RFID News Roundup

By Rich Handley

Zebra Technologies unveils mobile handheld devices for clinical mobility workflow, patient care ••• STMicroelectronics offers NFC technology for secure contactless payments, IoT ••• Brady, Vizinex RFID partner on aerospace tags ••• AiRISTA Flow, Conexus provide RTLS solutions to military hospitals ••• Shenzhen Chuangxinjia intros new RFID label for multiple applications ••• iSEEK Corp. announces compact shape code for embedded identification apps ••• Juniper Systems integrates UHF RFID with Mesa 2 rugged tablet.

The following are news announcements made during the past week by the following organizations: Zebra Technologies; STMicroelectronics; Brady, Vizinex RFID; AiRISTA Flow, Conexus; Shenzhen Chuangxinjia Smart Card Co.; iSEEK Corp.; and Juniper Systems.

Zebra Technologies Unveils Mobile Handheld Devices for Clinical Mobility Workflow, Patient Care

Zebra Technologies, a provider of solutions and services to enterprises designed to offer real-time visibility into their operations, has announced two new mobile handheld devices built to improve clinical mobility workflow and patient care. The DS8100-HC series scanners and the TC51-HC mobile computer can foster clinical collaboration for employees and increase operational efficiencies, the company reports, while supporting the rights of medication administration to help increase patient safety.

The DS8100-HC imager series, which comes in both corded (DS8108-HC) and cordless (DS8178-HC) versions, features a housing composed of special plastics to help prevent the spread of bacteria and allow for safe wipe-downs with a wide selection of disinfectants used in hospitals. The DS8100-HC series features user-selectable feedback modes to instantly notify health-care workers if a bar code has been properly captured, without disturbing patients. In addition to offering standard LED, vibrate and beeper feedback, the system enables users to adjust beeper volume, frequency and illumination intensity to improve the patient experience.

Both the DS8100-HC series and the TC51-HC mobile computer can capture virtually any bar code in any condition, according to the company. What's more, they can scan problematic bar codes in pharmacies and laboratories, as well as at the point of care, in order to improve productivity and efficiency.

According to the company, health-care providers can utilize the TC51-HC mobile computer to replace multiple devices required to perform such tasks as calling and texting co-workers, receiving calls via PBX, accessing patient records, scanning bar codes and increasing medication administration accuracy. Consolidating these applications into a single device, Zebra explains, allows tasks to be executed with greater ease and proficiency. An ultra-high-resolution, rear-facing camera and a front-facing camera enable health-care professionals using the TC51-HC to provide an account of patient condition and offer remote consultation for quicker service.

STMicroelectronics Offers NFC Technology for Secure Contactless Payments, IoT

STMicroelectronics (ST) has announced the availability of its latest-generation Near Field Communication (NFC) devices for contactless payments and data exchange. The new devices include the ST21NFCD NFC controller, as well as two new members in the company's ST54 System-in-Package (SiP) family.

The ST21NFCD chip features active load modulation for faster, smoother transactions over longer distances, the company reports, resulting in better user experiences with mobiles, wearables or Internet of Things devices. It supports card emulation, reader-writer and peer-to-peer communication modes, and contains eFlash to permit full firmware update. It supports the NFC Forum's NCI 2.0 specification, which simplifies software development for interacting with NFC tags and supports batching and autonomous exchanges to minimize communication overheads.

The IC also meets NFC Forum type 1-5 tag specifications, ISO/IEC 18092 NFC Interface and Protocol (NFCIP), and payment standards including EMVCo latest revisions. It is pre-certified in accordance with the Global Certification Forum (GCF) and PTCRB for integration in mobile devices, and can enable handsets to read Mifare Classic encrypted tags.

Built-in power management and battery-voltage monitoring minimize any impact on runtime in a host-system, such as a smartphone. According to ST, high RF sensitivity (which allows the use of miniaturized antennas), the option to use an external clock source instead of a crystal, and the chip's high output power help to reduce bill-of-materials and board footprint.

ST's latest ST54 Systems-in-Packages—the ST54F and the ST54H—contain the ST21NFCD NFC controller and an embedded secure element (eSE). The eSE is an ST33 secure microcontroller certified to high security standards, including Common Criteria EAL5+ and EMVCo for financial applications, which ensures strong protection against duplication and hacking. It leverages ARM's SecurCore SC300 core and supports secure operating systems running Java Card and GlobalPlatform.

The ST54F integrates the ST21NFCD with the widely deployed ST33G1M2 secure element, with up to 1.28 megabytes of eFlash. The ST54H embeds a more advanced ST33J2M0 eecure element, with up to 2 megabytes of eFlash and twice the performance of the ST33G1M2, to connect with new digital secure applications from service providers.

Brady, Vizinex RFID Partner on Aerospace Tags

Brady, a provider of industrial and safety printing solutions, has announced that its SmartID business has partnered with Vizinex RFID to provide its Rigid RFID Tags to the aerospace industry.

The company's Rigid RFID Tag portfolio includes two mount-on-metal tags. The Stik tag offers a slim profile and an average read range of 2.35 meters, and measures 36.4 millimeters by 7 millimeters by 4.4 millimeters. The Nickl tag is designed for smaller parts, with an average read range of 1.5 meters and a measurement of 14 millimeters by 14 millimeters by 5.8 mm. The tags are engineered to meet the ATA Spec-2000 CH 9 Rev 2016.1 requirements for commercial aircraft.

"It has been a pleasure to work with Vizinex RFID on this portfolio," said Matthew Goode, Brady SmartID's commercialization manager, in a prepared statement. "Throughout the entire process, we had an entirely collaborative relationship, and I think the end result is indicative of that. We are eager to begin providing the aerospace industry with a reliable solution for tracking assets that also adheres to its stringent customer requirements."

"We're proud to be involved in the release of the Rigid RFID Tags for aerospace," said Bob Oberle, Vizinex's CTO, in the prepared statement. "Our partnership with Brady SmartID allows us to take the strengths of both of our companies and combine them to offer a broad portfolio of RFID tags."

AiRISTA Flow, Conexus Provide RTLS Solutions to Military Hospitals

Conexus Inc. and AiRISTA Flow have partnered to offer the Conexus Plexus Vision Information System platform, which provides bar-code, passive RFID and real-time (Wi-Fi) tracking information and data analytics for a number of military health facilities. These include Tripler Army Medical Center, Walter Reed National Military Medical Center and Brooke Army Medical Center, among others.

For Wi-Fi tracking and location information, the Plexus system incorporates AiRISTA tags and the AiristaFlow ERC location engine to provide real-time location services for medical and IT assets. The Plexus Vision asset-management RTLS software, incorporating AiRISTA Flow's Ekahau RTLS controller, manages assets in more than 15 major U.S. military health centers.

"Through our partnership with Conexus Inc., AiRISTA Flow is honored to be able to assist the Defense Health Agency in meeting their goals to increase efficiencies," said Sy Sajjad, AiRISTA Flow's CEO, in a prepared statement, "while simultaneously helping them gain higher visibility into their asset-management processes, and increase asset utilization."

The combined Plexus Vision Information System platform and AiRISTA Flow ERC Location Engine is designed to provide directors, department managers and other end users with visibility into the locations, conditions and statuses of assets, individuals and workflows, the company reports. Data analytics can be delivered automatically.

Shenzhen Chuangxinjia Intros New RFID Label for Multiple Applications

Shenzhen Chuangxinjia Smart Card Co., an RFID label supplier, has announced the availability of new RFID label products for many applications. These include mobile payments, animal tracking, access control, aviation package identification, documentation, tracking management, package tracking recognition, animal husbandry, mobile commerce, security products, ticket management, parking control, production line automation, material management and more.

Shenzhen Chuangxinjia's new RFID label

The new labels are ultra-thin and lightweight, the company reports, and come with a radio frequency shield. Numerous antenna designs and packaging materials can be used to create various kinds of inlays, windshield tags, anti-metal tags, jewelry tags, library tags, luggage tag, laundry tags and more.

iSEEK Corp. Announces Compact Shape Code for Embedded Identification Apps

iSEEK Corp. has announced ShapeID, its new shape code condensed to fit within the small format of QR codes or embedded technologies such as radio frequency identification. According to the company, the code retains high precision to differentiate even minor differences in shape.

An RFID tag with ShapeID embedded, iSEEK reports, allows the processing system application to instantaneously perform a search for the identification of identical and highly similar service parts across different suppliers, different part numbers, multiple geographical locations, global time zones and various language differences.


ShapeID is extractable from all native computer-aided design (CAD) file formats, their derivatives (such as STL, JT and CGR formats) and standard formats (such as STEP and IGES). The new code was designed to extend QR code functionality for the manufacturing and service part sectors. ShapeID captures a part's three-dimensional geometry, including topology and dimensions. Scanning a QR code with ShapeID embedded triggers a shape search for identifying that part, while simultaneously identifying identical and similar designs despite the different part numbers.

iSEEK products encode the overall shape of parts and assemblies for classification, analysis and search in large and distributed databases. ShapeID is part of a suite of products offered by the corporation, including CADseek Polaris, CADseek Analytics sand CADseek Mobile.

CADseek Polaris encodes a CAD model (or point cloud from a laser scan) to search CAD databases for designs that are most similar to the target shape. CADseek Analytics is tailored to analyze product lines in big-data environments to identify unnecessary duplication and determine pockets for standardization. And CADseek Mobile enables a user to utilize a photograph of a part to search CAD databases for identical or similar products.

Juniper Systems Integrates UHF RFID With Mesa 2 Rugged Tablet

Juniper Systems has announced that integrated ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) RFID capabilities are available for its Mesa 2 Rugged Tablet. Suitable for jobs requiring frequent identification of RFID tags, this optional upgrade aims to increase efficiency, reduce errors associated with data entry, and allow personnel to spend less time scanning and more time performing other functions, the company reports.

When added to the Mesa 2, this automatic-identification feature enables inventory tracking, asset management, manufacturing processing, inspections and other applications. The system is rugged and lightweight, features a fast processor and an extended battery life, and can capture RFID readings in any environment, according to Juniper Systems.

"With this product, we focused in on finding the ideal way to blend UHF RFID with our ultra-rugged Mesa 2 for those requiring frequent tag identification in all types of conditions," said Tom Francom, Juniper Systems' industrial market manager, in a prepared statement. The Mesa 2 with UHF RFID works on both Android and Windows 10 operating systems. Juniper Systems is now taking orders for the Mesa 2 with RFID read and write capabilities.