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RFID News Roundup

Jamison RFID introduces NeWave antenna portals; Smartrac announces plans for tags made with Impinj Monza R6 chip, partnership with Hanmi IT; Zebra names Working Bikes as winner of 'Imagine More' social-media contest; Xtreme RFID unveils Ideate Service for custom tag development; Infinx Services offers anti-counterfeiting and product-validation solution.
By Beth Bacheldor
Apr 17, 2014

The following are news announcements made during the past week by the following organizations: Jamison RFID, NeWave; Smartrac, Impinj, Hanmi IT; Zebra Technologies, American Barcode and RFID Inc.; Xtreme RFID; and Infinx Services.

Jamison RFID Introduces NeWave Antenna Portals
Jamison RFID, a manufacturer and integrator of rugged, purpose-built RFID portals and communications enclosures, has announced its new series of NeWave Antenna RFID Portals. The portals have been developed and created by the Jamison Engineering Group in cooperation with NeWave Sensor Solutions. The Jamison RFID NeWave Thin Portal is an ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) portal designed to read EPC Gen 2 RFID tags. It features an Intermec by Honeywell IF2 fixed RFID reader running on Power over Ethernet (PoE). The IF2 is integrated with two NeWave antennas that Jamison RFID says creates a powerful and unique RFID field of view. Unlike a patch antenna that radiates a single beam in a given direction, NeWave's antennas are designed to uniformly illuminate a volume of space (see NeWave Sensor Solutions Unveils Smart Shelf to Track High-Volume, Fast-Moving Consumer Goods). In a prepared statement, Anthony Dublino, Jamison RFID's director of commercial business, said that "by integrating the unique performance capabilities of NeWave antennas into our entire line of RFID portals, Jamison will be able to expand the variety of performance options we offer to our clients. This means providing our clients with the right RFID portal solution to meet their specific application requirements."

Smartrac Announces Plans for Tags Made With Impinj Monza R6 Chip, Partnership With Hanmi IT
Smartrac has announced its plans to develop and market a range of ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) RFID tags based on Impinj's Monza R6 tag chip. The Monza R6, unveiled on Apr. 3 (see New Impinj Chip Promises Higher Sensitivity, Read Range and Flexibility), is designed to make tags more sensitive than those employing other chip models, with a longer read range and new features aimed at increasing the yield of properly functioning tags during manufacturing and encoding processes. The new chip can be encoded at a rate of 32 bits per 1.6 milliseconds (32 bits is the most common length of data chunks used when encoding with the EPC Gen 2 Blockwrite command). Last week, Smartrac demonstrated a 40-millimeter-by-20-millimeter retail apparel tag for worldwide operation based on the Monza R6 chip at the RFID Journal LIVE! 2014 conference and exhibition, held in Orlando, Fla. Smartrac's new tags are being designed to take advantage of the performance and AutoTune technology included in Monza R6. AutoTune technology allows a tag to tune its antenna automatically, according to its environment. By being able to compensate for materials with different dielectrics, such as jeans and shirts, in the same tag using the AutoTune technology, Smartrac explains, its tags will deliver reliably high performance while simplifying RFID tagging for retailers and retail brand owners. Using the Monza R6's Integra feature, Smartrac plans to deliver quality-control data captured via its Smart Cosmos platform—a platform that Smartrac is developing to enable systems integrators, developers and consumers to connect physical objects with cloud-based descriptions that can be used to identify, authenticate and verify products, track assets and deliver consumer apps. The Integra technology enables encoders and users to identify a chip experiencing functionality problems that could lead to future inoperability. Smartrac expects tags made with the Monza R6 chip will be available in volume production quantities during the third quarter of this year. The company has also announced that it has partnered with Hanmi IT, a division of Korean pharmaceutical maker Hanmi Pharmaceutical Co., to jointly develop and market RFID tags and inlays for pharmaceutical and medical businesses throughout the world. The partnership will kick off with the Korean government's narcotics-monitoring project, in which customized RFID inlays will be used to track small vials and ampoules. Hanmi Pharmaceutical has been using RFID since 2010, and in August 2014, Hanmi IT announced the launch of multiple pilots of its Keidas RFID software, a platform that it originally developed for use in-house. The pilots included two Korean government programs—the narcotics-monitoring project and one other—that have been testing the technology throughout the supply chain to harness RFID-based visibility to prevent the theft or counterfeiting of narcotic drugs (see Hanmi IT Markets Item-Level RFID Tracking Software, New Readers).

Zebra Names Working Bikes as Winner of 'Imagine More' Social-Media Contest

Working Bikes ships bicycles to impoverished communities.
Zebra Technologies has announced the winner in its Imagine More social-media contest: Working Bikes, a Chicago-based nonprofit that rescues discarded bicycles and gives them new life by redistributing them. Launched in late 2013, the "Imagine More" contest challenged the public to submit ideas on how RFID technology could be positively used to solve anything from a simple household problem to a global social issue (see Can RFID Change the World?). Zebra received more than 45 submissions from around the world. Working Bikes submitted an idea to employ radio frequency identification to better track and manage the organization's donated bikes that are refurbished and distributed in countries throughout Latin America and Africa to help mobilize impoverished communities. Zebra, in partnership with systems integrator American Barcode and RFID Inc. (AB&R), will now bring the solution to life. "Working Bikes has been 'imagining more' for 15 years through our approach to empowering communities, so we jumped at the chance to improve our technological efficiencies which will better enable us to achieve our mission," said Jim Lindsey, a member of Working Bikes' board of directors, in a prepared statement. "We could not be more excited to be selected as Zebra's 'Imagine More' grand prize winner and transform how we run our organization and better serve those in need by applying innovative RFID technologies." The organization's warehouse has thousands of bikes in it at any given time. According to Zebra, Working Bikes seeks to improve the tracking and management of its inventory throughout the process from donation to repair, which is what prompted its participation in the contest. A panel of six judges, consisting of Zebra RFID experts and external RFID professionals, selected Working Bikes as the grand-prize winner based on its submission's creativity, global reach, positive impact and RFID relevance. Zebra, AB&R and Working Bikes have already begun to collaborate and determine the most fitting RFID solution to meet Working Bikes' operational needs, and will be dedicating time and resources to building the solution throughout this year, Zebra reports. The company expects to document the process and share the experience with the public via its corporate social-media channels.

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