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RFID News Roundup

Visa's contactless payWave cards debut in Germany; 3M intros protective sleeve to keep smart cards safe; Gowlings law firm employs RFID to track, manage files; Sirit obtains ETSI certification for UHF RFID reader; rigging supplier John Sakach Co. adopts N4 Systems' RFID system.
Nov 20, 2008The following are news announcements made during the past week.

Gowlings Law Firm Employs RFID to Track, Manage Files
Canadian law firm Gowling Lafleur Henderson (Gowlings) is employing an RFID solution from FileTrail, a file-tracking and records-management solutions provider based in San Jose, Calif., to help track and manage its physical records and files. FileTrail's solution uses UHF EPC Gen 2 RFID tags affixed to files and RFID interrogators (both fixed and handheld) to locate files and to automate the checking in and out of files from records rooms. This solution is designed to help employees locate a file to within a desktop. A mapping tool lets workers input a specific file number, then navigate a digital floor plan of their office to view a particular file's location and the name of the person who last checked it out. Specifically, FileTrail's Web-enabled file-tracking and records management application will be added as a component to Gowlings' REx Online, a browser application developed in-house that provides the firm's 2,000 employees access to a variety of data, including time and billing, task management, and document management information. According to FileTrail, Gowlings' IT staff was able to integrate tracking information compiled by FileTrail Web Services into the REx interface in a matter of a few hours, and workers are now able to access such information on a specific file as its location, as well as its location history. Gowlings is also implementing FileTrail's RFMobile, a portable RFID reader. Other organizations using FileTrail solutions include the 7th Judicial Circuit Court for Prince George's County, Md., (see Maryland Court Tries UHF RFID File-Tracking System), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's Office of Regulatory Affairs (see RFID Helps FDA Caseworkers Track Important Paperwork) and the Florida Office of the State Attorney's 15th Judicial Circuit (see Florida Prosecutor Uses RFID to Track Files in Real Time).

3M Intros Protective Sleeve To Keep Smart Cards Safe
3M's Electrical Markets division has taken the wraps off a new covering, or sleeve, designed to protect smart cards, e-passports and other products that leverage RFID. 3M's ToughShield Sleeves resemble the paper sleeves in which smart cards and similar products are often shipped, the company says, but instead are lined with a thin, copper-coated, conductive polyester designed to block radio frequency signals and thereby prevent someone from surreptitiously reading ("skimming") data stored in the cards' RFID chips. The inside lining is bonded with a 3M acrylic adhesive to an outside layer made of 3M TufQUIN Inorganic Hybrid Insulating Paper, a tear- and water-resistant material. According to the company, after 2,000 cycles of abrasion-resistance testing in its laboratories, the sleeve retained 99 percent of its shielding effectiveness. The materials are thin and flexible, enabling consumers to use the sleeves to protect e-passports, smartcards, banking and credit cards, transportation cards, and ID cards issued by governments and corporations. The ToughShield Sleeve can be customized to fit a broad range of products, and has a printable surface so it can be utilized as a brand and marketing tool.

Visa's Contactless payWave Cards Debut in Germany
Visa Europe, German bank Landesbank Berlin (LBB) and Dutch digital security company Gemalto have announced the introduction of contactless payments in Germany. The Visa payWave card features an RFID inlay embedded inside that is read when a consumer holds the card close to an RFID interrogator embedded in a specialized payment terminal. For purchases of up to €20 ($25), consumers need only wave their Visa payWave card in front of the reader to complete the payment, without having to enter their personal identification number (PIN)—though on occasion, Visa Europe indicates, cardholders may be required to enter their PIN to ensure security. The Visa payWave cards are issued in collaboration with Gemalto's EMV contactless banking cards. Landesbank Berlin will issue the Visa payWave cards as part of a pilot project.

Sirit Obtains ETSI Certification for UHF RFID Reader
RFID technology provider Sirit has announced that its IDentity 5100 RFID interrogator, which leverages ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) RFID technology and supports the ISO 18000-6C standard, has obtained European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) certification, signifying that it meets European regulations for operating in the UHF RF bands. The IDentity 5100 is designed for automatic vehicle identification (AVI) and electronic vehicle registration (EVR) applications, the company says, and can capture RFID tag reads on vehicles traveling at speeds of up to 100 miles per hour (160 kilometers per hour). According to Sirit, the device has been designed to withstand extreme weather conditions, temperatures, humidity and vibration.

Rigging Supplier John Sakach Co. Adopts N4 Systems' RFID System
John Sakach Co. a Granite City, Ill., provider of rigging equipment such as galvanized cable, resistant rope and slings, is employing an RFID system known as Field ID, provided by N4 Systems, to allow its inspectors to automate and manage their inspections, testing, certificate and repair services, and processes. Field ID leverages handheld mobile computers with 13.56 MHz RFID interrogators that inspectors can utilize to read high-frequency (HF) tags complying with the ISO 15693 standard that have been affixed to various equipment. The handheld computers can hold up to 8 gigabytes of item-related data, including the serial number encoded to each item's RFID tag, which can be downloaded from a dedicated N4 Systems Web site utilizing an Ethernet cable at the office. As the tags are read, their unique ID numbers are referenced against the data stored in the handheld that walks inspectors through the necessary inspection procedures. The inspectors can input specific information regarding the equipment as well, and all of that data can then be uploaded into N4 System's software so it can be shared. Other companies using the Field ID system include Jergens (see Hoist-Ring Manufacturer Using RFID to Carry Life-Cycle Data) and Elko Wire Rope & Mining Supply, (see Equipment Inspectors Find Safety in RFID)
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