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RFID News Roundup

NXP enables mobile ticketing for smart mobile devices; new survey shows that consumers want NFC, but may not understand it; Tagit Solutions, Omni-ID partner on asset tracking for engineering and semiconductor companies; American Innovations unveils RFID solution for tracking pipeline survey compliance and accuracy; Citi, Streetline and IBM partner to promote adoption of RFID-enabled parking solutions; Atlantic City resort expands UHF RFID tracking solution.
Apr 12, 2012The following are news announcements made during the past week.

NXP Enables Mobile Ticketing for Smart Mobile Devices
NXP Semiconductors has announced the availability of its Mifare4Mobile applet on the latest and upcoming NXP embedded secure elements, such as subscriber identity module (SIM) cards. The applet is designed to support mobile ticketing for the sizeable Mifare Classic system-install base worldwide. NXP's Mifare family of RFID chips comply with the ISO 14443 Type A standard, widely used in contactless smart cards. The Mifare4Mobile platform can be used to manage such Mifare-based applications as transit ticketing, access management and customer loyalty cards, in devices enabled with Near Field Communication (NFC), from over-the-air installation to end-user interaction via the mobile phone's user interface. Mifare4Mobile is guided by the Mifare4Mobile Industry Group, formed in 2010 by leading players within the NFC ecosystem, and is currently defining the next evolution of Mifare4Mobile specifications (see RFID News Roundup: New Industry Group Formed to Spur Mifare4Mobile Services). The upcoming specifications aim to support additional Mifare technology platform products, as well as compliance to global standards. The currently published Mifare4Mobile specification, V1.01, is capable of serving Mifare Classic-based infrastructures. During its first Mifare4Mobile applet implementation, NXP Semiconductors extended V1.01's features to allow for multiple service providers within a single secure element. The Mifare4Mobile embedded applet is available now as part of NXP's PN65O solution, incorporating the company's PN544 NFC controller and recently enhanced SmartMX-based P5 secure application platform (embedded secure element).

New Survey Shows That Consumers Want NFC, But May Not Understand It
A growing number of mobile devices are becoming equipped with Near Field Communication (NFC) technology—but 60 percent of current smartphone owners are unsure whether or not their phones are NFC-enabled. This was among the findings of an in-depth research study into the perception and adoption of NFC technology, commissioned by Clear Channel, a media and entertainment company specializing in providing mobile and on-demand entertainment and information services, and Posterscope, an Out-of-Home (OOH) communications agency. The study, conducted in February 2012 in the United Kingdom and the United States, consisted of almost 1,000 online interviews with smartphone owners who had used at least one of the following seven technologies on their devices: Quick Reader (QR) codes, mobile Bluetooth, bar-code scanner, augmented reality, visual search, NFC and mobile payments. In addition, half of the respondents had utilized at least one of the technologies to interact directly with advertising. When NFC was demonstrated, the number of respondents' who said they considered it important to have NFC functionality on their next phone doubled, from 36 percent to 70 percent. Regarding the types of NFC applications that garnered interest, 88 percent of respondents indicated that they would consider using the technology to interact with smart posters that they found of interest. In addition, the study found that the reasons for interacting with NFC-enabled posters included the ability to download vouchers and/or special offers, access local information, achieve easy access to Internet content and compare prices. Fifty-seven percent said that if they saw an OOH advertisement that interested them, they would be likely to use NFC for purchasing the advertised products. This applied to multiple product categories. To access the full research findings, click here.

Tagit Solutions, Omni-ID Partner on Asset Tracking for Engineering and Semiconductor Companies
Tagit Solutions, a software solutions provider for equipment and IP tracking, is partnering with Omni-ID, a supplier of RFID tags, to provide location-based asset lifecycle management solutions for engineering facilities, such as laboratories and clean rooms, semiconductor fabrication and sub-fab environments, and high-tech assembly and manufacturing lines. According to the two companies, the solutions will combine RFID tags designed for the unique conditions found within engineering and semiconductor environments, with software specifically created to support the business processes and asset-management needs of various engineering facilities. Omni-ID, for example, cites its UltraThin metal-mount Flex tags or long-range Pipe tags, which it says can help address unique environmental challenges, such as multipath reflection, electromagnetic interference, extreme temperatures and corrosive chemicals. The partnership, Omni-ID reports, will help increase its speed to market in this industry segment, with a complete end-to-end customer solution. Effective asset management within engineering facilities often includes specific needs, such as calibration management, asset reservation, asset classification counterfeit protection, kitting and emergency evacuation. Currently, most of these processes typically reside in disparate IT systems or spreadsheets, making it difficult for lab administrators to efficiently manage fixed and non-capital assets. Even after deploying an RFID solution and addressing any environmental issues, many businesses still end up spending millions of additional dollars to develop a new solution to support their unique processes and needs. Tagit says its domain expertise in engineering laboratories, semiconductor fabrication units, and other high-tech environments and software designed from the ground-up to meet industries' unique needs will enable Omni-ID's customers to accelerate solution deployment, reduce implementation and customization costs, and ultimately achieve a faster and stronger return on investment (ROI). The partnership between Tagit Solutions and Omni-ID will include joint marketing and engineering efforts.

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