The Times—and RFID—Are a Changin’

The technology is evolving in new and innovative ways.
Published: February 26, 2019

Each year, RFID Journal produces a product showcase at our RFID Journal LIVE! conference and exhibition. These are large structures with images of new products being introduced at the event. It helps attendees unfamiliar with all of the RFID solution providers find exhibitors offering products of interest to them.

For the past week, I have been going through some of the submissions for this year’s showcase, and I’ve been impressed at how much radio frequency identification technology has evolved. Not long ago, there were simple RFID labels, handheld readers and fixed readers in our showcases. Now, there are a wide variety of tags for almost any object and any application, as well as an amazing array of readers. Here are a few highlights you’ll see at the event:

WaveSafe: WaveSafe labels have been developed to meet the growing demands of the food industry. They are designed to withstand up to five minutes in a microwave, while delivering high read tracking capabilities.

Guard RFID PT-3 Personnel Tag: This new lightweight personnel tag includes a push button that can be configured to generate an alarm in the event of an emergency.

Powercast UHF RFID Batteryless Retail Price Tag: Utilizing Powercast’s RF-to-DC power harvesting technology, this new retail price tag sits shelf-edge and boasts perpetual operation with any typical UHF RFID reader.

Sundog RFID Staples: These ruggedized RFID staples for wood surfaces are ideal for tracking logs, lumber, utility poles, railroad ties, pallets and just about anything else made of wood.

Savi IoT Sensor: This unique sensor uses cellular transmission plus RFID support to eliminate supply chain blind spots of high-value military assets in transit through harsh, infrastructure-less environments.

AsReader ASR-R250G with AsTagFinder: This groundbreaking handheld reader locates tags in three dimensions as blips on a radar-like display.

Brady CenSys Reader: This IoT-enabled UHF RFID reader requires only power. Connect it to your Wi-Fi network and you have an easy-to-install and cost-effective tracking solution.

CAEN RFID Proton Reader: Designed for industrial applications, the new Proton RAIN RFID reader comes in a compact, IP65-rated enclose and supports Power-over-Ethernet for easy set-up.

FEIG Electronics HyWEAR: This wearable hybrid RFID and bar-code reader offers unencumbered freedom of movement, so people can work comfortably with both hands. It sends data to back-end systems via Bluetooth or roaming Wi-Fi.

Keonn AdvanPay-110: A high-powered UHF RFID reader integrates an antenna with a highly confined reading area. This unit supports functionalities specifically designed for the point of sale at retail stores.

Videx CyberBadge: This bar-code scanner and RFID reader is small enough to be worn around the neck, and the interface allows users to implement it without the need for extensive configuration or training.

These are just some of the new tags and readers available. There are new on-metal tags, tags for harsh environments and wristbands. Several companies are introducing new ecology-friendly tags, which can be recycled or thrown away without having a negative impact on the environment. You’ll also find an array of RFID sensors for tracking temperature, humidity, acceleration, pressure and light.

Attendees will find a variety of label-converting equipment options, depending on whether they plan to produce high volumes of generic labels or smaller volumes of customized labels. And there is an entirely new generation of RFID antennas. Some are exceptionally thin, others can determine the direction in which a tag is moving, and still others cover all directions. You’ll find the other products necessary for a successful RFID deployment as well, including shielding curtains and paint, portal stands, cables and connectors, and testing equipment,

Of course, it’s not just about hardware. Attendees will also have the opportunity to compare enterprise software offerings from such companies as Aware Innovations, CDO Technologies, Orbcomm, Portable Technology Solutions, RFID Global Solution, RFID4U, RTV Engineering, SML and Vista IT Systems, among others.

There are always new products introduced at our LIVE! events, and this is just a small sample to show you how technology is evolving to meet the needs of companies in a variety of sectors. If you are looking to deploy an RFID solution, RFID Journal LIVE! is the place to be. I hope to see you there.

Mark Roberti is the founder and editor of RFID Journal.