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RFID News Roundup

German senior citizens home implements Ekahau Wi-Fi RTLS; Smartrac builds out PVC UHF prelaminate product range; Canada's Translink adopts NXP's Mifare for Vancouver's public transport system; Tagitron expands family of RFID readers, antennas, tags and inlays; NXP, Exceet Card Group deliver ITSO-compliant smart-card solution for Scotland's National Entitlement Card.
Jan 31, 2013The following are news announcements made during the past week.

German Senior Citizens Home Implements Ekahau Wi-Fi RTLS
Ekahau, a provider of Wi-Fi-based real-time location system (RTLS) solutions, and German IT systems integrator Adams & Weber GmbH have announced that they installed a wireless local-area network (WLAN)-based locating and emergency call system at Josef-Ecker-Stift, a senior-citizens home and nursing facility located in Neuwied, Germany. According to Ekahau, the system—which leverages Ekahau's Wi-Fi-based RTLS technology, including battery-powered Wi-Fi RFID tags and software—is designed to monitor the movements of the home's residents and, whenever danger threatens, enable the care staff to quickly intervene and thus prevent accidents. Residents wear Ekahau's Wi-Fi wristbands, which are waterproof and include two-color LEDs for signaling events, as well as call buttons that can be used to request help, among other features. A tag's location is determined by monitoring the signal strengths between Wi-Fi access points and the tag. Josef-Ecker-Stift is utilizing the system around-the-clock to alert staff members of every resident's location. The solution enables the nursing home to offer its residents—even those with dementia or limited mobility—greater freedom to move independently throughout the building, Ekahau reports. In addition to residents wearing the wristband tags, workers are equipped with Ekahau B4 Wi-Fi pagers, which they can use to transmit an alarm from any location throughout the entire facility. Previously, alarms could be triggered only via individual immobile emergency switches. The new pagers allow employees to trigger an alarm and summon a colleague without having to abandon a resident and locate an emergency switch installed elsewhere.

Smartrac Builds Out PVC UHF Prelaminate Product Range
Smartrac has announced that it has added to its range of ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) line of prelaminated PVC cards. The new offerings, the company reports, are in response to the increasing demand for UHF PVC cards for access-control applications. Constructed with Impinj's Monza 4 circuit (IC) passive RFID chip family (the Monza 4D and Monza 4QT models, in particular), the prelaminates are designed to offer a reading distance of more than 5 meters (16.4 feet), Smartrac reports, thereby enabling hands-free access to secured areas, gated communities, ski lifts and other locations. The cards are produced in a multilayered PVC construction without polyethylene terephthalate (PET) layers. The UHF antenna is printed with silver ink and connected to the IC using flip-chip technology, in which the electrodes are coated with adhesive, and the chip is then turned over and pressed onto the antenna. During a final production step, the company indicates, all PVC layers are collated and fused together under pressure and at high temperature, in order to create a monobloc PVC prelaminate. The Smartrac PVC UHF prelaminate product family with Impinj Monza 4 ICs comprises the PVC Thinlam, with a thickness of 300 micrometers (0.012 inch); the PVC PRELAM, with a thickness of 400 micrometers (0.016 inch); and the PVC Clearlam, made of transparent PVC, with a thickness of either 300 micrometers or 400 micrometers. According to Smartrac, the PVC Clearlam version provides optional security features, such as one-color logos or security marks, to be added during the antenna layer's printing process. All models are available now, and are supplied in conventional card industry sheet formats. Customized programming of the UHF chip with optional memory locking is also offered for this product family.

Canada's Translink Adopts NXP's Mifare for Vancouver's Public Transport System
NXP Semiconductors has announced that Canada's South Coast British Columbia Transportation Authority, TransLink, has adopted NXP's Mifare technology platform for Vancouver's public transport system. NXP's Mifare family of RFID chips comply with the ISO 14443-A standard, widely used in contactless smart cards. According to NXP, the Mifare technology is part of an overall initiative by Vancouver to address urban challenges and optimize transportation over a 30-year period. For its part, NXP reports, Translink hopes to achieve a goal of accomplishing 50 percent of all trips by foot, bicycle or public transportation, and thus asked systems integrator Cubic Corp. to create an efficient, secure and future-proof transit system leveraging the Mifare technology. As part of that effort, TransLink is adopting Cubic's Compass Card, a contactless smart card incorporating the Mifare DESFire EV1 RFID chip, which passengers can use on city buses, sky trains and ferries, via a single contactless smart card. In addition, passengers can add travel products or values to their Compass Card at vending machines, either online, by telephone or at a walk-in customer service center. Cubic's Compass Card is a reusable, reloadable transit pass that riders can tap on an electronic validator (RFID reader) during boarding to access transit. The card works with Cubic's Nextfare contactless smart-card payment system. Several U.S. cities have implemented Cubic's smart-card technology, including Miami (see RFID News Roundup: Miami Expands Use of Smart-Card System on Its Metrorail to the Airport) and Chicago (see RFID News Roundup: Chicago Bus Operator Pace Selects Cubic for Payment System).

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