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RFID News Roundup

U.K. hospital prescribes RFID to track medical records, supplies and more; Adesto introduces low-power, sterilization-tolerant memory for wearable electronics, RFID bio apps; Nestlé delivers recipes via contactless communication to shoppers at Woolworths; Radius Networks updates is RadBeacon USB proximity beacon; Xtreme RFID joins Reusable Packaging Association.
By Beth Bacheldor

Nestlé Delivers Recipes via Contactless Communication to Shoppers at Woolworths

Consumer packaged goods company Nestlé is using Near Field Communication (NFC) to deliver content to shoppers at Woolworths supermarkets, according to NFC technology provider Tapit. The solution is a collaboration between Tapit, Nestlé and TorchMedia, an Australian firm providing shopper medial solutions to retailers. The initiative is part of Nestlé's marketing campaign for Uncle Toby's Oats & Strawberries cereal, and includes NFC and QR codes deployed at 480 Woolworths supermarkets throughout Australia. The solution includes NFC RFID tags affixed to signage in aisles; shoppers simply tap their NFC-enabled phones on the signs to access recipe ideas from Woolworths' Fresh Magazine. Shoppers who NFC functionality can utilize QR readers on their phones, since the signage also includes QR codes for accessing the recipes.

"We are always looking for new and innovative ways to drive engagement with shoppers. Shelf conversion is a challenge for the Oats category, so we decided to amplify our Oats and Fresh strawberry campaign in Woolworths with a Tapit NFC enabled aisle fin," said Dean Carberry, the head of sales for Nestlé's Cereal Partners Worldwide (CPW) division, in a prepared statement. "The aisle fin will connect shoppers directly with Oat and Strawberry recipes, developed in partnership with Woolworths' Fresh Magazine, to help drive consumption occasions. We are excited about this technology which will enable us to make instant changes throughout the four week campaign."

According to Tapit, more than 50 organizations have deployed its contactless technology to engage with people. For example, the Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority (SHFA) is using Tapit technology to offer visitors an interactive tour via their NFC-enabled cell phones (see Sydney Serves RFID on the Rocks). In a prepared statement, Ben Wagner, Tapit's commercial director, said a big challenge for brands is influencing the sale in the last three feet. "Tapit can not only do this through delivering rich mobile experiences, but also by analyzing how people are interacting with the brand," he said. "Tapit's advanced analytics platform allows you to view each physical interaction as you might view an online campaign. That's quite a new and powerful proposition for brands." Following the Nestlé campaign, Tapit reports, TorchMedia and Tapit plan to deploy further contactless communication projects with brands throughout 2014.

Radius Networks Updates Its RadBeacon USB Proximity Beacon

Radius Networks, a provider of mobile-proximity services, has announced an update to its RadBeacon USB proximity beacon, which employs Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) technology to transmit a unique ID number to notify cell phones and other mobile devices when they come within 100 feet of the beacon. This micro-location proximity awareness can be leveraged to deliver a wide range of services, according to Radius Networks, such as precision indoor navigation, automatic ticketing, guided museum tours and location-relevant offers and promotions.

Radius Networks' RadBeacon USB proximity beacon
First unveiled in February 2014 (see RFID News Roundup: Radius Networks Announces USB-powered Bluetooth Beacon), the RadBeacon comes in the form of a USB dongle that can be powered by any available USB power source. It can be integrated with self-service kiosks, digital displays, point-of-sale terminals, fuel dispensers, vending machines and a host of other customer-facing systems, according to Radius Networks. The new RadBeacon USB supports simultaneous advertisements for Apple iBeacon, as well as for AltBeacon, a new specification authored by Radius Networks as an open, interoperable specification for proximity beacons.

Supporting AltBeacon in its RadBeacon USB device means Android devices can receive services via RadBeacon. Mobile devices with iOS can leverage services using iBeacon technology. The new AltBeacon specification is completely open and free for anybody to use on any platform, and defines the format of the advertisement message that proximity beacons broadcast.

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