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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.
Redpine Signals is providing its dual-band tag as part of a demonstration kit that includes four WiseMote tags, as well as a WM0 Configurator that acts as an exciter for those tags, forwarding tag data to a back-end system via a Wi-Fi or Ethernet connection. While the firm offers demonstration software, it expects integrators to provide users with software to manage the tag-read data. The demo software includes a Microsoft Windows- and Linux-compatible application with a configuration utility, along with an Android application for tag detection. The kit also comes with a USB cable for the configurator.

According to Mattela, the solution can be employed for tracking assets within logistics and warehousing facilities; medical applications, such as patient tracking, access control, monitoring transportation conditions via temperature, shock or humidity sensors, tracking goods within shipping yards, performing inventory counts, and monitoring equipment security.

The tag measures 20 millimeters by 17.5 millimeters (0.8 inch by 0.7 inch). The kit costs $5,000, with tags priced at approximately $50 apiece.

WiseMote tags are designed as much for machine-to-machine (M2M) applications as for RTLS. The tags also comes with Wi-Fi Direct (a peer-to-peer specification published by the Wi-Fi Alliance), allowing Wi-Fi-enabled devices to connect with each other without requiring a Wi-Fi node. A number of mobile devices, including smartphones, laptop and notebook computers, cameras, printers and portable gaming systems (such as the Nintendo DSi and Sony PSP platforms) support Wi-Fi Direct, though Redpine expects that most Wi-Fi Direct applications will likely focus on utilizing phones and laptop computers to read Redpine's tags. Smartphones, such as Android devices and Apple iPhones that can support Wi-Fi connectivity, can receive data from a WiseMote tag upon coming within transmission range of that tag. No special software would be necessary to accomplish this, Mattela says, adding that this peer-to-peer communication between a tag and a smartphone (or other mobile device) would not pose a security risk, since Redpine's "tag supports enterprise security as well, for regular transfers."

The WiseMote dual-band tag was released this month, and is commercially available now.

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