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RFID News Roundup

Janam intros new lightweight mobile tablet with embedded RFID ••• Farsens offers battery-free humidity-temperature sensor tag ••• Harting RFID-tags housings for heavy-duty connectors ••• IDTronic unveils single-use RFID wristband ••• Trimble adds greater functionality to ThingMagic Mercury xPRESS sensor hub ••• Ams announces development kit for AS3911 NFC reader chip.
By Beth Bacheldor

IDTronic Unveils Single-Use RFID Wristband

IDtronic's RFID Wristband Soft
IDTronic, an RFID hardware provider based in Germany, has unveiled the RFID Single Use Wristband Soft, an RFID-enabled wristband designed for use in access-control applications at events, health clubs, recreational parks, hotels and fitness areas. The wristband is a woven band made out of soft PVC that protects the RFID chip. It features a specially designed closure that allows a wearer to adjust the wristband's fit. It is available in blue, red, black, yellow or green, and can be personalized via offset or silkscreen printing to add logos or other information onto the band via laser numbering. The waterproof wristband is designed to operate within temperatures ranging from -10 degrees to +50 degrees Celsius (+14 degrees to +122 degrees Fahrenheit), according to IDTronic.

Like IDTronic's other RFID wristbands—Rubber, Smooth and Tag, and the newer Silicon Fit (see RFID News Roundup: IDTronic Adds New Soft, Flexible RFID Wristband to Lineup)—the new single-use band is available with all standard ICs, including low-frequency (LF) 125 kHz chips, such as EM Microelectronic's 4200 and 4550, Atmel's Temic 5567, and NXP Semiconductors' Hitag, as well as high-frequency (HF) 13.56 MHz chips from NXP (the Mifare Ultralight, Mifare Classic, Mifare DESfire EV1, I-Code SLI and I-Code SLI-S models), Legic's MIM256 and MIM1024, and Texas Instruments' Tag-It HFI Plus. Other types of passive ICs, including ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) versions, are available upon request.

Trimble Adds Greater Functionality to ThingMagic Mercury xPRESS Sensor Hub

Trimble has added new network interfaces to its ThingMagic Mercury xPRESS Sensor Hub, an extensible development platform with reference design files and pre-defined, use-case-specific work flows designed to help customers create finished reader products. The sensor hub enables a single unified software interface, allowing developers to leverage diverse sensor data, and acts as a nucleus for a range of transport interfaces and communication plug-ins in a single platform. The Mercury xPRESS now supports Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) and Wi-Fi network interfaces, as well as GPS.

ThingMagic's Mercury xPress Platform
The Mercury xPRESS Sensor Hub is designed to enable companies to build the finished product for their specific use case efficiently and effectively. The sensor hub combines a microcontroller-based motherboard with ThingMagic's Mercury6e Series of RFID modules and an integrated software-development environment built on ThingMagic's Mercury C API. According to Trimble, the platform enables developers to bring up a fully functional RFID reader within minutes, and testing and proof-of-concept using sample applications from the software library can begin almost immediately. Reference design files allow developers to select the elements necessary for their particular solution, the company reports, and to advance rapidly to application-specific end-product design and development. The Mercury xPRESS Sensor Hub has been screened for regulatory compliance, reducing the cost and time required to secure end-product certifications.

Cygnus Information Technology Co., Ltd. has used the hub to develop a finished reader using its own interface board, according to Trimble. Jun-Mok Yang, the manager of Cygnus' overseas sales and marketing division, said in a prepared statement that "within a few months our reader was ready for the market and we were able to offer it at a competitive price. This quicker time-to-market allowed us to develop a reader that worked for our customers but was not limited in scope and function by other commercially-available finished readers that are at a higher price point. It was only by using xPRESS that we were able to provide a lower cost solution within a shorter timeframe." The Mercury xPRESS Sensor Hub is available now.

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