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RFID News Roundup
Strategic Systems & Technology unveils package for quick-start RFID asset tracking; Kit Check chooses Safecor Health to apply tags to pharmacy kit medications for hospitals; GearID readies Bluetooth- and NFC-enabled GearTag for tracking personal items, pets and more; Birkeland Current launches active RFID technology to help people conserve electricity; Savi Technology to deliver nearly $7 million worth of active tags to the U.S. Marines.
Sep 05, 2013—
The following are news announcements made during the past week by the following organizations: Strategic Systems & Technology Corp.; Kit Check; Safecor Health; GearID; Birkeland Current; and Savi Technology.
Strategic Systems & Technology Unveils Package for Quick-Start RFID Asset Tracking
Kit Check Chooses Safecor Health to Apply Tags to Pharmacy Kit Medications for Hospitals
GearID Readies Bluetooth- and NFC-enabled GearTag for Tracking Personal Items, Pets and More
GearID has announced a battery-powered tag designed to help people track their belongings, such as wallets, purses and even pets or children. The startup has also announced that it has kicked off a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign to raise money to develop the tag. The GearTag is a small plastic tag containing a Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) radio capable of communicating with smartphones within a 100-meter (328-foot) range. BLE, a specification that is part of the Bluetooth 4.0 standard, allows for periodic rather than continuous data transfer, thereby prolonging a battery's lifespan since the tag often remains dormant. According to GearID, the GearTag coin-sized battery will last for approximately one year and can easily be replaced by a customer. The firm is also developing GearTag apps to run on BLE-equipped mobile devices, such as the latest Apple iPhones and iPads. The app is used to set up each GearTag and pair it to the mobile device, as well as record information regarding each tagged asset. That information can then reside on the device and/or be hosted by GearID in the cloud; if hosted in the cloud, the data can be accessed at any time via the native apps or on a Web browser. The app can be used to page particular tags in order to locate the items to which those tags have been affixed. If the GearTag is in range, it will answer the page by chirping. Similarly, the tag can be used to page and locate the mobile device to which it is paired. Once a GearTag has been paired using the GearTag app, alerts can be set to trigger in the event that a GearTag is moved out of range of the mobile device. For example, if a tag moves out of range of its paired smartphone, an alert will set off an alarm on the GearTag. A 'Marco' feature can ascertain the approximate distance between the mobile device and the tag; as the mobile device moves closer, the feature displays whether the device is getting closer to (hotter) or further from (colder) the tag. According to GearID, if a tagged item is lost and out of range, that tag could be located by the greater community of GearTags. If another user is in the vicinity, the company reports, the lost tag will broadcast its identity to the user's smartphone, which will then report the location to the GearTag servers. Each tag also carries a unique passive Near Field Communication (NFC) RFID inlay and QR code that can be scanned via a smartphone bar-code scanner app. If someone finds and scans a tagged item, GearID explains, his or her Web browser is directed to the GearTag Web site, where that person is provided with instructions indicating how to return the item to its owner while preserving the privacy of both parties. The GearTag is now available for pre-order through Kickstarter; one GearTag is available for a pledge of $30, and two are available for $50. An early-bird special of a $20 per GearTag has already sold out. GearID says it expects to deliver the GearTags by year's end. The GearTag is not the first such Bluetooth tag on the market. Reveal Labs is developing the Tile, while Sticknfind Technologies already offers its sticker tag (see Who Says RFID Tags Pose a Privacy Risk or Are Too Costly?).
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