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RFID News Roundup

NXP, Alioth partner on SmartMX2 smart cards; Adlink announces new RFID-enabled industrial mobile handheld computer; Arjowiggins Creative Papers showcases new paper substrate for printed RFID and other electronic components; Laird Technologies launches low-energy Bluetooth smart modules for medical and other devices; Bayer HealthCare awards employee evacuation project to Radiant RFID; Excelsior Metal Products unveils RFID-enabled Refrigerated Electronic Locker System.
By Beth Bacheldor

Laird Technologies Launches Low-Energy Bluetooth Smart Modules for Medical and Other Devices
Laird Technologies, which manufactures RFID reader antennas and provides components and solutions that protect electronic devices from electromagnetic interference and heat, has announced its Bluetooth Smart family of modules, each the size of a dime, designed for use with a broad range of devices, including in-home medical devices, battery-powered sensors, data-collection devices, and health and fitness equipment and applications. Every BL600 Series module will greatly simplify the process of adding single-mode Bluetooth Smart to any small, portable, power-conscious device, according to Laird Technologies, which reports that medical devices that send small amounts of data wirelessly will be able to run for months or even years on a coin cell battery when they use the new Bluetooth Smart modules. The new BL600 modules come bundled with smartBASIC, an event-driven programming language that simplifies BLE module integration. Even those with little software or Bluetooth expertise can develop fully functional applications in just days, the company reports. A simple smartBASIC application encapsulates the complete end-to-end process of reading, writing and processing sensor data, and then using BLE to transfer it to any Bluetooth v4.0 device—smartphone, tablet, gateway or computer. There is already a BL600 App available at the iTunes/Apple Store. The BL600 app contains some of the applications that can be made for Bluetooth Smart devices built around the BL600 module series. This app includes a heart-rate monitor, a proximity sensor and a temperature sensor, and is fully compatible with other Bluetooth Smart Ready devices that utilize these profiles. BL600 applications, along with a complete BLE stack, reside on the module itself, and do not require an external microcontroller or memory. Based on the Nordic Semiconductor nRF51822 system-on-a-chip (SoC), BL600 modules provide low power consumption with a long wireless range, according to Laird Technologies. The modules support a variety of ultra-low power-saving modes to achieve as little as 1000 nanoamperes (1000 nA, or 1uA) of power consumption in deep sleep mode, and 10.5 mA when transmitting data at 0 dBm. A coin-cell battery supplies sufficient power for the module for months or years of data transmissions to a smartphone or other gateway, the company indicates. A low-cost developer's kit, including simple software tools, is now available, as are mass-production BL600 modules and development kits.

Bayer HealthCare Awards Employee Evacuation Project to Radiant RFID
Bayer HealthCare has announced that it has selected Radiant RFID's Mustering Solution to enhance safety and security for more than 2,500 employees, visitors and contractors at its Hanover, N.J. facility. The mustering solution, according to Radiant RFID, leverages ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) Gen 2 RFID technology, as well as Radiant software, to deliver accurate, real-time reporting of employees' and guests' locations during an evacuation, without requiring badge swipes or manual checklists. In the event of an emergency, evacuation managers can more quickly discover who is missing from assembly areas and deliver real-time, "last-seen" personnel data to first responders. The Employee Mustering Solution is built on the company's flagship All Hazard Response Network, an RFID-based disaster-management system that, according to Radiant RFID, has successfully aided the statewide evacuation and reunification of more than 45,000 evacuees with their loved ones since 2005. For the Bayer Healthcare project, Radiant will enable Bayer's existing proximity-based access system with RFID via new UHF-HF integrated identification badges, a proprietary iOS mobile mustering application, fixed Motorola RFID readers at key ingress and egress points, and Motorola handheld readers for mobile mustering. Data culled from the RFID systems is combined with out-of-office status, in order to determine who is missing in the event of an evacuation or emergency. The project is taking place in conjunction with Bayer's facilities upgrade.

Excelsior Metal Products Unveils RFID-enabled Refrigerated Electronic Locker System
Excelsior Metal Products, an electronic locker manufacturer based in Manalapan, N.J., has announced a new Refrigerated Electronic Locker System that offers a choice of access methods, including radio frequency identification. According to Howie Blum, Excelsior Metal Products' VP, the Refrigerated Locker System is suitable for applications in health care and pharmaceuticals, for which medicines and other items require cold storage and safe, secure storage environments. Each locker system is custom-built, Blum says, and can support the type of RFID card and access technology required by a particular customer. The Refrigerated Electronic Locker system is similar to the company's other electronic locker systems (which also support a variety of access methods, including RFID), but include refrigeration units and seals on each door to maintain the temperature within. The firm's electronic locker systems come in a variety of sizes and styles. Are all welded and feature 16-gauge reinforced doors, 18-gauge body parts, rust treatment prior to painting, a baked powder coat finish, a back-up battery and alarm that sounds after six hours on backup, an automatic lock that activates in the event that the locker is tampered with, mechanical and electronic management overrides, thermal detectors, LCD screens, Internet and network access, and a management system to maintain the lockers.

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