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By Beth Bacheldor

Tagstand to Distribute TapTrack Bluetooth NFC Readers

NFC solutions specialist TapTrack has announced a partnership to distribute RFID readers and Near Field Communication (NFC) event solutions through Tagstand.com, a provider of NFC products and custom tags. Known as the TappyBLE, the reader communicates with an iPad or Android tablet via Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) technology. Suitable for cashless payments, gaming, medical devices, access control, and social-media activation, the TappyBLE is the first of a series of readers being developed at TapTrack, with Wi-Fi and GSM models on the way.

TapTrack's TappyBLE reader
Although NFC technology is becoming more popular in mobile devices, TapTrack notes, many tablets, particularly iPads, do not include the feature. Currently, the company explains, only USB and audio jack readers are available, and the development kits supplied require time and NFC expertise to work with. Moreover, Android tablets cannot be charged while an NFC reader is connected via USB, making it infeasible in any kiosk applications. The TappyBLE is designed to bring NFC capabilities to tablets that lack NFC as a factory feature.

According to TapTrack, the TappyBLE contains all of the NFC middleware required to easily add NFC tag reading and writing functionality to non-NFC devices. This includes automatic NDEF reading, parsing, and writing (the TappyBLE automatically converts any data to the NDEF format). Full encryption (3DES and AES), DESFire support, and smartcard authentication are also supported by the reader's firmware. The NFC middleware can reduce development time by months, and can be powered independently of the tablet, thereby freeing up the USB port for continuous charging, the company explains. The TappyBLE supports ISO 14443A, 14443B, 18092, and ECMA 340 peer-to-peer standards. It is available now, priced at $225.

"By providing a simple interface for everything from simple tag detection to NFC passport decoding, the TapTrack readers are ideal tools for those customers that don't want to develop a lot of NFC middleware from scratch," said Tim Wang, Tagstand's CEO, in a prepared statement.

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