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RFID News Roundup

Holland 1916 Nameplate RFID tags facilitate mine-safety inspections; Tyco Retail Solutions opens new Retail Performance Briefing Center; Omni-ID launches Global Technology Licensing Program; Researchers at University of Wollongong in Dubai design RFID-enabled iPurse; Intelligent InSites integrates WaveMark's RFID-enabled Enterprise Visibility Solution; Sony intros Xperia sola NFC-enabled smartphone with two NFC tags.
Researchers at University of Wollongong in Dubai Design RFID-enabled iPurse
Researchers at the University of Wollongong in Dubai (UOWD) have published a paper describing what they call iPurse, designed to monitor items carried within a purse or handbag, and to act "as an intelligent alert and reminder system" by extracting information from the Web, such as a daily weather forecast or reminder messages posted by users' friends and family members. Mohamed K. Watfa, an associate professor with the university's Faculty of Computer Science and Engineering, worked on the project along with two of his students, Manprabhjot Kaur and Rashida Firoz Daruwala. The team detailed their work in a paper titled "An Intelligent RFID System," published by the International Journal of Intelligent Systems Technologies and Applications (IJISTA). In the paper, the researchers describe the iPurse system, which leverages RFID tags manufactured with NXP Semiconductors' Mifare 1-kilobit chips compliant with the ISO 14443A standard, as well as a Nokia 6131 NFC-enabled mobile phone. The solution includes a custom purse made to help users carry their items and mobile phone without hassle, and also enables easy interaction between the tags and the NFC-enabled mobile phone. The purse's entry/exit point was designed to be half-open and half-closed, in order to restrict the reading space between a tagged item and the mobile phone. The purse also has a pocket at the front to hold the phone, enabling a user to have fast access to that phone, and also facilitating communication with tags placed on items normally carried within the purse, such as wallets, car keys or books. In addition to monitoring, the combined technologies can alert users regarding missing items usually carried by that person, in addition to issuing reminders and other messages—such as suggesting that an umbrella be taken—based on current weather reports coming in via the mobile phone. The paper discusses an example use case in which tagged items are monitored, with the status of each represented as either in or out. If a wallet is removed from the purse, the status is changed to out, and the application instantly checks the preset priority time, such as 15 minutes, that the wallet is allowed to remain outside the purse. The application tracks the time and waits for the user to place the wallet back into the purse. If this does not occur within the specified span of time, the system issues an alert to the user on his or her mobile phone. When that message is received, the phone beeps, prompting the user to check the phone and read the alert. The researchers carried out various tests with users, and concluded, in the paper, that the test group liked the idea, and that the application was successfully tested with promising results.

Intelligent InSites Integrates WaveMark's RFID-enabled Enterprise Visibility Solution
Intelligent InSites, a provider of enterprise real-time location system (RTLS) software designed to help hospitals improve patient satisfaction and operational performance while supporting multiple RFID and RTLS technologies, and WaveMark, a provider of RFID and Web-based solutions, including RFID-enabled smart cabinets for inventory management and analysis, have announced the integration of WaveMark's enterprise visibility solution of consumable assets, including medical implantable devices and supplies, with Intelligent InSites' enterprise RTLS software. The integration is designed to provide Intelligent InSites' customers with broader support for a variety of systems. "Through our integration with Intelligent InSites, we can provide a seamless environment for healthcare professionals and enhanced analytics for process improvement," said Sabina Chadha, WaveMark's executive VP of worldwide sales and marketing, in a prepared statement. The WaveMark system utilizes high-frequency (HF) 13.56 MHz RFID tags compliant with the ISO 15693 standard. The Intelligent InSites Enterprise Visibility Platform culls information collected from various automatic-identification technologies—such as WaveMark's solution—to help hospitals visualize an asset's location and status, track equipment-utilization rates and generate rules-based notifications and alerts. The software is designed, among other things, to help users increase productivity and more efficiently deploy resources.

Sony Intros Xperia Sola NFC-enabled Smartphone With Two NFC Tags
Sony Mobile Communications has announced the Xperia sola, the latest addition to its portfolio of Android-powered Xperia smartphones. The Near Field Communication (NFC)-enabled Xperia sola comes equipped with Xperia NFC SmartTags, which consumers can use to change their smartphone's settings and applications in order to meet their specific needs. Touching an NFC Android smartphone to a SmartTag will launch a pre-configured profile stored on the smartphone, the company reports. The two SmartTags included with the Xperia sola phone can be personalized with up to 10 commands. Out of the box, the first tag, intended to be installed within a living room, will cause the phone to activate its Wi-Fi feature and launch Google news and weather applications; the other tag, intended for installation within a bedroom, will turn on the mobile phone's alarm and switch the phone to silent mode. According to Sony Mobile Communications, the Xperia sola phone will be made available to consumers globally during the second quarter of 2012.

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