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RFID News Roundup

Texas Instruments debuts half-duplex 134.2 kHz mini-transponders; Visonic Technologies intros hybrid tag for RTLS and access control; Nintendo to add NFC to Wii U controller; Blue Bite deploys national NFC-enabled marketing campaign for HotelTonight; Mexico's federal tolling authority installs RFID; Blue Spark Technologies opens new production facility for printed batteries.
Mexico's Federal Tolling Authority Installs RFID
RFID provider Sirit, Axiompass, an integrator and supplier of tolling equipment and RFID systems, and Mexico's Federal Tolling Authority, Caminos y Puentes Federales de Ingresos y Servicios Conexos (CAPUFE), have jointly announced that they have installed the nation's first toll-free system using Sirit RFID readers. The implementation leverages Sirit's IDentity 5100 multi-protocol reader that can interrogate different radio frequency protocols, including the ISO 18000-6C standard, which is being integrated into every vehicle in Mexico as part of the country's National Public Vehicle Registry (REPUVE). This electronic vehicle registration initiative requires all cars, trucks, buses and other public vehicles, as well as automobile manufacturers and importers, to participate in the countrywide vehicle-identification program. The IDentity 5100 unit can also read RFID tags complying with the ISO 18000-6B and ISO 10374 standards (such tags are currently being utilized on all federal toll roads operated by CAPUFE). In September 2011, following a public bid process, the Mexican government and the nation's Federal Ministry of Communications and Transportation announced that CAPUFE had awarded Axiompass the project to install exclusive lanes on three toll plazas, thereby enabling the residents of five municipalities in the southern Sonora State of Mexico to be exempted from toll payment in that region. Residents of these municipalities will use the REPUVE tag, which will automatically open tollbooth barriers when read by the RFID interrogator, at speeds of approximately 30 kilometers (18.6 miles) per hour. In 2009, Sirit and Axiompass were involved in an RFID development designed to help improve security and safety on roads throughout the country (see RFID News Roundup: Mexico Installs RFID-enabled Electronic Vehicle Registration System).

Blue Spark Technologies Opens New Production Facility for Printed Batteries
Blue Spark Technologies, a manufacturer of printed, thin batteries, has opened a new high-volume printing and production facility in West Bend, Wisc. The new facility extends Blue Spark's capability to produce large volumes of its line of disposable, flexible carbon zinc batteries, the company reports, in order to meet the growing demand for printed electronics that power innovations in commercial and industrial packaging. Blue Spark's ultra-thin carbon zinc batteries are used as a power source in a host of traditional and printed electronics applications, as well as in interactive packaging for consumer goods, such as food and pharmaceutical products; battery-assisted RFID and RF-linked sensor solutions for tracking products, assets and individuals; smart cards providing transactional authentication and security; and a host of interactive printed media products, such as books, magazines, posters, greeting cards and apparel. In 2009, for example, Blue Spark Technologies announced that it was helping to develop a battery-assisted passive (BAP) RFID tag (see RFID News Roundup: UPM Raflatac, Blue Spark Technologies Team Up on BAP R&D). BAP tags, also known as semi-passive tags, are designed to provide greater read range and reliability than purely passive tags. The new production facility, which has a current capacity estimated at more than 300 million batteries annually, will help Blue Spark Technologies meet the growing customer demand and expected growth in the worldwide market for printed electronics, according to the company.

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