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RFID News Roundup

Ekahau intros anti-theft Wi-Fi tag for laptop and tablet computers; Smartrac launches high-temperature hard tag for industrial applications; Secura Key announces new standalone reader kit; Harting unveils box with integrated reader, power supply and network switch; Louisville skyscraper adopts TagMaster and HID technology to automate parking access; Chido fast-food restaurant adds NFC-enabled loyalty program.
Jul 12, 2012The following are news announcements made during the past week.

Ekahau Intros Anti-Theft Wi-Fi Tag for Laptop and Tablet Computers
Ekahau, a provider of Wi-Fi-based real-time location system (RTLS) solutions, has announced the launch of its latest Wi-Fi tag, the L4 Laptop tag, a location-tracking device designed to prevent laptop theft and misplacement. The L4 Laptop tag is a small, flat unit designed to be plugged into an ExpressCard slot, a newer PC card technology that proponents say provides high-performance, modular expansion to both desktop and notebook computers at a lower cost, and in a smaller form factor. With ExpressCard slots, memory, wired and wireless communications, multimedia and security features can be added, by inserting ExpressCard modules into compliant systems. ExpressCard technology, designed for both mobile devices and desktops, supports USB 2.0 and PCI Express applications. The L4 tag can simply be inserted into an ExpressCard slot, Ekahau reports, and can be activated via a few keystrokes. The tag works with the Ekahau RTLS solution, designed to track and manage the tags anywhere on a campus equipped with Wi-Fi coverage. By determining a tag's location and status, the company explains, the system can alert a user if a laptop or tablet computer leaves a designated area, or enters an unsecure area. The L4 tag features a built-in motion sensor to detect movements, and to manage how the tag communicates. A tamper alert switch detects if the tag is being removed from a laptop, while the tag's programmable System on a Chip (SOC) design enables it to be configured to a user's exact requirements. In addition, the tag is equipped with an internal battery (rechargeable via the ExpressCard port) that enables location tracking, even when the laptop has been turned off. The L4 tag can be programmed to report on a fixed time interval, and to utilize the on-board motion sensor to indicate when the unit is moved. The tag is supported by all major enterprise Wi-Fi network systems, Ekahau reports, without the need for proprietary readers or sensors. "Our customers, especially in the healthcare and government sectors, have been asking for a product like this that is specifically designed for portable computers," said Tuomo Rutanen, Ekahau's executive VP sales and marketing, in a prepared statement. "The L4 provides an additional layer of physical protection in a form factor and design that is transparent to the end-user and worry-free for the system administrator. While the prices of mobile computers are declining, the requirements are increasing for data protection via acts such as HIPAA and HITECH, as well as internal corporate and other government policies."

Smartrac Launches High-Temperature Hard Tag for Industrial Applications
Smartrac, an RFID inlay supplier headquartered in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, has announced the addition of a new high-temperature RFID tag to its range of hard tags designed for industrial applications. The new SMART-Ferro II-Tag has been developed to track and trace metallic objects over long reading distances in harsh and high-temperature environments, Smartrac reports, making it suitable for logistics applications, shipping handling, incoming goods departments and asset tracking, as well as for applications in the petrochemical, automotive, aerospace and maritime industries. The passive ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) tag, which complies with the ISO 18000-6C and EPC Gen 2 standards, is encased in specific thermoplastic material, the company indicates, enabling the RFID inlay to withstand operating temperatures of up to 85 degrees centigrade (185 degrees Fahrenheit) and storage temperatures of up to 200 degrees centigrade (392 degrees Fahrenheit). According to Smartrac, the tag has an IP 67 rating, thanks to a casing that provides dust resistance, as well as protection against temporary immersion in water and most chemicals. The SMART-Ferro II-Tag, Smartrac notes, provides a reliable read range of 4 meters to 5 meters (13 feet to 16 feet) and high performance in the presence of metal.

Secura Key Announces New Standalone Reader Kit
Secura Key, a California-based provider of electronic access-control and RFID products for security, asset-management and automatic data collection (ADC) applications, has unveiled a standalone reader kit for its RK65KS proximity card reader. The RK65KS-KIT1 kit contains everything required to control access to a single door, the company reports: one Radio Key RK65K proximity reader, 10 125 kHz passive RFID keytags, a handheld programmer, a 12-VDC power supply, and installation and instruction manuals. The Radio Key RK65K device, Secura Key indicates, is a fully programmable, standalone single-door access-control reader based on 125 kHz proximity RFID technology, able to deliver up to 6-inch read distance. The indoor-outdoor reader is password-protected and can manage up to 65,000 individual users with sequentially numbered cards or tags. Users can be added and deleted via the kit's handheld programmer. In addition, the interrogator has a Wiegand output, which can be connected to a multi-door-access or telephone-entry system, if desired. According to the company, when the solution is used as part of a larger system, the local card memory and relay may be employed for other special functions, such as controlling lighting, as well as heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC). The keytags used with the kit are also fully compatible with Secura Key's SYSKIT two-door proximity access-control kits.

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