RFID News Roundup

CSL unveils UHF interrogator with integrated antenna; NFC mobile payments forecast to exceed $30 billion by 2012; Inside Contactless, ConnecThings partner to develop NFC platform; FileTrail awarded GSA contract for RFID file-tracking systems; Sumikin Bussan to distribute Impinj RFID products in Japan; AgoraBee adds active RFID tags to its portfolio.
Published: September 10, 2009

The following are news announcements made during the past week.

CSL Unveils UHF Interrogator With Integrated Antenna

Convergence Systems Limited (CSL), an RFID equipment manufacturer based in Hong Kong, has introduced an ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) RFID interrogator with an integrated antenna. The CS203 Ether is an all-weather, ruggedized reader designed for use in all environments, indoor or outdoor, and for a variety of applications, including asset tracking and highway toll stations. According to CSL, the interrogator has a read range of approximately 9 meters (30 feet) when interrogating Avery Dennison‘s AD-431 tags, and 13 meters (43 feet) when reading UPM Raflatac‘s DogBone tags. The CS203 Ether supports the ISO 18000-6C and EPC Gen 2 protocols, and operates in the 865-868 MHz, 902-928 MHz, 952-954 MHz, 919-928 MHz and 910-914 MHz frequency ranges. It has power-over-Ethernet connectivity and a design rating of IP68, signifying it is waterproof and dust-proof. Available now, the CS203 Ether costs $700.

NFC Mobile Payments Forecast to Exceed $30 Billion by 2012

Mobile payments that leverage Near Field Communication (NFC) technology are expected to jump from $8 billion this year to $30 billion within the next three years, according to a report from Juniper Research, a U.K.-based research-and-analytical services firm specializing in the mobile telecommunications sector. The growth will be spurred by the application of NFC as a mobile retail-marketing tool via coupons and smart posters. “Many people focus on the use of NFC for payments, but in fact it is poised to revolutionize the way many people shop, too,” said the report’s author, Howard Wilcox, in a prepared statement. “The ability to tap smart posters and receive coupons and product information also presents new channels to market for merchants.” The study indicated that in many regions of the world, NFC devices will start being shipped commercially later in 2009, with shipments ramping up in 2011. While NFC payments are already established in Japan, Juniper Research indicates that by 2014, North America and Western Europe will experience high growth. The report, entitled “NFC Mobile Payments & Marketing Opportunities: Forecasts & Analysis 2009-2014,” examines the opportunities available in both the mobile payments market and the mobile retail market (smart posters and coupons), as well as newly emerging interim solutions, such as stickers and SD cards. The report features detailed six-year forecasts across eight regions of the world, for shipments, through 2014, of NFC-enabled devices and interim NFC solutions; NFC devices for use in payments; transactions traffic; NFC transaction values and coupons; and smart posters. The report can be freely downloaded from the Juniper Research Web site.

Inside Contactless, ConnecThings Partner to Develop NFC Platform

Inside Contactless, a provider of contactless chip technologies, has announced that it has teamed with ConnecThings, a provider of bar-code, Near Field Communication (NFC), GPS and location-based technology solutions, to jointly develop, promote and commercialize Inside Contactless’ Wave-Me NFC services platform, an end-to-end solution that enables carriers and third-party service providers to offer subscribers access to a range of consumer services and applications through their mobile phones. The two companies indicate they will define intelligent interfaces and protocols that will enable communications between NFC handsets, NFC tags and the Wave-Me platform. Wave-Me-enabled handsets, for instance, will allow users to access relevant, profile-based services by waving the handsets near a corresponding Wave-Me NFC tag. According to Inside Contactless, the Wave-Me technology automatically simulates a complex series of keystrokes, eliminating the need for time-consuming, multi-keystroke chores. Wave-Me tags could also contain relevant phone numbers or URLs to send text messages, the company reports, or to transmit and retrieve information from Web sites.

FileTrail Awarded GSA Contract for RFID File-Tracking Systems

FileTrail, a provider of browser-based records-management software and RFID technology, has announced it has received a five-year contract from the General Service Administration (GSA) for RFID-enabled tracking systems. Under the terms of the agreement (contract number GS-03F-0141V), FileTrail will be able to offer its solutions to governmental agencies and bureaus solutions. FileTrail offers a range of configurable RFID solutions, including a Web-enabled file-tracking and records-mapping application, UHF EPC Gen 2 RFID tags that can be affixed to files and RFID interrogators (both fixed and handheld) that can be used to locate the tagged files, as well as automate the checking in and out of files from records rooms. The FileTrail FileDetector, for example, enables users to point and scan a room or office to locate the errantly placed document. Capable of reading tags 8 feet away or farther, the FileDetector can also be employed to locate critical files on demand, or to carry out an audit. FileTrail offers a mapping tool that lets workers input a specific file number, then navigate a digital floor plan of their office to view a particular file’s location, along with the name of the person who last checked it out.

Sumikin Bussan to Distribute Impinj RFID Products in Japan

RFID hardware manufacturer Impinj has announced that Sumikin Bussan will sell the Impinj Speedway family of UHF EPC Gen 2 RFID interrogators and antennas throughout Japan. Sumikin Bussan, a Japanese trading company, provides an assortment of value-added products and services to such sectors as steel, machinery and metals, textiles and foodstuffs. “We believe Impinj’s products combined with our market knowledge and expertise will accelerate the expansion of RFID adoption in Japan,” said Dick Yamauchi, GM of Sumikin Bussan’s supply chain management and project development department, in a prepared statement.

AgoraBee Adds Active RFID Tags to Its Portfolio

AgoraBee, an RFID reader and tag provider based in Lausanne, Switzerland, has added four new 2.4 GHz active RFID tags to its product portfolio. The Krypton tag was created for industrial applications, the Keyfob and Bracelet tags are designed for tracking assets and people (for security and personnel applications), and the Neutral tag is intended for use by the food industry to track perishables and food items. The tags all support serial numbers of up to 32 bits, and have a typical battery life of five years. The Krypton, Keyfob and Bracelet tags can support integrated sensors that detect motion or measure temperatures ranging from -30 degrees to +85 degrees Celsius (-22 degrees to +185 degrees Fahrenheit); the Food tag supports a temperature sensor that can measure temperatures ranging from 0 to 55 degrees Celsius (32 degrees to 131 degrees Fahrenheit). All of the sensors can be programmed to trigger alarms if motion or temperature fluctuations occur outside of specified ranges.