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RFID News Roundup

Ekahau intros anti-theft Wi-Fi tag for laptop and tablet computers; Smartrac launches high-temperature hard tag for industrial applications; Secura Key announces new standalone reader kit; Harting unveils box with integrated reader, power supply and network switch; Louisville skyscraper adopts TagMaster and HID technology to automate parking access; Chido fast-food restaurant adds NFC-enabled loyalty program.
Harting Unveils Box With Integrated RFID Reader, Power Supply and Network Switch
German technology company Harting has announced its Harting RFID Box, a steel-enclosed unit with a reader, a power supply and a network switch, designed to make it easier to implement radio frequency identification. Harting's Ha-VIS RF-R500-p-EU long-range RFID reader is compliant with the ISO 18000-6-c and EPC Gen 2 standards, and is incorporated into an enclosure composed of 2-millimeter-thick (0.08-inch-thick) steel and featuring an IP 65 rating, meaning that testing has confirmed it to be dustproof and waterproof. According to Harting, the box is suitable for use in open-air applications, such as vehicle recognition in port areas; in the construction industry, in which trucks are loaded with building materials and must be identified; or in construction environments. The fully integrated, powerful and rapid RFID readers, the company reports, make the box well-suited for detecting passing trains and carriages. According to the company, the Harting RFID Box ships fully pre-installed and tested, so that it need only be connected to the power supply, Ethernet network and RFID reader antennas.

Louisville Skyscraper Adopts TagMaster and HID Technology to Automate Parking Access
TagMaster North America, a division of TagMaster, a Swedish manufacturer of RFID solutions for rail and transportation applications, has announced that its RFID hardware was deployed by GuardLink to provide hands-free parking access to the five-level garage adjoined to the Aegon Center, a 35-story building located in downtown Louisville, Ky. The solution includes TagMaster's LR-6 PRO long-range RFID readers and MarkTag MeM ID-Tags, which are 2.4 GHz active RFID tags that can be affixed anywhere on a vehicle's windshield or dashboard, or on the back of the rear-view mirror. GuardLink, which served as the project's systems integrator, also installed HID Global's 13.56 MHz passive RFID technology, according to Bob Long, GuardLink's sales account manager. The passive RFID technology was added, he says, so that individuals with building access could utilize the HID reader in the event that they were driving a rental car or left their long-range tag in another vehicle. In addition, the solution incorporated gate barriers, as well as parking- and revenue-control systems (PARCS), including pay-on-foot stations, provided by Skidata, an Austrian supplier of access, management and ticketing solutions.

Chido Fast-food Restaurant Adds NFC-enabled Loyalty Program
Chido, a new fast-food chain serving Mexican dishes, has announced that its first restaurant, in Paris, France, features a mobile loyalty program from Airtag, a contactless solutions supplier located in France. The solution leverages Near Field Communication (NFC) RFID and 2-D bar-coding technologies. Airtag reports that it has installed an interactive tablet and the Airtag Pad, which contains NFC RFID and 2-D bar-code readers, at the point of checkout, with a real-time connection to the restaurant's online loyalty program. The Airtag Pad accepts three types of cards. The first two types enable customers to identify themselves and instantly add or use loyalty points, rewards and coupons; prior to using any of the cards, each customer must create an account online and activate an application by visiting chido.airtag.com, or by connecting to Chido's Facebook page. Customers can utilize the Parisian transportation pass, known as Pass Navigo, which already contains an NFC RFID chip that can be swiped for identification purposes. Customers who do not have an NFC pass can use a mobile loyalty card—a mobile application that generates a 2-D bar code, which must be downloaded from an online app store in order to create the card displayed on the mobile phone's screen. With the app, the phone becomes the loyalty card, Airtag explains, since the application contains a 2-D bar code that is activated when downloaded. Customers need only swipe the card at the Airtag Pad upon arrival at Chido in order to instantly identify themselves. The application also features a geolocation feature to provide map directions to the restaurant, along with a detailed product page listing a wide selection of the latest Chido dishes. The third option involves a traditional paper loyalty card, obtainable from Chido, and containing a 2-D bar code; while the card can be read by the Airtag Pad and then be used to identify the customer, there is no immediate access to earned loyalty points or rewards. Airtag's solution also provides Chido with a Web-based reporting tool allowing the restaurant to analyze the performance of the shop and its point-of-sale transactions. The reporting tool manages profile data, so customers can be segmented to develop targeted marketing campaigns. According to Airtag, all user information (receipt, time and frequency of visits) is displayed in real time on the Web platform, thereby enabling Chido to pilot targeted marketing campaigns based on comprehensive data.

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