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RFID News Roundup

Xerafy Intros New Read-on-Metal RFID Label; Pennsylvania medical center adds RFID for parking management; Smartrac reaches one-billion milestone of providing RFID inlays, Prelams with wire-embedding technology; Insignia Hospitality Group's hotels install RFID locks; Awarepoint acquires new clients, deployments; Bosch Group, University of St. Gallen partner on R&D for the Internet of Things.
Oct 18, 2012The following are news announcements made during the past week.

Xerafy Intros New Read-on-Metal RFID Label
Industrial RFID tag supplier Xerafy has unveiled its Titanium Metal Skin, a small, thin on-metal RFID label that the company says it developed for very cost-sensitive asset-management applications. The Titanium Metal Skin label complies with the EPC Gen 2 and ISO 18000-6C standards for passive ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) tags, and measures 1.77 inches by 0.22 inch by 0.03 inch (45 millimeters by 5.6 millimeters by 0.8 millimeter). It is small and flexible enough for use on smart phones, tablet computers and other low-profile assets requiring accurate, secure identification, according to Xerafy, and is engineered to work well when applied to foil packaging, such as on pharmaceutical bottles or cosmetics. The Titanium Metal Skin is made with the Impinj Monza 5 chip, offering a serialized 48-bit tag ID and 128 bits of user memory, and can be printed with a bar code or human-readable text. Engineered for cost-effective asset tracking, inventory management, product authentication and other applications, the label provides a read range of up to 4 feet (1.2 meters) on metal and supports the U.S. and EU UHF frequency bands, Xerafy reports. The patent-pending Metal Skin technology employs materials and form factors enabling RFID tags to be applied to any type of metal assets, the company adds, and the labels typically cost approximately half the price of traditional on-metal tags.

Hong Kong RFID Announces Two Sensor Tags for Environmental Control, Hazard Prevention
Hong Kong RFID Ltd., an RFID hardware manufacturer, distributor and consultancy firm in Hong Kong and the South China Region, has added two active sensor tags—models Moist HKRAT-HT01 and Extreme HKRAT-PT02—to its Tempcorder 2.4 GHz active RFID tag family. The two new tags' added functionalities, design and flexibility for temperature monitoring makes them suitable for applications in environmental control and hazard prevention, according to the company. They can be used as monitoring and control devices for heating, ventilation and air-conditioning applications, greenhouses, warehouses, libraries, and railway stations, as well as for hazards prevention. Both the Moist Tag and Extreme Tag are suitable for applications in which the exact measurement of humidity and temperature is of decisive importance, according to Hong Kong RFID, yet for which the location is unreachable or dangerous for humans. The Moist Tag is specially designed to be equipped with an accurate humidity sensor of up to 1 percent resolution and wireless functionality, the company reports. It can measure humidity ranges from 0 to 100 percent, and transmit humidity data, along with the tag ID, to an active RFID reader. Those measurements can then be shared with a central server that provides accurate and timely data for strict environmental control and monitoring applications, the firm explains. The Extreme Tag is equipped with an external probe and can measure temperatures ranging from -200 degrees to +500 degrees Celsius (-328 degrees to +932 degrees Fahrenheit). The tag is designed so the probe can be placed in contact with objects that are extremely hot, while its body remains at another location that is of less extreme temperature, in order to better ensure accurate measurements and safety, the company reports. In addition, the tag can be set so that an alarm can be triggered as a warning in the event that the temperature at a particular location reaches an unusual level, so that immediate actions can be taken to prevent the occurrence of dangerous hazards.

Pennsylvania Medical Center Adds RFID for Parking Management
TagMaster North America (TagMaster NA) has announced that its RFID-enabled automatic vehicle identification (AVI) system was installed at the Lankenau Medical Center as part of a half-billion-dollar expansion on the campus in Wynnewood, Penn. The expansion included revamping laboratories, refurbishing the medical center, building a new pavilion and adding additional parking onsite. TagMaster NA has provided 20 TagMaster LR-6 Pro long-range RFID readers, which have been installed over 10 entry lanes and 10 exit lanes, thereby allowing for contract parkers to enter and exit the garages hands-free using the read-only 2.45 GHz RFID-tag S1255 MarkTag Classic RFID tags. The TagMaster system eliminates delays caused by congestion and reduces carbon emissions in parking garages, since drivers need not insert an access card or code, or lower the vehicle's window upon entry or exit, the company reports. According to TagMaster NA, the RFID technology was integrated with Scheidt & Bachmann's entervo.com2 parking-management system, with seven Pay Stations and automated express exit lanes for the reliable accounting of hourly parkers. The combined Scheidt & Bachmann and TagMaster solution was installed, TagMaster NA notes, to replace an outdated system previously used by the Lankenau Medical Center.

Smartrac Reaches One-Billion Milestone of Providing RFID Inlays, Prelams With Wire-embedding Technology
Smartrac, an RFID inlay supplier headquartered in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, has announced that it has produced and supplied more than one billion RFID inlays and Prelam products manufactured with its patented wire-embedding technology for contactless antennas. Smartrac's Composite Prelam products are composed of polyvinyl chloride (PVC), and are manufactured with the firm's wire-embedding technology. According to the company, the proprietary integrated shielding material allows the tag to function normally, even when mounted on mobile telephone batteries, metallic housings and other conductive materials. What's more, the company reports, card manufacturers and players in the high-security printing industry consider wire-embedding technology the de-facto standard for products that must fulfill high-quality, reliability and durability requirements. That, the company explains, is because the wire-embedding technology ensures a very reliable connection between the antenna and IC—even if bent—thus making it more durable. RFID inlays and Prelam products employing wire-embedding technology are employed for the production of high-security documents, such as e-passports, RFID-based national ID cards and permanent resident cards. Smartrac's wire-embedding products are also utilized in the contactless-payment industry, for automated fare collection, loyalty programs and multi-application cards. Wire-embedded technology is typically used for high-frequency (HF) passive tags, but can also be utilized for low-frequency (LF) passive tags. In contrast, coil-binding technologies are typically employed for LF antennas, while etching technologies are more often used in ultrahigh-frequency passive transponders, according to Smartrac. Printing technologies, the company adds—which are typically more expensive—are not ideal for ID or payment cards due to the cost.

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