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RFID News Roundup

Phychips unveils new Arete RFID readers for phones, tablets; Zebra's Zatar IoT cloud platform to integrate with Entigral's TraxWare software; Ekahau's RTLS reduces emergency response times at Danish elder-care center; NiceLabel acquires its North American distributor, Niceware International; Nor-Lea Hospital District to enhance patient flow via Versus RTLS.
By Paul Prince
Dec 12, 2013

The following are news announcements made during the past week by the following organizations: Phychips; Zebra and Entigral; Ekahau; NiceLabel; and Versus Technology.

Phychips Unveils New Arete RFID Readers for Phones, Tablets

Phychips' Arete POP product family
RFID hardware manufacturer Phychips is adding two new models to its lineup of EPC Gen 2 ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) readers that plug into the headphone jack of a smartphone or tablet PC: the Arete POP Mini and the Arete POP Plus. The Mini, measuring 37 millimeters by 43 millimeters by 12.5 millimeters (1.5 inches by 1.7 inches by 0.5 inch) in size, offers a read range of approximately 20 centimeters (7.9 inches), while the Plus, measuring 68 millimeters by 81 millimeters by 21.5 millimeters (2.7 inches by 3.2 inches by 0.8 inch), supports a read range of up to 2 meters (6.6 feet). The new readers, which the company plans to launch in early 2014, will join the previously released midsize Arete model: the POP, which measures 51 millimeters by 50 millimeters by 15 millimeters (2 inches by 2 inches by 0.6 inch), with a 1-meter (3.3-foot) read range. All three devices are compatible with most Apple iOS and Google Android devices (above iOS 6.0 and Android 2.3.3). Last month, Phychips announced that Thinkify would be the company's new distributor for its Arete readers (see RFID News Roundup: Phychips Selects Thinkify as Its Exclusive North American Distributor).

Zebra's Zatar IoT Cloud Platform to Integrate With Entigral's TraxWare Software
Entigral Systems, Inc., a leader in sensor-based automation for inventory and asset tracking, and Zebra Technologies have announced a partnership that will support the Zatar platform. Zatar is Zebra's new cloud-based platform for enterprise sensor data collection and management (see Zebra Launches Zatar 'Internet of Things' Service for RFID Readers, Networked Devices). Entigral's customers use RFID technology to address asset tracking, inventory tracking and other mission-critical, complex workflows for which vital asset information must be collected and acted upon. Currently, Entigral's TraxWare software is installed at numerous manufacturing facilities nationwide, and is used to manage and monitor assets, inventory and work-in-process via RFID. With the integration of TraxWare into Zatar, Entigral and Zebra say they are making available a solution for customers looking to extend their process control and visibility across multiple locations through the cloud. "TraxWare and Zatar make an ideal combination when deploying applications that interact with real-world devices," says Phil Gerskovich, Zebra's senior VP of new growth platforms. "Zatar provides connectivity and management of devices like RFID readers or printer encoders that can be dispersed over many locations. Traxware provides the engine where business logic is built and executed.For customers of Traxware that use RFID, Zatar will make it easy to connect to and manage the physical devices." Gerskovich expects to see the TraxWare-Zatar solution become commercially available during the first half of 2014.

Ekahau's RTLS Reduces Emergency Response Times at Danish Elder-Care Center
Ekahau recently announced that its Wi-Fi-based, active RFID badges and location-tracking, mapping and messaging software have improved patient safety at the Skovhuset Elderly Care Apartment Center, located in Hillerød, Denmark. The Skovhuset apartment complex is managed by 135 employees and houses more than 100 elderly residents, as well as an outpatient day-care program. Residents wear Ekahau's wristband tags, which, together with Ekahau Vision software, helps caregivers locate residents on virtual, web-based floor plans. Caregivers use Motorola Wi-Fi phones that are tracked in the Ekahau system and can be used to trigger a panic alarm in the event of emergencies. The wristband tags also include a panic button that residents can push to instantly request help from the closest caregiver. Danish IT specialist Neuco IP installed the Ekahau real-time location system (RTLS) and integrated it with the facilities' existing alarm system, thereby routing text alerts to caregivers' Motorola phones.

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