RFID News Roundup

OmniAir Consortium certifies STAR Systems International multi-protocol tolling reader ••• iDTRONIC offers HF mid-range reader module with SMA antenna ••• Texas city renews RFID charging service locations with Blink Charging ••• LoRa Alliance reports LoRaWAN network operator milestone ••• Newave Sensor Solutions, Smart Label Solutions complete exclusive agreement.
Published: January 24, 2019

Presented here are news announcements made during the past week by the following organizations:
the OmniAir Consortium, STAR Systems International;
Blink Charging;
the LoRa Alliance;
Newave Sensor Solutions, and Smart Label Solutions.

OmniAir Consortium Certifies STAR Systems International Multi-Protocol Tolling Reader

STAR Systems International (SSI), a Hong Kong-based RFID technology and professional services provider, has announced that its Titan UHF RFID reader has been certified for high-speed tolling and interoperability by the OmniAir Consortium. “The Titan reader is a ground-breaking product for the electronic toll collection market,” said Stephen Lockhart, SSI’s CTO, in a prepared statement. “By partnering with OmniAir and subjecting Titan to rigorous performance testing, SSI continues to show our commitment to our customers by demonstrating compatibility with industry standards.”

Designed specifically for high-speed, multi-protocol tolling systems, the Titan supports up to four antennas and multiple communications protocols simultaneously, including ISO 18000-6C/63, TDM (IAG), ISO 18000-6B-80k, ISO 18000-6B, ISO 10374 (ATA), Title 21 (T21) and Artefato SJ5511. The Titan features Doppler compensation, cellular/noise signal rejection and pre-distortion optimization, enabling it to offer high read accuracy for open road tolling and multi-lane free-flow systems.

“Congratulations to Star Systems for earning OmniAir Certification for their eighth tolling device, more than any single vendor,” said Jason Conley, the OmniAir Consortium’s executive director, in the prepared statement. “OmniAir Certification provides assurance to tolling agencies that certified devices conform with industry standards and meet minimum interoperability and performance requirements.”

The Titan has an upper operating temperature of 70 degrees Celsius and can transmit at full power using Power-over-Ethernet-plus. An internal database can store more than one million transactions. “SSI is proud and excited to offer Titan to our partners as a product that is certified by OmniAir,” said Bob Karr, SSI’s CEO, in the prepared statement. “Our team is fully committed to supplying the market with high-quality and high-performance RFID products and backing up those products with world-class support.”

iDTRONIC Offers HF Mid-Range Reader Module With SMA Antenna

iDTRONIC has announced its HF Mid-Range M500 integrated module, which measures 10.95 centimeters by 6 centimeters by 1.7 centimeters. An integrated SMA antenna port can be connected to a variety of HF antennas. The HF Mid-Range M500 module is suitable for applications in industrial automation, retail and access control, the company reports.

The module is equipped with a 15-volt DC power supply, comes with various interface options, such as TTL or RS232, and operates at the 13.56 MHz HF frequency. It can read tags and transponders according to the ISO 15693 and ISO 18000-3 standards, with a read range of up to 40 centimeters. An integrated anti-collision function can interrogate up to 30 tags or transponders simultaneously.

A software development kit and configuration tool for Microsoft Windows operating systems is provided, as well as an OS-independent command protocol. Adjustments of firmware and hardware are possible upon request for a particular project. The module can be implemented within industrial-automation processes. Robot arms or an entire automated process can be controlled via this compact embedded module.

On long automation lines, the company notes, accurate identification of components for an end-product is vital. RFID technology allows an individual transponder to be attached to each component, ensuring that the correct part is provided to a product at each section of automation. Failures and incorrect product combinations can thus be avoided.

If a product requires several screws, the module identifies these in the scope of up to 30 pieces per bulk acquisition. This saves time within the production process, according to the company. Additionally, the module is suited for environments containing high temperatures, such as in welding shops. The HF Mid-Range Module M500 can withstand temperatures of up to 80 degrees Celsius.

Texas City Renews RFID Charging Service Locations With Blink Charging

Blink Charging, an owner, operator and provider of electric vehicle (EV) charging station products and networked EV charging services, has announced that the city of Irving, Texas, has renewed its long-term, exclusive charging service locations through 2022. This renewal allows the city to continue offering EV drivers with access to 10 Blink Level 2 EV charging stations at the Irving Convention Center, the Irving City Hall and the West Irving Library. Additional units may be added in the future if demand increases.

To charge an EV at these locations, drivers can tap their RFID-based Blink InCard at a reader situated below each station’s screen, initiate a session directly from the Blink Mobile app, use a guest code provided via the Blink Mobile app, visit BlinkCode.com or call Blink Customer Support (888-998-2546). EV drivers can become a Blink member for free and typically receive discounted charging fees at thousands of Blink units.

Blink Charging’s EV charging equipment and networked EV charging services allow EV drivers to charge at thousands of locations throughout the United States. The company is headquartered in Florida, with offices in Arizona and California. Its Blink Network cloud-based software operates, maintains and tracks all EV charging stations connected to a network, along with associated charging data. The firm maintains strategic partnerships with airports, automotive dealerships, health-care and medical facilities, hotels, municipal locations, parks and recreation areas, parking lots, retailers and more.

LoRa Alliance Reports LoRaWAN Network Operator Milestone

The LoRa Alliance, a global association of companies backing the open LoRaWAN protocol for Internet of Things (IoT)-based low-power wide-area networks (LPWANs), has announced that it experienced a great deal of growth in 2018, exceeding 100 LoRaWAN network operators globally by the end of last year. The wider availability of LoRaWAN networks, the organization indicates, makes it easier to deploy IoT solutions leveraging existing infrastructure, allowing products and solutions to be offered and connected.

More than 100 network operators have deployed and operate LoRaWAN networks, both public and private. In addition, the Alliance reports, the number of end devices connected to LoRaWAN networks tripled since the beginning of 2018, demonstrating significant acceleration of adoption compared with other technologies.

“Reaching this operator milestone is a major achievement for the LoRa Alliance,” said Donna Moore, the LoRa Alliance’s CEO and chairwoman, in a prepared statement. “Only LoRaWAN has strong, established networks with broad coverage areas, while also offering the private network option. For companies looking to launch IoT products and solutions today, the LoRaWAN standard is the only viable solution. Features like firmware updates over the air and the fact that LoRaWAN is an open specification with a robust certification program ensure network and device interoperability. These benefits give confidence to the market that companies are future-proofed and can deploy solutions today with assurance they will work in the future.”

According to the organization, LoRaWAN networks are being actively deployed globally, with the Asia-Pacific and European regions showing the most growth throughout 2018, at 30 percent and 50 percent, respectively. Regional specifications have been established in all key regions, with additional regions being added. The total operator investment in LoRaWAN is significant on a global basis, the Alliance reports, indicating that network operators are making a long-term commitment to the LoRaWAN standard and are supporting the market demand for IoT applications.

Public operators and private companies or individuals interested in deploying a LoRaWAN network can apply for a NetID from the LoRa Alliance. Companies interested in learning more or requesting a NetID allocation should contact admin@mail.lora-alliance.org.

Newave Sensor Solutions, Smart Label Solutions Complete Exclusive Agreement

Newave Sensor Solutions has announced that its exclusive agreement with Smart Label Solutions (SLS), regarding Newave antennas used in SLS’s smartPORTALS, has been extended through 2021. In addition to the portals, SLS will be the lead manufacturer and assembler for the smartShelf for North America. SLS will have lead installation responsibility for both the smartShelf and the smartInventory Management System (SIMS). The firm will conduct installations and coordinate with outside installation partners as needed.

“We have been a believer in the superior Newave antenna performance for over 5 years and have worked very closely with Newave to specifically design our portals to take maximum advantage of the superior wave antenna,” said Jeff Hudson, Smart Label Solutions’ CEO, in a prepared statement. “SLS has installed over 6,000 of these portals in some of the largest companies in the world. We are excited to continue and deepen our partnership with Newave and to expand into the smartShelf system. We believe that smartShelf has outstanding potential to be the leading real-time on-shelf retail inventory availability system and we are very pleased to be a key partner in making that a reality”.

“Newave and SLS have had a very successful partnership and with this agreement we will work even more closely together to leverage our synergistic core competencies and marketing activities,” added Barry Burnside, a founder and board member of Newave Sensor Solutions, in the prepared statement. “Specifically, we plan to optimize Newave’s superior patented RFID technology, solution designs, and products as well as capitalizing on SLS’ exceptional and well proven in-market execution experience and capability. This is truly a win/win.”