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Identiv Offers NFC RFID Temperature-Tracking Solution

The system—consisting of the disposable uTrust Sense Temperature Tracker tag and an app for Android smartphones and tablets—is designed to serve as a low-cost data-logger.
By Claire Swedberg
Jun 03, 2015

Identiv has released an Android app that works in conjunction with the company's uTrust Sense Near Field Communication (NFC) temperature-sensing RFID tag. The uTrust Sense app, which became available this week at the Google Play website, can be used to activate and configure Identiv's uTrust Sense Temperature Tracker, and to read its recorded temperature readings. The battery-assisted passive sensor tag and the app are aimed at making the collection of temperature history as simple as using an Android smartphone or tablet.

Traditionally, tracking the conditions to which perishable food items are exposed as they travel from the field, factory or farm to the store involves a wired or battery-powered data logger that is accessed only when those products reaches their ultimate destination. Such a data logger, however, can be expensive, and will not automatically transmit data to a server when interrogated.

Identiv's uTrust Sense app, installed on an Android device, can be used to access the uTrust Sense Temperature Tracker tags' temperature readings.
Identiv feels that it has crossed a cost barrier with its uTrust Sense solution, making the remote monitoring of temperatures affordable no matter where the product may be—for instance, in a truck, a factory or a warehouse. What's more, the company is in the process of developing additional uTrust Sense tags that could measure other conditions, such as shock or humidity.

During the past year, Identiv launched a research-and-development unit known as Identiv Labs, dedicated to designing platforms for customers that go beyond simply tags and labels, says Phil Montgomery, Identiv's chief product officer.

Stephane Ardiley
"We didn't see solutions that would capture and record sensor data to track the freshness of products from point A to point Z," Montgomery says, "while leveraging current mobile devices already in consumers' hands." Therefore, the lab began building a solution that would combine Identiv's standard passive high-frequency (HF) RFID tags with sensors, designed to be low enough in cost to be thrown away after a single use. In addition to developing uTrust Sense, the lab is working on solutions such as an NFC-based anti-counterfeiting system, which has not yet been released.

The uTrust Sense solution consists of a waterproof uTrust Sense Temperature Tracker tag and the uTrust Sense app for Android mobile phones or tablet readers. The tag is about the size of a credit card and comes with an adhesive backing, so it could be attached to, for instance, the side of a single carton within a shipment of goods. It is designed to be thrown away after one journey in-transit. The tracker is made with an Identiv HF 13.56 MHz RFID tag compliant with the ISO 15693 standard, as well as a temperature sensor, a thin, flexible battery and sufficient memory to store up to 762 temperature readings, according to Stephane Ardiley, Identiv's product marketing manager. Identiv can also print the tag's plastic exterior with text and a logo, if so requested by a customer.

Ardiley says Identiv opted to develop the solution around the ISO 15693 standard, rather than the NFC Forum's current specified standard (ISO 14443), because ISO 15693 enables a longer read range and can be interrogated by most NFC-enabled phones and tablets, as well as by standard HF RFID handheld readers. (To use a standard HF RFID handheld to activate, program and read the uTrust Sense tag, a customer would first need to install software from Identiv. Such software is not yet available, however.)


sj chang 2015-07-07 04:29:24 AM
I have a question about how temperature data is stored (written) into the 15693 chip such as NXP I code-SLI chip ? The RFID tag is "normally" read or written by PCD device (reader) via RF communication. Is there is a MCU in the tag to process the data from sensor ? Even so, how the processor write data to the passive RFID chip ? based on I code SLI datasheet, there is only 4 pins, Antenna LA, Antenna LB , ground ad test pads.

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