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RFID News Roundup

CenTrak launches single-use patient-tracking tag, TeleTracking upgrades its RTLS; Jamison RFID partners with Quest Solution for supply chain solutions; Abracon introduces Near Field Communication reader antennas; orthopedic implant company Stryker rolls out SATO's PJM RFID solutions across Europe; Smart-TEC announces key cap to enable NFC in car keys for new Mini; TSL intros Web-based app for its Bluetooth-enabled UHF RFID reader.
By Beth Bacheldor

Orthopedic Implant Company Stryker Rolls Out SATO's PJM RFID Solutions Across Europe
Bar-code printing, labeling and RFID solutions provider SATO and the Altrax Group, a provider of traceability solutions for the health-care environment, have announced that Stryker Europe has adopted its Phase Jitter Modulation (PJM) RFID solutions in six European countries. Prior to the Europe deployment, Stryker, a manufacturer of orthopedic implants, medical devices and equipment, adopted PJM RFID solutions in the region of Australia (where six out of the world's top seven orthopedic implant manufacturers, including Stryker, utilize PJM RFID technology, according to Kaz Matsuyama, SATO's president and CEO), New Zealand, the island of New Guinea, and neighboring islands in the Pacific Ocean. Now, Stryker Europe is rolling out the same PJM RFID solutions to its main distribution centers in the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Spain, Belgium and Italy. However, Stryker's North American orthopedics division is using more than 600,000 ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) passive non-SATO RFID tags to track its orthopedic implantable products at its 38 branches and three national loaner centers (see How Stryker Manages Inventory at Its Branch Offices Using RFID). SATO, which has been providing a range of RFID solutions to the global market for more than a decade, acquired the health-care business of Magellan Technology Pty Ltd in late 2013 (see SATO Acquires Magellan Technology). "Stryker Europe will be enjoying better localized support from our valued partner Altrax Group and SATO group member companies in all six countries," Matsuyama said in prepared statement. Altrax Group had been Magellan Technology's solution partner in the United Kingdom prior to the acquisition by SATO, and is also SATO's solution partner, providing its traceability systems incorporating SATO's bar-code printers.

Smart-TEC Announces Key Cap to Enable NFC in Car Keys for New Mini

NFC-enabled key cap
Tag manufacturer smart-TEC has announced a new Near Field Communication (NFC) key cap designed specifically for the Mini F56, a new model of the Mini car due on the market this month. The interchangeable key cap is available in various designs, and features a built-in NFC transponder from smart-TEC that can store a range of functions for NFC-enabled mobile devices. One side of the key cap, marked by a slight elevation, contains an RFID tag made with NXP Semiconductors' NTAG203 RFID chip, which is programmed with various actions and activities via free applications available from the app stores of the Android, Windows Phone and BlackBerry operating systems. Potential applications, according to smart-TEC, include enabling a driver to automatically activate a Bluetooth connection between his or her smartphone and the car's system, in order to allow incoming phone text messages to be read out loud, or to enable the navigation app on the phone.

TSL Intros Web-Based App for Its Bluetooth-Enabled UHF RFID Reader

TSL Web Wedge
Technology Solutions (TSL), a U.K. developer of RFID devices and mobile data-capture solutions, has introduced the RFID Web Wedge, a new plug-and-play software application for mobile phones and tables, designed to work in conjunction with its 1128 Bluetooth ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) RFID reader. The 1128 reader is designed for asset tracking in a wide range of industries, including retail, logistics, life sciences, chemicals, oil and gas, construction, IT, automotive manufacturing, military, transportation monitoring, and personnel access control. The RFID Web Wedge application is designed to enable quick and easy data collection from TSL's Bluetooth-compatible RFID reader, using a standard Internet browser installed on the phone or tablet. The new app is currently available for the Apple iOS operating system, with a version for the Android operating system due out in the next few weeks. Data scanned using TSL's 1128 Bluetooth UHF RFID Reader is automatically captured and populated in text input fields on any Web-based form. The RFID Web Wedge features a single Shot mode that captures data from individual tags to populate onscreen fields; a continuous Scan mode that inventories large tag populations, inserting tag data with a single tap; reader antenna power that can be optimized for high-density tag field scanning or single tag input; the ability to capture tag IDs, a user-defined block of tag data, or both; and the ability to convert incoming data into ASCII text format for custom tag encodings. "The RFID Web Wedge app is the perfect solution for customers who prefer to use their Internet browser instead of developing a custom software program to collect and analyze data," said Dr. David Evans, TSL's managing director, in a prepared statement. "Our new app enables users to get up and running right away to immediately benefit from the power and flexibility of TSL's 1128 Bluetooth UHF RFID Reader." The RFID Web Wedge is one of a series of apps built around TSL's ASCII 2 protocol that, according to the company, allows a practical set of pre-configured commands to be executed locally within an RFID reader. The app is available for free download from iTunes.

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