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RFID News Roundup

HID Global intros Seal Tag with integrated cable tie, settles patent lawsuits; InSync releases iApp Cobalt Platform for Internet of Things and RFID applications; Farsens unveils the Pyros, a battery-free RFID thermistor-based temperature sensor tag; Nomi puts its beacons in Easter eggs for high-tech hunt to raise money for charity; CNRFID, Convergent Software team up to develop RFID privacy impact assessment software; Agilent Technologies announces NFC Forum approval for analog test system; Beaconic's beacon technology gets Apple's iBeacon Mark.
By Beth Bacheldor
Apr 03, 2014

The following are news announcements made during the past week by the following organizations:HID Global; InSync Software; Farsens; Nomi; CNRFID, Convergent Software; Agilent Technologies; and Beaconic.

HID Global Intros Seal Tag With Integrated Cable Tie, Settles Patent Lawsuits

HID's Seal Tag
HID Global's Identification Technologies division has introduced the Seal Tag, composed of an HID SlimFlex ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) RFID transponder integrated with a tamper-evident cable tie. The Seal Tag is designed for sealing industrial containers, such as bags, bins or boxes, to prevent unauthorized access to contents while in storage or during distribution. Access to a sealed container's contents requires severing the cable tie or breaching the container itself, either of which will provide clear evidence of tampering, the company explains. The transponders are compliant with EPCglobal certified UHF Class 1 Gen 2 readers and modules, feature Alien Technology's Higgs 3 chips, and have 2-bit user memory and an operating frequency of 860 to 960 MHz for worldwide operations. Containers sealed with SlimFlex Seal Tags can be can be identified from up to 26 feet (8 meters) away using a handheld reader, according to HID Global, and entire loads of sealed containers can be interrogated as trucks pass through stationary reader gates. Anti-collision technology in the UHF SlimFlex Seal Tags enables fast inventory-taking and -tracking during distribution and receiving, which HID Global says results in faster, more accurate accounting for regulatory reporting or stock planning. The SlimFlex tags, which HID introduced in 2011 (see HID Global Adds Flexible Broadband UHF Tag to Portfolio), are waterproof (with an IP 68 rating) and food-compatible, and can withstand repeated bending or torsion and rugged outdoor use, providing high resistance to aggressive liquids and ultraviolet (UV) rays, and delivering reliable performance and reading stability at high and sub-freezing temperatures, according to HID Global. The Seal Tag, available now, integrates a nylon cable tie measuring 14.96 inches by 0.25 inch by 0.08 inch (380 millimeters by 6.4 millimeters by 2.15 millimeters) to a SlimFlex tag measuring 3.34 inches by 0.98 inch by 0.12 in (85 millimeters by 25 millimeters by 3 millimeters). HID Global has also announced that it has settled patent-infringement lawsuits against Apollo Security, Applied Wireless IDentifications Group (AWID) and Secura Key. The lawsuits included HID Global's multi-technology reader patents. "We are pleased that the lawsuits filed by HID Global and Assa Abloy were amicably settled and, furthermore, that AWID and Secura Key have agreed to license our multi-technology IP applicable to their product lines," said Dr. Tam Hulusi, HID Global's senior VP of strategic innovation and intellectual property, in a prepared statement. Terms of the agreements are confidential, HID Global reports.

InSync Releases iApp Cobalt Platform for Internet of Things and RFID Applications
RFID software and sensor-driven applications provider InSync Software has announced the availability of its iApp application platform, Cobalt Release 5. The iApp platform is an application platform for RFID-, GPS-, Internet of Things (IoT)- and sensor-driven asset-tracking and -management applications, and is designed to help businesses locate and track mission-critical assets in the field, improve safety and traceability within the U.S. food supply, and maintain efficiency in construction and manufacturing. InSync will demonstrate the iApp Cobalt platform at next week's RFID Journal LIVE! conference and exhibition, being held in Orlando, Fla., on Apr. 8-10, at the company's booth (704). Central to the new iApp Cobalt release is the introduction of two modules: Vista, a customizable dashboard and report-builder, and ActionView, a drag-and-drop form builder that can also subscribe to real-world events generated by any RFID or IoT device. With Vista, users can create one or more data sources from any data stored in the iApp repository. After configuring the data sources, users can build single- or multi-panel user interfaces with just a few clicks, and make these accessible in the iApp application. iApp Vista supports the creation of smart grids, charts, graphs and images, all in a single canvas. According to InSync users can now configure an RFID device, collect the data and immediately visualize that information through a set of dashboards and reports. ActionView lets a user set up custom fields relevant to a customer's specific business process, in order to manage and make sense of the RFID and sensor information. Each field can be configured to process sensor data, making RFID and sensor information meaningful for the application, the company reports. The new Cobalt release of the iApp platform also features an assortment of added and enhanced functionalities around building enterprise IoT applications and accessing iApp services from any mobile device, the company notes. For example, iApp Cobalt now provides native support for building HTML5 applications. Using the HTML5 user interface (UI) widgets, the company explains, partners and customers can build cross-browser applications that can be accessed from mobile devices like Apple iPads and iPhones, as well as Android devices, Microsoft Windows surface and others.

Farsens Unveils the Pyros, a Battery-Free RFID Thermistor-based Temperature Sensor Tag

Farsens' Pyros tag
Farsens, a Spanish developer of RFID sensors, has unveiled the Pyros-TGT2-DWB, a battery-free RFID sensor tag designed to capture temperatures. The Pyros tag can be embedded in a variety of materials, such as plastics or concrete. Because the tag does not require wiring or batteries, Farsens reports, it is suitable for such applications as monitoring rotary parts (for example, tracking rotor temperatures in engines) or monitoring assets in the railway and automotive industry (tracking temperature variations of key assets while in operation, for instance). The tag can transmit its unique identifier and the associated temperature measurement data to a commercial EPC Class 1 Gen 2-compliant reader without the need of a battery on the sensor tag. The RFID tag is wired to an external thermistor provided by Semitec—the 103GT-2 NTC—for a measurement range from -10 degrees to +120 degrees Celsius (14 degrees to 248 degrees Fahrenheit), with an accuracy of ±0.5 degrees. It also offers an extended temperature range from -30 degrees to +300 degrees Celsius (-22 degrees to +572 degrees Fahrenheit), with an accuracy of ±3 degrees. The thermistor is a touch temperature sensor that detects temperatures only for material in physical contact with the sensor, rather than ambient temperature, which allows for a wider temperature range (see Spanish Startup Focuses on Passive RFID Sensors for Manufacturing and Other Industries). The thermistor is connected to the RFID tag via insulated wires. The operating temperature for the RFID tag itself is -30 degrees to +85 degrees Celsius (-22 degrees to +185 degrees Fahrenheit). The tag comes in a variety of antenna designs and sizes to adapt the performance to the required application in the 860 to 960 MHz band, Farsens reports. The reading distance is around 1.5 meters (5 feet), and it can be encapsulated in an IP67 or IP68 casing for use in harsh environments. Evaluation kits are available. The Pyros tag is one the 10 finalists in the Best in Show category of this year's RFID Journal Awards. Farsens will showcase the tag at next week's RFID Journal LIVE! conference and exhibition, being held in Orlando, Fla., on Apr. 8-10, at the company's booth (222).

Nomi Puts Its Beacons in Easter Eggs for High-Tech Hunt to Raise Money for Charity

Big Egg Hunt app
This month, anyone wandering around New York City and armed with a smartphone can take part in a citywide Easter egg hunt for charity. A total of 275 uniquely decorated eggs—each measuring around 2.5 feet tall and containing a discretely embedded Bluetooth beacon supplied by startup Nomi—have been designed by a globally renowned artist, designer, architect, photographer or brand. The charitable egg hunt is sponsored by luxury jewelry company Fabergé, and was conceived by conservation organization The Elephant Family and its ad agency, Saatchi and Saatchi. Participants in the hunt can download the Big Egg Hunt app, available at iTunes and Google Play, which has been integrated with Nomi's software-development kit (SDK) that powers the proximity technology, according to Schuyler Brown, Nomi's VP of marketing. The Big Egg Hunt app is used to "check in" at the location of each egg found. Nomi's beacons, which the company manufactures itself, send out alerts whenever a smartphone equipped with the app approaches. According to Brown, even before the participant actually finds an egg but comes within range, the beacon can communicate with the app, which automatically triggers clues to help the user locate the specific egg (the beacons send out signals every few seconds that the app can recognize). Upon discovering the egg, the participant can check in and then receive information about that egg and who designed it. Additionally, by checking in, participants are entered into a sweepstakes to win one of three Fabergé gemstone pendants. The hunt is designed to raise money for The Elephant Family, as well as for Studio in a School, a program that brings visual arts to New York City's public schools. Proceeds from Big Egg Hunt merchandise—available at Saks Fifth Avenue, TheBigEggHunt.org and various pop-up stores throughout the city—will benefit The Elephant Family and Studio in a School. Then, following an open-to-the-public finale exhibition at Rockefeller Center, taking place on Apr. 18-25, several of the eggs will be auctioned off live at Sotheby's, and online on Paddle8, in order to raise additional funds for both charities.

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