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Alien Intros Wonder Dog Tag for Challenging Environments, SIT H4 for Small Items

The Wonder Dog operates well around metal and liquids, while the SIT H4 is tiny enough for jewelry and medicine. Both are made with the Higgs 4 chip.
By Claire Swedberg

The Wonder Dog's large antenna is also designed for low-power reader signals, such as those transmitted by handhelds. The tag is not intended to be applied directly to metal, but rather to glass or plastic materials that are found within the vicinity of that metal—for example, the plastic casing of an electronic device, or a vehicle's glass windshield or headlamp.

On the other end of the size spectrum, the SIT H4 measures 0.47 inch by 0.35 inch. It is the new version of the ALN-9613 tag, which was the same size but was constructed with the Higgs 3 (H3) IC rather than the Higgs 4. The newer ALN-9713 version includes all of the features that the Higgs 4 provides, such as optimized user memory, blast-write functionality for mass encoding, and improved read-write reliability. Companies already using the ALN-9613, as well as some new customers, are now trialing the new model.

The SIT H4 (ALN-9713)
Those companies include jewelry retailers, in addition to pharmaceutical and health-care companies (which apply the tags to liquid-medication containers, blister packs and small medical supplies, such as syringes). The tags are also being used on food packaging, loyalty cards and access-control badges. In addition, a beverage-dispensing company is utilizing the ALN-9613, and will trial the SIT H4 version, to track paper cups as they are placed in the dispenser to be filled with a liquid.

The Wonder Dog will be priced comparably to other general-purpose UHF tags, Mitchell says, making it an affordable option for those using the tag for highly challenging environments. The SIT H4's price will be comparable to—or slightly less than—that of its predecessor, the SIT H3.

Alien will demonstrate the new tags at next week's RFID Journal LIVE! conference and exhibition, taking place in Orlando, Fla., on Apr. 8-10. The tags will be on display at the company's booth (620).

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