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RFID News Roundup

Tageos EOS-400 apparel RFID label certified by the University Of Arkansas; more schools select Ekahau's location-aware panic-button solution; RFID Inc. unveils its portfolio of UHF tags; Capital Networks adds NFC functionality to digital signage solution; University of Trento researchers measure impact of weather, trees, day and night on sensor transmissions.
By Beth Bacheldor
Oct 24, 2013

The following are news announcements made during the past week by the following organizations: Tageos; Ekahau; RFID Inc.; Capital Networks; and University of Trento.

Tageos Apparel RFID Label Certified By the University of Arkansas

Tageos' EOS-400 tag
Tageos has announced that its EOS-400 tag—a paper-based, inlayless passive ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) RFID label for use in apparel—has been tested and certified by the University of Arkansas' Arkansas Radio Compliance (ARC) center. ARC's purpose is to ensure that retailer suppliers deliver RFID-tagged products that meet the performance requirements necessary to benefit both retailers and their suppliers, consistently and cost-effectively. RFID tags are tested on the ARC benchmark testing setup and performance data is stored, which retailers can use to create lists of approved tags for their RFID use cases. Those lists are then made available to the suppliers. According to Tageos, the EOS-400 has been tested and certified for categories A (denim), B (polybagged apparel), C (items packed together in boxes, such as DVDs) and D (hanging apparel), and their use cases. The EOS-400 tag measures 70 millimeters by 17 millimeters (2.8 inches by 0.7 inch), and is now available with an NXP Semiconductors Ucode 7 chip embedded in it (when the EOS-400 was first unveiled, it featured either Higgs-3 or Higgs-4 chips from Alien Technology; see RFID News Roundup: Tageos Expands Its Product Range With RFID Hangtags). The European EPC Competence Center (EECC) has also certified the EOS-400 tag for use in apparel applications.

More Schools Select Ekahau's Location-Aware Panic-Button Solution
Three additional schools across the United States have selected Ekahau's RFID-over-Wi-Fi real-time location system (RTLS) designed to support school-safety and emergency-response procedures and practices, according to Ekahau. The three schools are the Metropolitan School District of Bluffton-Harrison, in Bluffton, Ind., the Crown Point Community School Corp., in Crown Point, Ind., and the Albany Unified School District, in Albany, Calif. Earlier this year, Ekahau had announced the three other schools using its RTLS solution: Skyview High School, in Nampa, Idaho (see Idaho School Installs RTLS to Make Students Safer), Grandview Middle School, in Grandview, Wash., (see RFID News Roundup: Michigan School to Track Emergencies) and Patrick Henry High School, in Glade Spring, Va. (see RFID News Roundup: Virginia High School Installs Ekahau's RFID Solution to Bolster Emergency Responses). The RTLS solution consists of Ekahau's Wi-Fi-based RFID tags, infrared (IR) beacons to make location data more granular and Ekahau's Vision software. A teacher wears an Ekahau safety badge with the RFID tag embedded in it and, in the event of a medical, disciplinary or other emergency, pulls down on the badge's safety switch in order to alert co-workers and police dispatchers of the situation. If an alert is issued, the software captures and interprets the emergency's location, as well as other information. Within seconds, the software transmits a message directly to the appropriate badges inside the facility, thereby informing other personnel of the emergency's nature and where it is occurring. Since the location-tracking functionality is built in, Ekahau reports, this helps police minimize emergency-response times by avoiding the need for map lookups and phone calls. The Ekahau Vision software also allows school officials to send mass notifications to teachers' badges, displayed as text messages on each badge's light-emitting diode (LED). In addition, the software automatically time-stamps and records all emergency events and resolutions for review by school boards and police departments.

RFID Inc. Unveils Its First Portfolio of UHF Tags
RFID Inc., an RFID hardware provider based in Aurora, Colo., has announced a new line of passive ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) RFID tags. This is the first time the company has offered passive UHF tags, according to James Heurich, RFID Inc's president, and the culmination of two years of development and testing. All of the new UHF tags are compliant with the EPC Gen 2 and ISO 18000-6C standards. The FR4 pallet tag family consists of seven models, all of which have an IP 68 rating (signifying them as dustproof and waterproof) and feature peel-and-stick mounting and four feature-mounting holes. The ABS pallet tags, with 11 models, have various mountings, and either an IP 67 or IP 68 rating, depending on the tag. RFID Inc.'s UHF lineup also includes high-temperature tags, ceramic tags, polyvinyl chloride (PVC) cards and hangtags, a tag on an alligator clip, a plant tag (designed to be inserted into the soil), screw and bolt tags, vehicle tags that can be affixed to windshields and headlights, stickers, inlays, key-fobs, wristbands, laundry tags and metal-mount labels. Next month, Heurich says, RFID Inc. plans to roll out a suite of UHF reader and antenna products, including readers that he says will make it easy to program large quantities of RFID tags simultaneously. The current rules and guidelines for programming Electronic Product Code (EPC) tags are very cumbersome and detailed for the average user whose application need not comply with the EPC standards, according to Heurich. If a trucking company wants to program 1,000 tags, numbered from one to 1,000, a simple command of [W0001] programs the first tag, and RFID Inc.'s reader firmware handles all of the behind-the-scenes work, he explains. Likewise, if a user wishes to encode an automobile's vehicle identification number (VIN) onto a tag, all that is required is to key-stroke the VIN into RFID Inc.'s write command. Commands and reader settings can be entered into the interrogator via a software program that RFID Inc. offers free of charge, or any terminal program, such as HyperTerminal. All commands and replies are visible via standard human-readable ASCII characters. RFID Inc. also offers low-frequency (LF) and high-frequency (HF) passive RFID tags, as well as LF and HF readers (see RFID News Roundup: RFID Inc. Intros Smart Multi-Function HF Reader) and active 433 MHz active tags.

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