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Smartrac Releases New Inlays, Including Retail's Smallest

The company's new MiniWeb and DogBone inlays, made with NXP's UCODE 8 ICs, will bring improved performance, faster encoding and higher sensitivity than predecessor UHF inlays, for use in retail and industrial applications.
By Claire Swedberg
Sep 17, 2018

Several companies are piloting sample versions of Smartrac Technology Group's new MiniWeb and DogBone inlays, which are expected to be made commercially available by the fourth quarter of this year. Both new inlays employ NXP Semiconductors' UCODE 8 IC and are aimed at making RFID technology use more feasible for small or challenging form-factor retail products, as well as more effective. The ICs offer a read range and sensitivity about 20 percent higher than those provided by previous inlays, the company reports.

Smartrac, a Netherlands-based RFID inlay manufacturer and IoT solutions provider, is among the world's largest suppliers of RFID inlays and tags for brand experience, retail, logistics and other industrial applications. The two new inlays are intended to bring better RFID performance to the market's more challenging applications.

Smartrac's DogBone, Belt and MiniWeb
The MiniWeb, which measures 45 millimeters by 18 millimeters (1.8 inches by 0.7 inch), is the smallest UHF RFID inlay currently available for retail applications, according to the company. The latest DogBone, on the other hand, remains at the same size as previous DogBone inlays—97 millimeters by 27 millimeters (3.8 inches by 1.1 inch)—but with greater functionality. The new inlays will be priced similarly to their predecessor versions.

At the heart of both inlays is the UCODE 8 chip, which requires less power consumption (due to its increased sensitivity) and offers fast, automatic response to interrogations from UHF RFID readers in all global regions. The inlays provide a self-adjusting function to optimize sensitivity to a reader's transmission, while providing the capacity to include a dedicated ID number for a company, using the label to provide brand authentication. Also leveraging the UCODE 8 IC, Smartrac's Belt inlay was released in July 2018 (see Smartrac Unveils New Belt Inlays Based On NXP's UCODE 8 Chips).

The new inlays operate with Smartrac's Smart Cosmos Internet of Things (IoT) software platform, a cloud-based system to capture and manage data, such as a tag's unique identifier (UID), batch number or yield specific to a production level. Solution providers can employ the Smart Cosmos software to build their own solutions using the cloud-based server and Smartrac inlays.

The MiniWeb was approved by the University of Auburn's RFID Lab for ETSI retail performance. It is designed for small apparel and home goods products, ranging from underwear and socks to cosmetics, T-shirts and towels.

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