Warehouse Applications
Omni-ID has announced a new dual-band RFID tag as part of its Exo range of tags. The Exo 600 tag, a Gen 2 passive RFID tag designed to operate in both the U.S. and EU RFID bands, leverages an Impinj Monza 4QT chip. It features a small footprint and has a read range of up to 6 meters (19.7 feet) with a fixed reader. According to Omni-ID, the Exo 600 tag is designed for industrial and warehouse portal applications used in the logistics industry. It stands out in the Exo tag lineup as well-suited for attachment to metal bars commonly found on returnable transport items (RTIs), used to carry goods within the supply chain or within a manufacturing process, the company reports. The tag has 96 bits of Electronic Product Code (EPC) memory and 512 bits of user memory (both reprogrammable), is available with or without mounting holes, and can be attached via rivets or adhesive. It weighs approximately 0.44 ounce with holes and 0.41 ounce without holes, and measures 3.15 inches by 0.59 inch by 0.48 inch with holes, and 2.36 inches by 0.59 inch by 0.48 inch without holes. The Exo 600 tag can operate in temperature ranges of -40 degrees to +85 degrees Celsius (-40 degrees to +185 degrees Fahrenheit) and has an IP 68 rating, making it dustproof and waterproof. The tag follows the Exo 200, Exo 400 and Exo 400P models that Omni-ID unveiled last August (see RFID News Roundup: Omni-ID Unveils Three New RFID Tags for Tracking Tools, Containers), all of which are highly durable and designed specifically for small equipment and RTIs, according to Omni-ID.

Nanotron, Mecomo Unveil New RFID Solution Combining GPS and Indoor Tracking
German real-time location system (RTLS) developer Nanotron Technologies has announced that it has integrated its Chirp Spread Spectrum (CSS) technology into the latest tracking product—a GPS-based tracking solution, known as mecSOLAR—from Mecomo, a software developer and provider of telematics and asset-tracking solutions. The mecSOLAR device has a solar-rechargeable battery and built-in temperature, humidity, shock, light and door sensors. The CSS technology uniquely allows wireless localization and data transmission within closed spaces, according to Nanotron. The company's solution employs 2.4 GHz active RFID tags and readers complying with the IEEE 802.15.4a standard. The tags transmit a chirp—a brief signal across the entire 2.4 GHz band—that is received by the readers, with Nanotron software using the signal's time difference of arrival (TDOA) to calculate each tag's location within approximately 3 meters (9.8 feet). Thanks to the CSS technology, Nanotron reports, mecSOLAR's functionality has now been extended to allow in-house tracking, resulting in a single tracking solution combining GPS and indoor tracking of logistics objects. To ensure that the mecSOLAR solution fully benefited from the CSS technology's energy efficiency and penetrating signal strength, the two companies developed a new, specialized wireless sensor radio interface called mecSENSE. The combination of the CSS and mecSENSE technologies makes mecSOLAR a suitable solution for use with sensors in containers, according to Nanotron. In addition to all of the sensors already featured in the mecSOLAR solution, supplementary sensors can easily be connected, provided that they support the interface. Nanotron and Mecomo have been collaborating since the beginning of 2012; in May of this year, the partners announced their first joint project, mecCARGO, which also incorporates Nanotron's CSS technology (see RFID News Roundup: Mecomo Integrates Nanotron's RTLS Chirp Technology to Track Logistics Items Outside GPS Signal Areas).

Elatec-RFID Intros Development Kit for Mini NFC Reader
Elatec RFID Systems has announced a new development kit for its Mifare NFC Mini 13.56 MHz reader, designed for mobile and industrial applications. The reader measures 33 millimeters by 30 millimeters (1.3 inches by 1.2 inches) and has an integrated high-frequency (HF) antenna. According to the company, the device uses minimal power, has a temperature operating range of -5 degrees to +80 degrees Celsius (23 degrees to 176 degrees Fahrenheit), and is well suited for integration directly onto the printed circuit board (PCB) of a mobile computer or other electronic device. The module features four user-configurable inputs or outputs, as well as a secure access module (SAM) connection, enabling the reader to be used for security and cryptography applications. Communication takes place via a serial transistor–transistor logic (TTL) interface or a serial peripheral interface (SPI), and the module supports transponders compliant with the ISO 14443 A and B RFID standards, as well as the ISO 18092 NFC standard. The new kit is designed to enable original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and systems integrators to integrate the compact RFID reader-writer unit into a proprietary application. According to the company, such applications include access and time controls utilized in door locks or fitness equipment, authentication, the tracking of medical equipment, and other uses requiring compact RFID capability. The reader's developer kit supports FTDI drivers for the Microsoft Windows and Windows CE .NET operating systems, as well as Linux, Apple Mac and Android. The kit, which costs €105 ($137), includes a quick-start guide, a USB cable, a software package and two Mifare cards.

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