RFID News Roundup

JADAK handheld reader integrates LF/HF RFID, 1D/2D barcodes; Fresenius Kabi intros RFID smart labels for medication management; Talkin' Things offers $0.03 NFC and RFID tags; Facedrive BLE app pairs with TraceSCAN wearable tech; Semtech, Amazon Web Services, TensorIoT collaborate on IoT solutions; Microlink to distribute Kerlink LoRaWAN solutions in Colombia, Peru.
Published: August 27, 2020

Presented here are recent news announcements regarding the following organizations: JADAK, Fresenius Kabi, Talkin’ Things, Facedrive, TraceSCAN, Semtech, Amazon Web Services, TensorIoT, Kerlink and Microlink.

JADAK Handheld Reader Integrates LF/HF RFID, 1D/2D Barcodes
JADAK, a business unit of Novanta Corp., has announced the release of its HS-1RS Secure Access Handheld Barcode Scanner, which features software from Imprivata and HID Global. The device integrates 1D and 2D barcode scanning with low-frequency (LF) and high-frequency (HF) RFID-based smart card, contactless card and proximity card reading functionality in a single unit. According to JADAK, clinicians can use any ID badge for secure user authentication and access to medical devices, while capturing barcode data such as patient wristbands or medication information.

The device is intended to help healthcare facilities adhere to guidelines from the FDA and the Health Care Industry Cybersecurity Task Force requiring authentication to protect patient information and ensure that only authorized users can access medical devices, as well as mandating electronic records of staff members who have accessed the device, interacted with patients or administered medications. Through JADAK’s partnerships with Imprivata and HID, the device can read all badge types ranging from barcodes to encrypted high-frequency (HID iClass), and it can be integrated into existing hospital ecosystems that utilize Imprivata single sign-on workflows.

Additional features, the company reports, include simplified workflows, time savings and infection control, since clinicians can tap an ID badge to log into devices or medicine cabinets, as well as identify patients instead of using a password or other methods that can spread infection and add significant time to the clinician workflow. Since the scanner was designed specifically for healthcare applications, the plastics are durable and sealed against sterilization and strong disinfectants typically used in hospital settings.

“We’re proud to partner with both Imprivata and HID and to be the first to solve this challenge for our customers,” said Kurt Matheson, JADAK’s VP of sales and marketing, in a prepared statement. “There are so many badge technologies, it’s difficult for our customers to accommodate all of them, so this product provides a compatible solution for any LF or HF RFID badge type. Plus, hospitals are already familiar with industry-leading Imprivata software, so integration and staff training should be seamless as well.”

Fresenius Kabi Intros RFID Smart Labels for Medication Management
Fresenius Kabi has announced a line of smart labels designed for tracking essential medications at hospitals. The labels feature embedded RFID technology and will be introduced this year for monitoring drugs commonly used in operating rooms, with the first product launch slated for next month. Fresenius Kabi produces generic injectable and infused medications offered in vials, bags and prefilled syringes, and it is now launching its new +RFID product portfolio.

“The introduction of Fresenius Kabi smart labels using RFID-enabled technology is an important addition to our pharmaceutical portfolio,” said John Ducker, Fresenius Kabi’s president and CEO, in a prepared statement. “Inventory management is a high priority for hospitals, especially in the current environment. This combination of smart technology with the comprehensive range of our anesthesia and analgesia portfolio is designed to answer our customers’ call to make it easier to assure that the right products are in the right places at the right time.”

The company’s +RFID line will feature an RFID tag embedded in each label, containing the type of data hospitals require to identify, locate and manage inventory. Product information is accessible from the tag, which enables an interoperable environment without the need for complicated data-sharing interfaces, according to the company. The technology enables item-level serialization of each +RFID product.

Fresenius Kabi will adhere to GS1‘s global standards for RFID, which are used worldwide to support pharmaceutical product identification, supply chain efficiency and data accuracy. The firm says it will be the first pharmaceutical company to embed medication identification data into its RFID tag following GS1’s open, technology-independent global standards. IntelliGuard, a healthcare technology company that designs, manufactures and implements intelligent healthcare supply chain management solutions powered by RFID, will read and utilize Fresenius Kabi’s RFID-labeled drug products.

“Fresenius Kabi’s commitment couldn’t come at a more important time, as hospitals are faced with significant medication supply chain challenges,” said Gordon Krass, IntelliGuard’s CEO, in the prepared statement. “Our customers will now be able to get RFID smart-labeled medications directly from a manufacturer. It’s a great example of leadership from industry and a win for both patients and health care providers. Fresenius Kabi’s technology solution further revolutionizes health care, protects patient safety and will undoubtedly bring a new level of track, trace and inventory visibility throughout hospital supply chains.”

Talkin’ Things Offers $0.03 NFC and RFID Tags
Talkin’ Things has announced RFID and Near Field Communication (NFC) tags that will cost around $0.03 apiece, designed for mass-market fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG). The company says it analyzed and optimized its tag-production processes, enabling the lower tag cost. Proprietary antenna design, along with virtual modeling and comprehensive testing, allow for greater performance, Talkin’ Things reports.

Talkin’ Things is a smart-packaging provider and manufacturer of standard and customized RFID tags. Connected products embedded with the company’s technology include AIDC solutions for logistics, consumer-engagement tools, brand protection and a data-management system with customizable APIs. The company has experience in Internet of Things (IoT) technologies, as well as RFID and NFC hardware design. Talkin’ Things’ solutions include creative concepts, advisory services, design, tag production, and customizable software and hardware.

The offer includes 23-millimeter by 17-millimeter (0.9-inch by 0.7-inch) ISO 14443 HF NFC smart labels (wet inlays) at $0.03, and ISO 15693 at $0.04, while UHF RFID tags are available for $0.027 each. A performance test report is available upon request and a dry inlay option is also available. “With this offer, we are making a huge step towards bringing smart packaging to millions of everyday products,” said Marcin Pilarz, Talkin’ Things’ CEO, in a prepared statement. “We have strong confidence to continue this journey to achieve our $0.01/tag goal in 2025.”

The company has built a new production facility in Warsaw, Poland. A sample request form is available here.

Facedrive BLE App Pairs with TraceSCAN Wearable Tech
Facedrive, a Canadian technology developer, has announced that its BLE Connect data-transfer app, using Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), is now available at the Apple Store and Google Play Store. The app is designed to pair with TraceSCAN‘s contact-tracing wearable technologies for COVID-19 containment efforts.

The BLE Connect app allows users to connect and upload data from TraceSCAN wearable devices. The data is stored locally on the wearable device and is only uploaded through the app if the user tests positive for COVID-19. It allows a company’s administrators to notify recent close contacts accordingly and enables individuals to take the appropriate precautions to contain the virus’s spread in the workplace. The app will only work when paired with TraceSCAN wearables.

The launch of BLE Connect follows a recent announcement that the TraceSCAN app was made available at Microsoft’s App Store. The Windows application featuring Bluetooth wearable technology integration was introduced as an alternative to contact-tracing applications in Ontario-wide workplaces, especially those with restricted mobile usage. Although the app was initially invite-only, it is now publicly available for businesses looking to adopt TraceSCAN wearables in their back-to-work plans.

“Ensuring data privacy and affordability are top-of-mind priorities for Facedrive Health as we prepare for mass deployment of TraceSCAN Wearables,” said Suman Pushparajah, Facedrive’s COO and TraceSCAN lead, in a prepared statement. “The data captured through both BLE Connect app and TraceSCAN wearable devices are minimal while keeping it low-cost for businesses.”

Semtech, Amazon Web Services, TensorIoT Collaborate on IoT Solutions
Semtech, a supplier of analog and mixed-signal semiconductors and algorithms, has announced that it is collaborating with Amazon Web Services (AWS) and TensorIoT to develop Internet of Things (IoT) solutions. The companies will offer products called Asset Tracking Kits and Smart Building Kits, which will integrate Semtech’s LoRa devices and the LoRaWAN protocol with AWS’s IoT services.

Systems integrators and enterprises can use AWS’s IoT services to accelerate the pilot-to-production lifecycle for their digital transformation applications, leveraging AWS native services such as AWS IoT Core, Amazon API Gateway, AWS Lambda, Amazon CloudFront, Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) and Amazon DynamoDB. The kits are vertical product offerings based on the LoRaWAN protocol, built using AWS IoT Core and a serverless architecture, and are intended for use in such vertical markets as utilities, smart homes, smart communities and smart healthcare.

“LPWAN technologies represent a rapidly growing frontier of connectivity choices for the IoT,” said Michael MacKenzie, AWS’s general manager for IoT connect and control, in a prepared statement. “Hundreds of millions of constrained devices are being connected to solve real-world challenges in every vertical. These devices need to be able to communicate through multiple levels of concrete for smart structures or over miles of distance in remote telemetry cases, while running on tiny batteries that last 10-plus years. With companies like Semtech, AWS IoT Core customers are delivering LPWAN solutions using LoRa without sacrificing scalability, availability or security.”

In addition to hardware, the kits provide cloud dashboard capabilities demonstrating IoT solutions in the asset-tracking and smart-building industries. In construction and other sectors, the companies explain, it is important to monitor fleet equipment in order to ensure maximum utilization, while for shipping and logistics, regulatory compliance for shipping is driving the need to provide precise information and traceability of inventory from source to destination. The Asset Tracking Kit allows users to locate outdoor assets around a specific location, including performing a regular automated inventory of assets available on site.

With the data generated by the GPS industrial trackers included with the kit, which is viewable on a cloud-based dashboard, customers can evaluate the benefits of tracking assets. The Smart Building Kit allows users to monitor doors and windows, desk and room presence, and environmental conditions, as well as detect water intrusion in near-real time, accessible via the cloud. The solution can be used, for example, in the event of a fire, a chemical spill or some other hazard, to determine the number of employees within a given area and ensure they are evacuated quickly and safely.

The kit’s portable nature allows users to move sensor locations to assess the completeness of network coverage. The kits are built upon the AWS IoT stack, and the cloud dashboards are designed to be largely serverless, relying on native AWS offerings. TensorIoT, which helps customers accelerate the integration of IoT and machine learning in products and processes, created the cloud applications to connect the sensors to the AWS Services.

Microlink to Distribute Kerlink LoRaWAN Solutions in Colombia, Peru
Kerlink, a provider of solutions dedicated to the Internet of Things (IoT), and Microlink, a South American telecommunications distributor, are teaming up to bring LoRaWAN networks to the growing IoT markets in Colombia and Peru. The agreement includes local distribution and support for Kerlink’s LoRaWAN connectivity solutions, including the design, operation and management of private IoT networks. It expands Microlink’s portfolio of products aimed at the transport, logistics, electricity, agriculture, water, metering, smart-building and smart-city segments.

 Kerlink’s portfolio of LoRaWAN network solutions includes industrial-grade network equipment, network core equipment, passive telecommunications elements, and management and operation software supported by Kerlink’s engineers. This allows Microlink to develop technological applications for the rapid deployment of IoT networks to help customers operate efficiently, the company reports, while conserving natural resources.

 “If today we are able to measure the use of these resources via the IoT, then we have the responsibility to optimize their consumption for the benefit of the planet,” said Gerardo Jimenez, Microlink’s sales director, in a prepared statement. “By maintaining a good communications channel with Kerlink, we will ensure that we efficiently coordinate the best possible products and solutions, including complete solutions for vertical markets, LoRa infrastructure, device management and professional services for Colombia and Peru.”

 “With more than 35 years of telecom-services experience, Microlink brings valuable knowledge of telecom and enterprise sectors and specialized technical sales and integration expertise that is especially suited for customers’ new IoT projects,” added Carlos Briceno, Kerlink’s VP for the Americas, in the prepared statement. “With this partnership, Microlink also is equipped to offer full LoRaWAN solutions in its markets, which will expand Kerlink’s footprint in South America.”