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RFID News Roundup
Omni-ID, Extronics sign RFID global partnership agreement; RF Code announces wireless air-pressure sensor; Terso Solutions launches new RFID-enabled fridge; Micro-ID intros glass RFID tag for animal tracking; SkyBitz developing Dash7-compliant product; FIME to deliver NFC Forum certification; TagMaster collaborates with Siemens Mobility for vehicle detection.
Mar 31, 2011—The following are news announcements made during the past week.
Omni-ID, Extronics Sign RFID Global Partnership Agreement
Tag maker Omni-ID has announced a partnership agreement with Extronics Ltd., a designer and manufacturer of intrinsically safe and explosion-proof equipment. Under the terms of the agreement, Extronics will certify Omni-ID's entire range of products for ATEX in Europe (ATEX is part of an EU directive describing the equipment and work environment allowed in an setting containing an explosive atmosphere), as well as for Class 1 Div 1 in the United States, and IECEx worldwide. Previously, only some of Omni-ID's tags were ATEX-certified. In addition, the firm will resell Omni-ID tags cobranded with its name. "Recently, we have experienced a dramatic upsurge in inquiries from leading companies seeking effective tracking solutions for hazardous areas," said John Hartley, Extronics' managing director, in a prepared statement. "Omni-ID offers the value and high quality we required to add lower-cost, passive UHF RFID tags to our active RFID solutions and to provide the safest, wireless infrastructures for mining, petrochemical, process manufacturing and similar dangerous work." The first products to be produced under this agreement will be unveiled during the Hannover Messe 2011 trade show, being held next week in Germany.
RF Code Announces Wireless Air-Pressure Sensor
RFID firm and IT asset-management solutions provider RF Code has announced a new wireless sensor designed to measure differential air pressure, which the company says is a key monitoring metric used to optimize airflow and provide insights into a data center's overall thermal characteristics. The R160 Air Pressure Sensor, RF Code reports, enables data-center operators to monitor changes in air pressure in order to determine optimal cooling strategies, including proper perforated (perf) tile placement, and provides readings as precise as HVAC handheld pressure monitors, while eliminating the need to manually troubleshoot suspected airflow-related problems. The new sensor monitors and reports the differential air-pressure between two points (e.g., above versus below a raised floor). The sensor's built-in 433 MHz active RFID tag periodically reports its unique ID, along with the air-pressure data, and is designed for use in conjunction with an RF Code fixed reader infrastructure. The R160 sensor is housed in an impact-resistant, flame-retardant ABS plastic enclosure that can be mounted on the back of the case via a strong adhesive, screws or zip-ties. Powered by three CR2032 replaceable batteries, the R160 wireless sensor is designed with a battery life that exceeds 5 years in most deployment environments. It features a low-battery alert, and will continue to report pressure data for at least three months following the initial alert. After that, the company indicates, the tag will broadcast its unique ID and a low-battery indication with each beacon, but will not report pressure data until the batteries are replaced. The information collected from the sensor is then input into RF Code's Sensor Manager software, which features trending, reporting and alerting capabilities.
Terso Solutions Launches New RFID-Enabled Fridge
Terso Solutions, a Madison, Wisc., RFID solutions provider for the health-care industry, has added an upgraded refrigerator to its line of products that incorporate RFID readers compliant with the ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) EPC Gen 2 air-interface standard. According to the company, the new refrigerator makes better use of space, reduces energy consumption and lowers maintenance costs, while also protecting high-value products, such as reagents, cardiovascular products, tissue samples and orthopedic supplies. The new fridge has a temperature range of 36 degrees to 46 degrees Fahrenheit (2.2 degrees to 7.8 degrees Celsius), and provides 5.5 cubic feet of storage space. In addition, it features a revamped LCD display on the front of the unit, which the company says improves customer interaction with the system, as well as ease of use, and provides more flexible internal configuration and spacing options designed to improve the range of materials that can be stored within. The RFID technology enables the refrigerator to take inventory of items, which are fitted with passive EPC Gen 2 RFID tags, and to capture transactions at the item level by user, thereby leading to greater accountability. In addition, the fridge monitors temperature and expiration dates, and can also trigger alarms when doors are left open. In October 2010, Terso announced a larger-capacity freezer that has a temperature range of -20 degrees to -40 degrees Fahrenheit (-29 degrees to -40 degrees Celsius), and provides 9.7 cubic feet of storage space (see RFID News Roundup: Terso Intros Larger RFID-enabled Freezer for Health Care). The new refrigerator is available now. Terso's RFID storage solutions offer cabinet rental, hosted data services and 24-7 support for one monthly fee.
Micro-ID Intros Glass RFID Tag for Animal Tracking
Micro-ID Ltd., based in West Sussex, United Kingdom, has introduced what it describes as the smallest implantable RFID tag on the market. The passive glass-encased tag chip, designed for automatically tracking animals, was unveiled at the British Small Animal Veterinary Congress (BSAVA), being held this weekend in Birmingham. The Micro-ID STO4 measures 1.4 millimeters by 8 millimeters (0.06 inch by 0.3 inch), weighs 0.52 gram (0.02 inch), contains an EM Microelectronic EM4205 chip that operates at 134.2 kHz and is compliant with the ISO 11784 and 11785 standards. The tag has an IP68 rating, which means it is waterproof and dustproof, and offers a read range of approximately 70 millimeters (2.8 inches). Micro-ID uses the same microchip technology in all of its products, but offers them in different formats, including nails, pegs, discs and others for identification and registration for both security and proof of ownership. The company also offers a range of RFID interrogators for reading the unique number stored in the chip, as well as more sophisticated reader/data loggers linked via GPS to main databases to interrogate, for example, a horse at an event to ascertain its history in terms of proof of progeny, as well as ensure its medical records are up to date.
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