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RFID News Roundup

Alien Technology offers new passive UHF RFID readers ••• Metalcraft intros tiny tag with long read range ••• AsReader device turns smartphones into RFID reader-writers ••• Smartrac releases new RFID and IoT solutions for retail ••• New RFID label from Checkpoint Systems boosts merchandise visibility ••• Swatch Group creates mini Bluetooth chip for Internet of Things ••• STMicroelectronics unveils new NFC RFID tag ICs for long-range contactless communication.
By Rich Handley
Mar 09, 2017

The following are news announcements made during the past week by the following organizations: Alien Technology; Metalcraft; AsReader; Smartrac; Checkpoint Systems; Swatch Group; and STMicroelectronics.

Alien Technology Offers New Passive UHF RFID Readers

Alien Technology, a provider of ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) RFID products and services, has introduced two new passive UHF RFID reader antennas for use with Alien or non-Alien RFID readers. The new models are the ALR-A1001 and the ALR-A0501.

The ALR-A1001 has an ultra-thin form factor and measures 10 inches by 10 inches by approximately one-half inch thick—half the depth of many traditional antennas. This circular-polarized antenna offers 8.5dBic gain, matching that of traditional form-factor antennas. It is suitable for use in reader cabinets with restricted space, the company reports, in which an antenna shares depth with other technologies. Examples include slim portals, ceiling-mounted antennas and wall-mounted solutions, for scenarios in which it is desirable to reduce the incidence of people or objects hitting protruding antennas. The ALR-A1001 is priced similarly to traditional antennas.

The ALR-A1001
The ALR-A0501 is a traditional antenna measuring 5 inches by 5 inches, with 6dBic gain. This antenna replaces the similarly sized, lower-gain ALR-9608 antenna that was only available as a FCC frequency variant, the company explains.

"These two new antennas continue Alien's goal of providing customers more system options for their RFID solutions while driving up capabilities and reducing solution costs along the way," said Neil Mitchell, Alien Technology's senior director of marketing, in a prepared statement. "Both antenna have an IP rating of 67, making them suitable for use in dusty or damp environments, and both come in FCC and ETSI frequency variants to support our worldwide customer base."

The ALR-A0501
As a result of both antennas using the SubMiniature version A (SMA) connector, Alien is also introducing a range of supporting cables. These cables use an SMA connector at one end for connection to the antenna and a Reverse Threaded Neill-Concelman (RNTC) connector at the other for connection to Alien readers. These cables are available in three versions: the ALX-421-3 measures 3 meters (9.8 feet) in length, the ALX-421-6 is 6 meters (19.7 feet) in length and the ALX-421-9 is 9 meters (29.5 feet) in length.

According to the company, both the ALR-A1001 and the ALR-A0501 are currently available.

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