RFID News Roundup

SML RFID featured in European EPC Competence Center RFID transponder study ••• A2B Tracking announces software support for fixed RFID gateways ••• Smartrac Technology Group unveils tiny NFC transponder ••• Infinite Peripherals adds RFID-based security to health-care mobile device ••• Sigfox releases radio protocol specs for connected objects ••• Bosch Sensortec launches ideation community to foster IoT applications.
Published: February 21, 2019

Presented here are news announcements made during the past week by the following organizations:
SML RFID, the European EPC Competence Center;
A2B Tracking;
Smartrac Technology Group;
Infinite Peripherals, HID Global;
Sigfox; and
Bosch Sensortec.

SML RFID Featured in European EPC Competence Center RFID Transponder Study

SML RFID, an RFID solution provider, has been named in the European EPC Competence Center (EECC)’s latest annual report, titled “UHF RFID Transponder Benchmark (UTPS),” for its GB3U8 inlay aimed at omnichannel retailers. The EECC’s report helps retailers to determine which RFID tags they should be using, and highlights the costs and specific pain points each platform tackles.

The GB3U8 inlay is designed for omnichannel retailers to use in store and across supply chain deployments. It allows retailers to track, manage and gather data regarding various market applications. The inlay meets all active ARC categories designated by Auburn University (Spec A, B, C, D, M, F, G, I, K, N and Q) and is compliant with the GS1 EPCglobal Gen 2 standards. The ARC standards are a set of industry-wide performance requirements implemented to ensure that RFID technology meets or exceeds a level of performance that benefits both retailers and retail suppliers.

The objective of both SML and the EECC is for the report to align retailers’ needs and educate readers about the RFID market, how the technology can benefit a variety of different industries, and the best uses and applications of transponders for each specific industry. UHF RFID transponders can be used in most industries to track a variety of objects. Simple systems can now be implemented to interpret collected information and control distribution through authorization and authentication features.

“We have seen a significant rise in item-level RFID technology adoption within the last year,” said Dean Frew, SML’s CTO and senior VP of RFID solutions, in a prepared statement. “Many retailers are now reporting returns on investment using this technology. We are delighted to be featured in such a well-known, industry-leading report and are safe in the knowledge that this will help to educate people further on RFID technology and its benefits to global retailers.”

“Our annual report aims to guide users in every industry to select the best performing inlay/chip to satisfy their target application,” said Mauricio V. León, the EECC’s technical manager, in the prepared statement. “It’s great to have SML’s GB3U8 Inlay included in this year’s report and for the first time.” The report can be downloaded at the EECC’s website.

A2B Tracking Announces Software Support for Fixed RFID Gateways

A2B Tracking has announced support for its fixed RFID gateway readers to provide automated asset-tracking visibility. By taking advantage of chokepoints or egresses, such as doorways within a warehouse or an office environment, users can leverage Impinj fixed RFID readers at these key points to capture and monitor all asset movements. This technology provides “always-on” inventory-tracking capability to record the last known locations of assets, as well as the direction of asset movements.

A2B’s Tracking Asset Management platform allows for the tracking of single or multiple items on a cart, pallet jack or forklift as they flow throughout an area of operation. The Impinj Gateway can automatically read a group of RFID tags as the assets to which they are attached move through a chokepoint. All inventory movement is recorded and tracked, providing a complete audit history.

This automated asset-tracking system can monitor assets as they move throughout a facility, without the need for human intervention. According to the company, the system helps to improve the accuracy and visibility of asset and inventory management, while boosting operational efficiencies.

Once an item moves beyond the fixed reader’s range, a user can utilize A2B’s mobile RFID technology. Mobile readers, using a smartphone or touch computer, can quickly and easily navigate a facility. A2B’s proprietary Pro-Locate feature interrogates a facility for a missing asset, by searching an area with RFID until the software reports a successful find. Pro-Locate reduces search times for missing assets from many hours down to just a few minutes, the company reports.

Smartrac Technology Group Unveils Tiny NFC Transponder

Smartrac Technology Group has launched its new Glass Tag NFC. With a robust design and a small form factor, this product offers the option of embedded tagging to a wide range of additional materials, products and industry segments, the company reports. According to Smartrac, the Glass Tag NFC is designed for such applications as product authentication, brand protection, customer engagement and customer loyalty.

With a diameter of 2.12 millimeters, a length of 12 millimeters and a weight of 100 milligrams, the new tag is resistant to most chemicals and is made from biocompatible glass. It can be embedded into a range of materials, such as concrete, plastic or wood, often by insertion into predrilled holes before being sealed in place with synthetic resin or silicone.

The Glass Tag NFC will be manufactured at Smartrac’s facility in Wehnrath, Germany. The product is available with either NXP’s SLIX IC, which features 896 bits of user memory, or NXP’s NTAG216 IC, which offers 888 bytes of user memory. Data from the chip inside the tag can be interrogated by either a dedicated reader or any NFC-enabled smartphone.

“Our new, small Glass Tag NFC now offers customers the opportunity to embed a robust NFC tag inside many different types of material and products,” said Hansjörn Reifschläger, the head of sales at Smartrac Specialty, in a prepared statement. “Broadening the uses of the glass tag beyond its proven field of animal ID and tracking, this innovative product offers many more applications for customers wishing to protect their brand, conduct customer marketing, authenticate their products or even turn them into consumer experience platforms.”

The new tag can be used with Smart Cosmos, Smartrac’s Internet of Things (IoT) solutions platform, which records and manages a set of unique transponder data at the production level in a controlled and secure way. Smart Cosmos is designed to enable the full traceability of delivered RFID products. The Glass Tag NFC tags are expected to be made available in high volumes in April 2019.

Infinite Peripherals Adds RFID-based Security to Health-Care Mobile Device

Infinite Peripherals, a provider of enterprise mobility solutions, has announced the launch of its Infinea X DF medical-mobility device for Apple iPhone models 6S, 7 and 8. Infinite Peripherals has collaborated with HID Global to create the device.

The Infinea X DF is designed to increase efficiency, improve communication and streamline hospital workflows, the company reports. The device comes with embedded HID technology providing a compact, dual-frequency reader, as well as a high-speed bar-code scanner and health-care-grade materials.

“The RFID reader in the Infinea X DF represents a new milestone in reading contactless identity credentials from a mobile device,” said Michael Chaudoin, HID Global’s VP of product marketing for extended-access technologies, in a prepared statement. “In collaboration with Infinite Peripherals, HID developed a next-generation card reader with innovative antenna design that reliably reads a wide range of user credentials, while being optimized for the size and power constraints of mobile devices. Supporting low and high frequency credentials plus HID’s Mobile Access technology, this design is ideal for today’s healthcare identity challenges, where staff and devices are always on the move.”

“HID Global is a tried-and-true leader in healthcare security,” said Ralph Ignacio, Infinite Peripherals’ VP of marketing, in the prepared statement. “Together, we wanted to create an all-in-one device that enables a secure and compliant healthcare ecosystem for patients and employees. With the Infinea X DF, multiple caregivers can do more from a single, protected mobile device. This next-generation technology sets the stage for a new era of healthcare efficiency.”

The Infinea X DF is intended to allow hospitals to improve efficiency while maintaining heightened security protocols, boost productivity and increase compliance with convenient access for all users, increase accountability with password reset maintenance, manage accounts across multiple systems, tailor clinical communication alerts and support legacy formats.

Sigfox Releases Radio Protocol Specs for Connected Objects

Sigfox, an Internet of Things (IoT) service provider, has publicly released the specifications of its radio protocol for connected objects. The release of these specifications will allow open-source implementations and greater opportunities for developers and manufacturers of connected objects. Once the tests are completed, manufacturers can then register objects on the Sigfox network in order to benefit from it.

Sigfox expects an increase in the number of objects connected to its network as new players in the IoT space take advantage of this opportunity, with global support from Sigfox. This will apply to connected objects, rather than Sigfox’s base stations and infrastructure, as those are protected by patents. Previously, the specification of objects was shared under a non-disclosure agreement, while Sigfox sought to control the number of objects applying to connect to its network.

“The opening of the specification has always been part of Sigfox’s ambition and we’re excited for the thousands of new use cases that will emerge,” said Christophe Fourtet, a co-founder of Sigfox, in a prepared statement. “Our partners all over the world are looking forward to being part of this development.”

Bosch Sensortec Launches Ideation Community to Foster Innovative IoT Applications

Bosch Sensortec has launched a new ideation community for customers, partners, developers and makers to help them learn about sensing solutions and accelerate the development of Internet of Things (IoT) applications. The Bosch Sensortec Community provides useful information and best practice advice, allowing developers to share their experiences with others. Registration for the community is now open at community.bosch-sensortec.com.

“The new Bosch Sensortec Community invites makers, creators, tinkerers and techies to discuss and learn more about our sensing solutions,” said Peter Weigand, Bosch Sensortec’s VP of marketing, in a prepared statement. “This new community now provides a powerful platform for advice, support and inspiration.”

The Bosch Sensortec Community enables developers to discuss the company’s product portfolio of micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) sensors and solutions designed for a range of applications, such as low-power IoT devices, robotics, augmented reality, virtual reality, wearables and smartphones. The MEMS sensor portfolio includes accelerometers, gyroscopes, magnetometers, environmental sensors, inertial measurement units and smart sensors, as well as a portfolio of software and tools.