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RFID News Roundup

India's state of Maharashtra adopts Confidex AVI technology for border checkpoints; IDTronic intros Bluebox Basic UHF RFID reader supporting four external antennas; Hong Kong RFID announces system for electronic fuel delivery management; Balluff releases new version of its RFID system; CipherLab announces availability of UHF handheld Bluetooth RFID reader; SupplyPro unveils new RFID-enabled industrial tablet; Miami expands use of smart-card solution on its Metrorail to the airport.
CipherLab Announces Availability of UHF Handheld Bluetooth RFID Reader
CipherLab USA has announced that its 1861 handheld Bluetooth RFID reader will begin shipping on Oct. 5 for the North American and Latin American markets. The 1861 model is an ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) interrogator designed for applications in warehouse operations, logistics, manufacturing and retail operations. It is compliant with the ISO 18000-6C and EPC Gen 2 standards, and features Bluetooth technology so that it can communicate with CipherLab's own 8400 or 9600 series of mobile computers, as well as many other Bluetooth-enabled mobile computers. The reader features read-write capability, enabling workers to read tags from a distance of up to 1 meter (3.3 feet), and to write to tags from up to 0.5 meter (1.6 feet). It is IP64-rated, ensuring its protection against harsh conditions, and has been extensively tested for durability, CipherLab reports. The 1861 reader can survive multiple drops onto concrete from a height of 1.5 meters (4.9 feet), according to the company, and 1,000 tumbles at 1 meter (3.3 feet). The handheld reader, priced at $870, includes two batteries, a USB cable power supply, a battery charger, a software developer's kit (SDK) and a PC configuration tool. The company demonstrated the 1816 reader at RFID Journal LIVE! 2012, held in April, in Orlando, Fla. (see RFID News Roundup: CipherLab Intros UHF Handheld Bluetooth RFID Reader).

SupplyPro Unveils New RFID-enabled Industrial Tablet
SupplyPro, a provider of point-of-use (POU) inventory-management solutions, has announced its SupplyPad, designed for use within manufacturing facilities. The SupplyPad is an industrialized, rugged tablet PC that includes an RFID reader and bar-code scanning capability. It supports the ISO 14443 A and B, 15693 and 18000-3 Mode 1 standards, as well as tags manufactured with NXP Semiconductors' Mifare RFID chips or Sony's FeliCa specifications. SupplyPro also offers an ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) option that supports a variety of UHF cards and tags. Transactions can either be wirelessly uploaded as the unit is carried from one location to another, or—in cases where wireless is not available—uploaded as soon as the device is returned to the docking station, SupplyPro reports. The docking station can be mounted on a desktop or within a vehicle (a forklift, car or maintenance vehicle), so users can control multiple facility locations via a single device. The tablet features an 8-inch-wide screen and measures 7.4 inches high, 9.45 inches wide and 1.85 inches in diameter. According to the company, it weighs 3.9 pounds, has up to eight hours of battery life, and is resistant to damage from drops of up to 6 feet. The new tablet includes all of the reporting capabilities of SupplyPro's SupplyPort software in a handheld device, and the data culled from the RFID tags and labels—such as product ID numbers—can be processed in the SupplyPort software. SupplyPort is designed to help manufacturers manage data, inventory levels, and replenishment and reordering; schedule reports; provide item-, plant- and enterprise-level views; and optimize inventory turns. The new SupplyPad's device software supports such functionality as kitting and order-based fulfillment.

Miami Expands Use of Smart-Card System on Its Metrorail to the Airport
Miamians now can take the Metrorail to and from the Miami International Airport (MIA), including paying fares on the EASY Card smart-card system, designed and integrated by Cubic Transportation Systems, an integrator of payment and information technology and services. Miami-Dade Transit (MDT) has been using Cubic's Nextfare system, a contactless smart-card payment system for transit applications that includes modular gates for touchless entry and functions with any ISO 14443-approved smart-card type. In June 2008, MDT awarded Cubic the contract to replace its 25-year-old fare-collection system, and the smart-card system has since been extended to other agencies as well, such as the Hialeah Transit (buses) and the South Florida Regional Transportation Authority (SFRTA, a commuter rail), according to Cubic. The company has now extended the EASY Card system to the MIA Metrorail Station under an approximately $1 million option in the original contract with MDT, including new fare gates and ticketing machines. Cubic's Nextfare central system is the information- and fare-processing backbone of the system. Miami-Dade Transit's new Orange Line starts at the Miami Intermodal Center, the region's new ground-transportation hub that greets air travelers and offers them options to jump aboard MDT buses or the Metrorail, utilize car-rental facilities or hail a cab, Cubic reports. Future services will be available from Amtrak and SFRTA. The EASY Card allows Miami-Dade Transit riders to utilize a single smart card to pay all transit fares, including transfers between bus and rail. According to Cubic, the new EASY Card system is now operational across MDT's 23 Metrorail stations, as well as in nearly 900 buses. In addition, Cubic Transportation Systems recently announced that it has been approved by the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) to deliver the agency's open fare payment system, which also leverages ISO 14443-approved smart cards, to Pace, the suburban bus division of the Chicago Regional Transportation Authority (see RFID News Roundup: Chicago Bus Operator Pace Selects Cubic for Payment System).

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