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RFID News Roundup

Swiss Post begins tracking trays of letters via RFID; automotive plants in Germany and North America adopt Ubisense's RTLS; Xerafy introduces specialty RFID tags designed for the construction and gas-distribution industries; EMVCo and NFC Forum collaborate to optimize NFC development and testing processes; Getac UK intros rugged tablet with glove-friendly touchscreen and optional RFID reader.
EMVCo and NFC Forum Collaborate to Optimize NFC Development and Testing Processes
EMVCo—an organization owned by American Express, JCB, MasterCard and Visa that manages the EMV global standard for credit and debit payment cards based on chip-card technology—has announced that it is working with the NFC Forum to optimize the development and testing processes of Near Field Communication (NFC)-enabled mobile devices for vendors. The goal of the collaboration is to establish a framework for synchronizing NFC RFID and EMVCo specifications, test plans, test tools, laboratory accreditations and the management of contactless product certification. According to the two groups, the framework will streamline the development and testing process of contactless technology for vendors. The alliance, the partners claim, will benefit stakeholders and solutions providers involved in EMV-related NFC use cases and products in the contactless payments industry, by reducing product time-to-market and decreasing certification costs. "To enable contactless to reach its full potential and facilitate the delivery of secure payment solutions, we need to create an efficient testing and certification framework that allows products to be swiftly brought to market," said Joe Cunningham, the current chair of the EMVCo Executive Committee, in a prepared statement. "Alignment between industry bodies is therefore essential to ensure we apply specialist knowledge and a cohesive approach to the creation of this very innovative ecosystem." Koichi Tagawa, the NFC Forum's chairman, added in the statement, "At the NFC Forum, we want to make it fast and affordable for organizations to build and deploy EMV-based NFC solutions. By working closely with EMVCo, we're able to better support vendors while furthering our commitment to global interoperability." Initial collaborative work will focus on Level 1 functionality, which covers the contactless communication protocol. According to the groups, efforts will center on outlining the scope of work and the specifications to be covered, which will be followed by a gap analysis to identify and examine specification differences, agree on specification updates when necessary, and determine how agreed amendments will be collectively managed.

Getac UK Intros Rugged Tablet With Glove-Friendly Touchscreen and Optional RFID Reader
Getac UK, a wholly owned subsidiary of Taiwanese firm Getac Technology Corp., has unveiled its 7-inch Getac Z710 rugged tablet, built on the Android 2.3 platform, that features a touchscreen leveraging Getac's proprietary LumiBond technology. LumiBond integrates Corning Gorilla Glass (a sheet glass engineered for a combination of thinness, lightness and damage resistance), a capacitive touch sensor and an LED panel. According to Getac, LumiBond offers high-performance touch sensitivity, even when a person is wearing gloves, and also provides the Z710 rugged tablet with a better viewing angle and sunlight readability than existing models currently on the market. The device also features new communication and connectivity support, including Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and 3G, as well as voice capture, and features CSR's SiRFstarIV navigation processor for GPS functionality. Options include a 13.56 MHz RFID and contactless smart-card reader compliant with the ISO 15693 and ISO 14443 A/B standards, as well as a 1D/2D imager bar-code scanner. The Getac Z710 tablet weighs 800 grams (22.2 ounces), has a 10-hour battery life, is IP 65-rated (meaning that testing has confirmed it to be dustproof and waterproof) and is MIL-STD-810G-certified (MIL-STD 810G is a U.S. military standard for testing equipment under simulated environmental conditions). What's more, Getac reports, it can withstand 6-foot drops and operate in temperatures ranging from -20 Celsius to +50 Celsius (-4 degrees Fahrenheit to +122 degrees Fahrenheit).

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