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Vitamix Adds RFID to Its Food Blenders

The new products are designed with customer safety and convenience in mind.
By Nathaniel Prince

"NFC was also chosen in a quest for optimum safety," says Dave Kolar, a senior engineering manager at Vitamix. His team headed the project to develop a wireless interlock system for the company's blender containers. With their history of being used reliably for secure applications, Kolar says, NFC tags were a natural fit for Vitamix, given their goal of delivering a safer blender.

Vitamix worked with Smartrac to develop the RFID tags and with its other partners to develop the software for the solution. Smartrac's embedded tag can undergo years of heat and vibration through use and potentially thousands of dishwasher cycles.

The Smoothie Cup
Initial concepts fell short of the Vitamix standard of quality, Kolar reports. "The systems were simple in concept, but we faced some technical challenges when it came to reliability," he says. "The team learned about the Smartrac air-coil technology during the development process and took this knowledge and created the first prototype. It worked more reliably and could be a potential game-changer for what we could do with the machine and our container system."

This new prototype led to the development of the ASCENT Series of blenders, which were launched on Dec. 26, 2016, and showcased at the 2017 CES convention, held last month in Las Vegas. The NFC-enabled blenders are FCC- and UL-certified, and meet the software safety requirements per technical safety standard UL/IEC 60730.

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