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Redpine Signals Intros Dual-Frequency Wi-Fi RFID Tag

The company's WiseMote tag can transmit data at 5 GHz, which is less commonly used and thus a less crowded channel than the traditional 2.4 GHz band.
The technology was developed by Redpine, Mattela says, after the company worked for the past three years to design an advanced Wi-Fi tag that could transmit an ID to Cisco nodes. The dual-mode tag was developed to address future growth in 2.4 GHz transmissions, he adds, with expectations that the 2.4 GHz band will become increasingly crowded, particularly in such markets as health care, in which hospitals utilize Wi-Fi transmission for multiple types of data.

As the 2.4 GHz band becomes crowded, the quality of data transfer decreases and network coverage areas sometimes need to be reduced in order to accommodate the larger numbers of devices operating within the network. The "2.45 [GHz band] is very crowded, as more and more devices are competing for bandwidth," says Michael Liard, VDC Research Group's director of RFID. Other technology providers, he adds, are looking into 5 GHz tags for applications such as toll collection on European highways.

Venkat Mattela, RedPine Signals' CEO
However, not all providers of Wi-Fi-based RFID tags are doing so.

"We're focused on delivering solutions and services to our more than 800 customers. We're always listening to customer and prospect demand to prioritize our offerings, and at this time, we don't see demand for a 5 GHz tag," says Steffan Haithcox, AeroScout's associate VP of marketing. AeroScout tags typically beacon small (412-bit) packets that are received by multiple access points, and therefore, he argues, there is little difference whether the transmission is 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz.

For its part, Redpine notes that the data packets transmitted by its tags are similarly small, and that even the transmission of small packets can become delayed if the RF band is overcrowded.

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