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RFID News Roundup

FileTrail adds map function to aid tracking; Inside IP entered in NFC licensing program; BenQ mobile phones to get Sirit NFC technology; Datamars to unveil new laundry tag readers; Chase announces tag-protecting material.
By Andrew Price
Jun 08, 2007The following are news announcements made during the week of June 4.

FileTrail Adds Map Function to Aid Tracking
FileTrail, a San Jose, Calif., provider of UHF EPC Gen 2 RFID technology for tracking paper files (see Maryland Court Tries UHF RFID File-Tracking System), has announced the addition of an office-mapping tool, QuickMaps, to its records-management product line. QuickMaps enables staff members to see where specific file folders are located, based on a floor plan of the office. A user selects a file by its ID number, then calls up the map, which shows the file's location, down to the desk of the person who has checked it out, provided there are a sufficient number of readers installed in the office to attain that level of granularity. By clicking on an image of a specific file on the map, users can view the name of the person on whose desk the file is located, as well as a number of other possible details, such as the file-holder's name, phone number and e-mail address, and a list of other files in that person's possession. FileTrail says it developed the QuickMaps tool because knowing who has checked out a file from the records-management program does not always tell the user exactly where that file is located, as files are sometimes shared among personnel who do not properly check them in or out. The tool lets users create floor plans for each floor of a facility.

Inside IP Entered in NFC Licensing Program
French RFID chip and inlay manufacturer Inside Contactless has announced that all of its patents deemed essential to equipment using the near-field communication (NFC) protocol for mobile devices can be licensed through Via Licensing Corp.. Via Licensing develops and administers patent licensing programs on behalf of technology companies, and for the convenience of licensees. The licensing program is designed to provide convenient access to essential patents for the practice of NFC. These licenses cover NFC-compliant consumer electronic devices, such as mobile phones, as well as payment-processing terminals, transportation terminals, vending machines and other commercial devices.

BenQ Mobile Phones to Get Sirit NFC Technology
Sirit, a provider of RFID technology, says it has secured a contract with BenQ, an original equipment manufacturer of consumer electronic devices in Taiwan. This agreement calls for Sirit to supply BenQ with tags, readers and software for its forthcoming NFC mobile smart phones and handsets. BenQ says it is looking forward to bringing these goods to market, as it believes the NFC application market will soon grow significantly.

Datamars to Unveil New Laundry Tag Readers
Datamars, a Swiss company that manufactures RFID systems for pet and livestock tracking, as well as for logistics, textile tracking and waste management, has introduced two new RFID interrogators for industrial textile tracking applications. The Bundle reader is designed for reading the tags attached to soiled textile items closely packed inside laundry bags. The Tunnel Antenna reader is a large, industrial reader with a built-in conveyor belt for moving tagged goods through the tunnel formed by the reader’s antenna (hence, the name). Designed for large, industrial textile-tracking applications, the Tunnel Antenna reader can read up to 340 pieces of tagged textiles per minute, even when those textiles are packed tightly into laundry bags. Both interrogators read and encode Datamars' proprietary high-frequency (13.56 MHz) textile tags, and can also read and encode all tags compatible with the ISO 15693 or ISO 18000-3 standard. Both the Tunnel and Bundle readers are sold with antennas and the software needed to operate them. The company will demonstrate both products in booth 3267 at the Clean Show, a laundering, dry-cleaning and textile-care industry trade show, June 11 to 14, in Las Vegas. The Tunnel Antenna reader is available today and retails for $26,423. The Bundle reader, available in mid-June, will retail for $9,850.

Chase Corp. Announces Tag-Protecting Material
Chase Corp., a manufacturer of coatings, laminates and other products designed to protect electronics, has announced a new product, Paper Tyger RFID Shield, designed to provide an electromagnetic shield for contactless credit cards and similar RFID-tagged objects. The material is made up of a highly flexible metallic sheet, laminated between two paper layers that can be run through most conventional printers. The material can also be converted into envelopes or labels. Chase says Paper Tyger RFID Shield is available now. The company is marketing this product to makers of envelopes, labels and packaging that sell products aimed at protecting consumer privacy by preventing RFID tags carried on people from being surreptitiously read in public.
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