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RFID News Roundup

Farsens unveils battery-free RFID moisture-sensing tag; TSL adds wrist-mount and holster accessory options for its 1128 UHF RFID reader; NXP brings NFC badges to 2014 International CES; Knapp speeds up fulfillment process for Klingel's warehouse and Next Group's DC; Comprion launches robot solution for automated NFC testing.
By Paul Prince
Dec 19, 2013

The following are news announcements made during the past week by the following organizations: Farsens; Technology Solutions UK Ltd.; NXP Semiconductors; Knapp's Dürkopp Fördertechnik division; and Comprion.

Farsens Unveils Battery-Free RFID Moisture-Sensing Tag

Farsens' Hydro tag
Farsens, a Spanish developer of RFID sensors, has announced the new Hydro, a battery-free wireless sensor tag designed to monitor the humidity levels of soil or other materials. Intended applications include irrigation automation (activating irrigation only in the areas requiring such activity) or the detection of liquids in areas or items that should be completely dry. Compatible with commercial readers compliant with the EPC Gen 2 standard, the Hydro supports a 96-bit Electronic Product Code (EPC) number, a 32-bit tag identifier (TID) and a password-protected kill command, and offers a read range up to 1.5 meters (5 feet). The tag comes in the form of a printed circuit board (PCB), and is available in a variety of antenna design and sizes, depending on the specific application. Available models include the DWB, a wideband ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) RFID tag built on T-shaped PCB with overall dimensions of 43 millimeters by 134.8 millimeters (1.7 inches by 5.3 inches) and a UHF dipole antenna, and the M868, an 868 MHz UHF RFID tag with a rectangular PCB measuring 40.8 millimeters by 81.8 millimeters (1.6 inches by 3.2 inches) and featuring a meandered dipole antenna. The Hydro's external moisture sensor board, which attaches to the tag's PCB via a wire cable, has resistance values ranging between 200 ohms and 30 megaohms, depending on the moisture level.

TSL Adds Wrist-Mount and Holster Accessory Options for Its 1128 UHF RFID Reader

TSL 1128 Bluetooth UHF RFID reader in belt holster
Technology Solutions UK Ltd. (TSL) has introduced two accessories—a wrist-mount adapter for attaching a Motorola Solutions MC40 terminal to Motorola's WT4000 wrist mount, and a belt holster for its 1128 Bluetooth UHF RFID reader—to better facilitate the fast, accurate and cost-effective tracking of products, assets and data in such applications as retail, logistics, warehousing and distribution. Data can be captured and transmitted completely hands-free, via automatic RFID scanning. The 1128 reader, released in May (see RFID News Roundup: Technology Solution (UK) Ltd. Announces Bluetooth Handheld UHF RFID Reader), is designed to communicate wirelessly with a variety of Bluetooth-enabled mobile devices, including Motorola's MC40 handheld computer, as well as smartphones, touchscreen MP3 players, tablets and PCs. The Wrist Mount Adapter (WRIST-ADAPT-MC40) provides a means of securing an MC40 handheld computer to Motorola's wrist mount for its WT4000 wearable terminal. The Belt Holster (1128-HOLST-01-TRG) snugly holds the 1128 reader's trigger handle. By using TSL's new adapter to mount the MC40 terminal onto a wrist and by carrying the 1128 reader in the belt holster, TSL reports, a worker can capture and transmit RFID data completely hands-free.

NXP Brings NFC-Enabled Badges to 2014 International CES
RFID chip manufacturer NXP Semiconductors has announced that it will power the technology behind the Near Field Communication (NFC)-enabled show badges used at the International CES event, to be held on Jan. 7-10, in Las Vegas. The 2014 CES badges will employ Mifare DESFire EV1 RFID chips. By simply tapping their show badges to NFC-enabled smartphones, attendees can quickly exchange business credentials and retrieve specific product information from NFC-enabled devices or posters displayed by various exhibitors. Smartrac, an RFID and NFC tag developer, will provide the Mifare-based RFID inlays that will be embedded in attendees' badges. CES is owned and produced by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), the technology trade association representing the $203 billion U.S. consumer electronics industry. The event offers business leaders and pioneering thinkers a forum at which the relevant issues can be addressed. According to CEA, the annual event showcases more than 3,200 exhibitors, including manufacturers, developers and suppliers of consumer technology hardware, content, technology delivery systems and more; a conference program with more than 300 sessions; and more than 152,000 attendees from more than 150 countries. NXP offers a wide range of Mifare contactless IC products, and reports that it has sold 50 million reader and 5 billion card components to date. The semiconductor company co-invented NFC technology in 2002, while still part of Royal Philips Electronics, and now provides NFC controllers, secure elements in all form factors, NFC tags and reader ICs to customers worldwide. Currently, NXP says, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) have selected its NFC technology for approximately 200 mobile devices. CES is not the first event to adopt NFC RFID badges. For this year's New York Comic Con (NYCC), a pop-culture and comic-book convention held in October, the event's organizer, ReedPOP, made the switch from paper tickets to the RFID badges in order to thwart the use of counterfeit tickets, and to better monitor and control traffic (see RFID News Roundup: New York Comic Con Adopts RFID to Control Counterfeiting).

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