RFID News Roundup

JADAK unveils plug-and-play RFID reader ••• Tanzania selects HID Global trusted-identity solutions for e-immigration program ••• Smartrac RFID products comply with Buy American Act ••• Berntsen International receives U.S. patent for UHF RFID utilities solution ••• GlobalPlatform, Trusted Platform Association collaborate on IoT ecosystem ••• L-SPARK, TELUS, BlackBerry, Solace launch Canadian IoT accelerator ••• FogHorn intros IoT edge-computing solution for mobile devices.
Published: March 28, 2019

Presented here are news announcements made during the past week by the following organizations:
HID Global;
Smartrac Technology Group;
Berntsen International;
GlobalPlatform, the Trusted Platform Association;
L-SPARK, TELUS, BlackBerry, Solace; and

JADAK Unveils Plug-and-Play RFID Reader

JADAK, a business unit of Novanta Corp., has announced the release of its ThingMagic Elara plug-and-play USB reader, designed to enable the easy addition of RFID into mid- and short-range applications. The Elara, according to the company, supports an interface between applications and RFID readers, known as the RAIN Communication Interface.

Based on the ThingMagic Nano module, the Elara offers interface and operability features that allow engineers to minimize design efforts and implement RFID in any application requiring a mid- or short-range read distance. The Elara supports autonomous workflows, allowing the rapid creation of solutions without the need for RFID expertise, software development kits or integration tools.

JADAK has also introduced the ThingMagic EL6e RAIN RFID smart module for OEM customers, which is available to channel partners. The EL6e is an embedded RFID solution for short- to mid-range applications that require a quick path to integration. “With the introduction of both the Elara and EL6e, JADAK is demonstrating our dedication to innovation by bringing plug-and-play capability into the RFID market,” said Kurt Matheson, JADAK’s VP of marketing, in a prepared statement.

Both the Elara and the EL6e will be demonstrated in booth #545 at the RFID Journal LIVE! 2019 conference and exhibition, which will take place next week at Arizona’s Phoenix Convention Center. The EL6e was recently nominated for one of this year’s RFID Journal Awards.

Tanzania Selects HID Global Trusted-Identity Solutions for e-Immigration Program

HID Global, a provider of trusted identity solutions, has announced that the government of Tanzania has selected HID’s citizen ID solutions to add e-visa and e-permit capabilities to its e-passport, which HID helped to deploy last year as part of the Tanzania e-Immigration program. The new Web-based visa and residence permit services allow visitors and residents to apply for and receive validated credentials for traveling or living in the country.

“This is an important milestone as we continue to work with HID Global to enhance and broaden the capabilities of our e-Immigration ecosystem,” said Anna Peter Makakala, Tanzania’s Commissioner General of Immigration, in a prepared statement. “We plan to continue expanding this solution to our country’s border crossings and across the broader global community as we become a showcase for efficient, comprehensive and integrated e-Immigration solutions.”

“We are pleased to be entering this second deployment phase with the government of Tanzania, building on the success of the country’s e-passport rollout last year,” said Rob Haslam, the VP of sales for HID’s citizen ID business, in the prepared statement. “Immigration officers in Tanzania now have a convenient and efficient toolset for completing their vital mission of vetting and granting electronic visa and residence permit credentials to applicants.”

Since early 2018, HID Global has been Tanzania’s primary supplier of an end-to-end solution for issuing e-passports with advanced physical and electronic security features, automated verification capabilities and a tamper-proof contactless chip embedded in a polycarbonate datapage. The country now has a single citizen-identification system that spans the entire identity journey, from data capture to issuance, and can be used to support e-passports, e-visas, e-permits and other physical electronic documents.

Smartrac RFID Products Comply With Buy American Act

Smartrac Technology Group, a provider of RFID and sensor products, has announced that it fully complies with the requirements defined in the U.S. government’s Buy American Act, by delivering RFID and sensor products manufactured at its facility in Fletcher, N.C.

The Fletcher factory and distribution facility is the only large-scale, high-volume RFID inlay and tag production and customization center in the United States, according to the company. Smartrac supplies a wide range of RFID transponders considered “domestic end products,” which must be manufactured in the United States under the Buy American executive order issued in April 2017 and reinforced in January 2019.

The company’s facility in Fletcher has been operational since 2005 and is ISO 9001- and 14001-certified to produce a variety of RFID and sensor products using environmentally friendly manufacturing methods and materials. The firm reports that it serves a growing demand for RFID products and sensors within major markets. The facility also provides high-volume contract-manufacturing and product customization services for large U.S.-based enterprises.

“We are pleased that Smartrac has the only high-volume RFID inlay and tag production center in the United States, and we take great pride that our Fletcher facility continues to provide strategic value to a fast-growing number of enterprises,” said Amir Mobayen, Smartrac’s chief revenue officer, in a prepared statement. “We will continue optimizing this center to even better support customer projects, offering peace-of-mind quality and standards as a domestic supplier.”

Berntsen International Receives U.S. Patent for UHF RFID Utilities Solution

Berntsen International, a provider of survey monuments and marking products, has received a U.S. patent for the UHF RFID technology used in its connected infrastructure locating and asset-management solutions. “We’re excited about this advance in our evolution of UHF RFID marking products for underground utility management,” said Mike Klonsinski, Bernsten’s president, in a prepared statement.

UHF RFID, the global standard for product tracking in retail and manufacturing, has seen slower adoption for underground utility marking products due to its perceived challenges of reading tags through subsurface environments. Berntsen reports that its underground marker boosts UHF RFID performance through mediums such as soil or concrete beyond the capabilities of RFID-enabled products currently on the market.

“This is important because ultrahigh-frequency RFID is a driver of an Internet of Things world overall, and our work extends the benefits of IoT to infrastructure management,” Klonsinski said in the prepared statement. “Imagine a city where fire hydrants, water laterals, and underground gas valves are marked with RFID and connected to a cloud-based data management system. This ground to cloud approach means these assets can be better identified and managed, which will lower inspection and maintenance costs and improve safety.”

“We’ve been fortunate to be a leading supplier of survey marking products for the past 47 years,” Klonsinski added. “We’re committed to developing and building the next generation of marking products.”

GlobalPlatform, Trusted Platform Association Collaborate on IoT Ecosystem

GlobalPlatform, a provider of secure digital services and devices, has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Trusted Platform Association, an organization which brings together Russian cybersecurity companies to create a collaborative Internet of Things (IoT) ecosystem that meets diverse market needs with flexible security.

The joint work initiative will focus on aligning GlobalPlatform’s specifications, which standardize the secure management of digital services and devices, with existing Russian requirements and regulations. This harmonization of standards, the organizations report, will deliver security and interoperability to the industry by expanding regional compliance and certification programs, bringing time and cost efficiencies to IoT stakeholders.

“The Russian IoT market is expected to reach $74 billion by 2023, but there is an observed disconnect within the international body of standards in the areas of integrated mobile and IoT security,” said Andrey Tikhonov, the Trusted Platform Association’s president, in a prepared statement. “Our partnership with GlobalPlatform will increase the adoption of international security standards, enabling leading cybersecurity companies, mobile network operators, service providers, integrators and device manufacturers to interact seamlessly when deploying secure digital services. This will also allow our companies to bring their products to the global arena in full compliance with the leading standards in trust and security.”

“An increasing number and variety of devices are being brought online to access digital services,” said Gil Bernabeu, GlobalPlatform’s technical director, in the prepared statement. “Yet many manufacturers have no experience of developing and managing connected devices, meaning that countless devices are not secure enough to protect against threats and attacks. As a champion of international standardization, GlobalPlatform is proud to be collaborating with the Trusted Platform Association. This relationship will enhance our standards and accelerate the deployment of secure services in Russia, enabling service providers and device manufacturers to focus on the value of their products and services.”

To support its goals, the Trusted Platform Association is considering the possibility of opening a specialized design center and certification laboratory at the Skolkovo Innovation Center. The facility would focus on accelerating the adoption of GlobalPlatform’s technologies.

L-SPARK, TELUS, BlackBerry, Solace Launch Canadian IoT Accelerator

L-SPARK, a Canadian software-as-a-service (SaaS) accelerator, has partnered with TELUS to launch the Secure IoT Accelerator program, in collaboration with BlackBerry and Solace. The Secure IoT Accelerator program is intended to enable Canadian Internet of Things (IoT) ventures by providing them with global market reach capability. With the global IoT market predicted to swell to $1.1 trillion by 2021, more complex applications, as well as the need for greater security, are driving innovation within the industry, the companies report—a trend the Secure IoT Accelerator aims to address.

“TELUS is dedicated to fostering a thriving and secure IoT ecosystem in Canada, capable of both serving the needs of Canadians and providing reach to markets around the globe. Ensuring that next-generation security products and services are available to that ecosystem is vital to its success, so we are proud to support L-SPARK’s Secure IoT Accelerator,” said Ibrahim Gedeon, TELUS’s CTO, in a prepared statement. “The mentorship and resources that participants receive as part of the Secure IoT Accelerator, including access to the world-class TELUS LTE-M network, provide a springboard for these companies’ growth and, ultimately, strengthening the entire Canadian IoT market.”

“Adoption of IoT products and services by Canadian firms is accelerating at a rapid clip, and industry analysts predict the global connected IoT devices market will grow at a CAGR of approximately 19% through 2023,” said Leo Lax, L-SPARK’s executive managing director, in the prepared statement. “We’re excited to create an accelerator program that provides the tools and technology necessary for Canadian IoT innovators to scale their businesses and compete internationally.”

“We believe the winners in IoT will be the companies that realize security is not an added cost but a valuable differentiator,” said Charles Eagan, BlackBerry’s chief technology officer, in the prepared statement. “It’s incumbent upon all manufacturers to deliver safe and secure IoT devices that consumers and enterprises can trust, and the Secure IoT Accelerator program is an excellent place to start.”

“The desire to help developers and entrepreneurs grow their ideas into game-changing applications and successful business ventures is at the heart of everything we do, as reflected by our tagline: That’s Possible,” said Paul Fitzpatrick, Solace’s chief business development officer, in the prepared statement. “We’re proud to partner with leaders at BlackBerry, TELUS and L-Spark to make world class data distribution part of the Secure IoT Accelerator.”

The acceleration program will support its portfolio companies in developing IoT products and services that leverage the combined capabilities of TELUS global connectivity and IoT cybersecurity services, BlackBerry’s secure operating system, and Solace’s data-movement capabilities. Combined, these capabilities are expected to enable the development of seamless product and service experiences, the companies report, ensuring privacy and security with built-in connectivity, end-to-end security, streamlined device management, and end-user-managed access and provisioning.

Companies taking part in the four-month program will receive exclusive access to LTE-M-ready software development kits from the corporate partners to facilitate the development and demonstration of new applications prior to the general market availability of the platform; technical mentoring from TELUS, BlackBerry and Solace experts; business mentoring from L-SPARK to accelerate company growth and facilitate business-development opportunities with corporate accelerator partners, as well as outside entities; and other benefits associated with L-SPARK’s acceleration programs, including access to the firm’s SaaS, cloud and IoT technology community.

The Secure IoT Accelerator program is currently accepting applications from growth-stage companies developing IoT products in a variety of industries, including automotive, health care, access management, smart home and building, retail and supply chain management, logistics and fleet management, natural resources, asset management and more. Applicants should have a Canadian headquarters, as well as the team and financial capacity required to execute projects during the accelerator program’s timeframe.

FogHorn Intros IoT Edge-Computing Solution for Mobile Devices

FogHorn, a developer of edge-intelligence software for industrial and commercial Internet of Things (IoT) solutions, has announced the release of Lightning Mobile, an edge-computing solution built for industrial mobile devices.

According GSMA Intelligence, Industrial IoT connections will overtake consumer IoT connections in 2023, increasing more than fivefold to 13.8 billion in 2025. This is driven by a number of factors, the company reports, including the emergence of LTE-M, NB-IoT and 5G; the benefits of leveraging battery-powered, low-cost devices; portability and reconfiguration flexibility; growth in high-density deployments; and the coverage and security benefits of mobile technologies.

The Lightning Mobile system empowers operational-technology and field professionals with real-time analytics, machine learning and artificial intelligence on mobile, battery-powered devices, without having to rely on connectivity to the cloud, speeding decision-making and industrial workflow. Additionally, support for edge-based deep-learning model inferencing is intended to solve such critical issues as image recognition of bar codes and health and battery monitoring of high-volume deployments of mobile devices. The company has also launched a broad ecosystem initiative to expand the range of applications that can run on Lightning Mobile.

“Over 85% of mobile operating systems worldwide are Android,” said Mike Guilfoyle, the ARC Advisory Group’s director of research, in a prepared statement. “For FogHorn’s customers, more of their operations technology staff can leverage edge intelligence for real-time analytics in the field, without the restriction of fixed-position devices. By enabling OT-staff access to edge computing on handheld Android devices, it will expand the pool of thinking about what is possible at the edge. This will inevitably lead to new use cases for industrial and commercial organizations.”

FogHorn’s Android App, in addition to providing the core analytics and ML capability on the live data, supports ingestion of all the Android event data coming from various sources. This provides an operator-friendly view of actionable insights on the device, the company explains, as well as an efficient way to process digital-, audio-, video- and image-based content.

“We are extremely excited to bring FogHorn’s next wave of edge computing innovation to market with Lightning Mobile, pushing real time analytics and AI to OT professionals through their mobile devices.” said Sastry Malladi, FogHorn’s CTO, in the prepared statement. “This will unleash a wave of new industrial use cases including next-generation bar code scanners, portable factory environmental monitors, manufacturing using a high-density of devices such as smart screwdrivers, advanced fleet applications and more. We see a tremendous global opportunity for this technology.”