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RFID News Roundup
Austriamicrosystems, Nordic ID team up on new reader modules, readers; Retailers Advantage intros new RFID and EAS combo tag; Confidex opens office in Brazil; Swedish Transport Administration puts TagMaster RFID on rails, TagMaster unveils security enhancements; HID Global launches pilot of NFC smartphones carrying digital keys for access control, announces BlackBerry credentials; Puerto Rico converting to all-electronic, RFID-enabled toll collection.
Sep 15, 2011—The following are news announcements made during the past week.
Austriamicrosystems, Nordic ID Team Up on New Reader Modules, Readers
Chip manufacturer Austriamicrosystems and Nordic ID have announced the availability of Nordic ID's new NUR-05W ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) RFID reader module. In addition, Nordic ID has also announced three new RFID readers, especially suited for the retail and apparel industries, that leverage the new reader module. The module is powered by Austriamicrosystems' AS3992 chip, an integrated analog front end that provides protocol handling for 900 MHz RFID reader systems complying with the ISO18000-6b/c standards (see RFID News Roundup: Austriamicrosystems' IC Featured in Thinkify's RFID Reader-Writer). According to Nordic ID, the NUR-05W module is the smallest 500-millwatt RFID module in the industry. The device is used in the newly announced Nordic ID's Morphic, Merlin and Sampo mobile computers and ID readers. The new products, which Nordic ID says represent the biggest launch in the company's history, leverage the latest in RFID technology. The Morphic UHF RFID Cross Dipole, which is no larger than an average cell phone, is a Windows CE-based RFID reader that includes a laser scanner or a 2-D imager and features a foldaway cross dipole antenna. It communicates via WLAN, Bluetooth, USB and Ethernet, so it can integrate with existing retail and other systems. In addition, Nordic ID reports, it can read tags from up to 2 meters (6.6 feet) away, from any angle, and features a 2260 mAh lithium polymer battery enabling up to nine hours of continuous RFID use. The company's flagship mobile computer, the Merlin UHF RFID Cross Dipole, can read RFID tags from any angle at a distance of 7 meters to 8 meters (23 feet to 26 feet), for up to 28 hours on a single charge. According to the company, the device is capable of reading hundreds of tags in one or more boxes on a pallet during a single pass, thanks to the innovative, energy-efficient cross-dipole antenna. Windows CE-based, it features an illuminated color display that can be controlled via a touch pen or a user's finger. The Sampo S1 is a USB reader that can be mounted on top of, under, or to the side of a counter for instantaneous tag reading of loose or boxed goods. The reader has many ease-of-use features, such as light and tapping sensors, to initiate reading processes, and provides an adjustable reading range of up to 4 meters (13 feet), the company reports.
Retailers Advantage Intros New RFID and EAS Combo Tag
Retailers Advantage, a provider of retailer security solutions headquartered in Ontario, Canada, has announced the new A3tag (available in six models) —an electronic article surveillance (EAS) hard tag equipped with an EPC Gen 2 RFID tag operating at 915 MHz. The tag combines traditional EAS technologies with EPC Gen 2 RFID, the company reports, in order to provide unique features and advantages on a single tag. The tag features a unique dual locking mechanism. Each tag can be individually written to, has the capacity to hold up to 132 bits of information, is smaller than the previously available A3tag products (see Apparel Retailers Test RFID-enhanced EAS Hard Tags) and is well suited for apparel, shoes and many other articles. A3tag models ASU200, ASU258 and ASU282 use Alien Technology's Squiglette inlay (ALN-9630), while A3tag models ASA400, ASA458 and ASA482 feature UPM RFID DogBone inlays with Impinj's Monza 4D chip. Support for other RFID inlays will be available soon, the company notes. All A3tag models are available now—with RFID inlay only, or with RFID and EAS functionality—and are compatible with Sensormatic's 58 kHz acoustic EAS technology, or Checkpoint Systems' 8.2 MHz RF EAS technology.
Confidex Opens Office in Brazil
Finnish tag manufacturer Confidex has announced that it has established an office in São Paulo, Brazil, to better serve its growing customer and partner base in Latin America. The new office will be led by Alexander Dannias, Confidex's new general manager for Latin America. According to Confidex, Dannias has vast experience in business development, management and operations in that region, with a particular focus on technology in both software and hardware. He also has a background in leading the expansion of multinational companies across Latin America. "I believe Confidex is uniquely positioned through its combination of technology, product offering and operational model to reap the benefits of the rapid adoption of RFID and contactless ticketing in this market," Dannias said in a prepared statement. "I am very excited to join the team and to be able to contribute to Confidex's ambitious plans for the continent." Headquartered in Finland, Confidex already has offices across Western Europe, as well as in the United States, India and China. Interest in RFID is growing rapidly in the region, the company reports. In June 2011, RFID Journal created a Portuguese-language version of its Web site for the Brazilian market (see RFID Journal Launches Brazilian Web Site). The new site, RFID Journal Brasil, is supported by Hewlett-Packard's RFID Center of Excellence, the only research center in that company accredited by EPCglobal.
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