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Vizinex Releases Four New Tags for Specialized Applications

The company, formerly known as RCD Technology, says these products reflect its new focus, and support a variety of commercial applications.
By Claire Swedberg
Apr 04, 2012RCD Technology has renamed itself Vizinex RFID, and has released four passive radio frequency identification tags intended for such specialized applications as tracking assets in places previously out of reach for the technology. The name change was instituted to reflect the firm's shift from focusing on customized, often-challenging RFID installations to selling the tags it developed for those deployments on a commercial level.

RCD Technology was founded in 2001 by Lehigh University researchers who had developed a patented process for manufacturing film-based passive ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) and high-frequency (HF) RFID tag antennas. The company then built not only printable antennas, but also printed circuit boards (PCBs) for UHF RFID tags, manufactured at the firm's facility in Quakertown, Pa. Because it was able to design and manufacture tags, including those with the PCB, at its single Pennsylvania plant, the company could also very quickly develop prototypes for custom solutions for clients that may have specialized needs.

Some of those solutions include tags for DNA samples, for the U.S. Department of Justice; an IT asset-tagging system, for Oracle Sun Microsystems (see How to Track Your Oracle Sun System Assets by Using RFID); and a data-center asset-tracking solution, for Comcast (see Comcast Puts RFID in Data Centers to Track Assets). In addition, the firm is providing the tags for an oil and gas equipment-leasing company to track 6-foot-by-10-foot oilfield mats laid down at drill sites. Vizinex is also embedding its tags into medical instruments that must sustain sterilization processes, for health-care company customers.

"The things most interesting to us are the new applications that are challenging," says Ken Horton, Vizinex RFID's CEO. In some cases, he says, an environment may be harsh, or read requirements may be very specific, such as particular read ranges. Some of the applications that the firm had developed, however, have led to tags that can be utilized for other deployments. As a result, the company is releasing the four new tags.

The Sentry AST Long Range passive UHF EPC Gen 2 tag, with an Alien Technology Higgs-3 chip, is designed for demanding industrial environments, and offers a read range longer than that of most tags that can be read in metallic or otherwise rugged locations. The tag is integrated within fiber-reinforced composite aerospace-grade materials, in order to ensure that it performs as required in demanding applications. This tag is being used for the tracking of oil and gas mats—for example, where the user wanted to be able to read tags on mats without having to directly point handheld interrogators toward them. The tag has a read range of 40 feet, Horton says, and contains a printed circuit board. By using the PCB (as opposed to traditional plastic inlays), the company has made a stronger tag, and has enabled it to be quickly and easily configurable. What's more, he adds, Vizinex can easily change the antenna pattern, thickness, size and board layers in order to alter tag performance.

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