RFID News Roundup

By Beth Bacheldor

Invengo establishes 'Kangxi' RFID reader family ••• Nedap intros !D Hand 2 mobile RFID reader for retailers ••• TexTrace unveils new woven RFID brand label with Impinj Monza R6-P ••• Fujitsu ships new UHF RFID tags for flat linens, fashion apparel, accessories ••• Harting intros UHF RFID reader for railway, other industrial applications ••• SML Group launches new, smaller RFID inlays with latest NXP ICs ••• Identiv intros new UHF tags, HF library labels ••• Dolphin RFID unveils new UHF RFID-enabled locks, RFID reader.

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The following are news announcements made during the past week by the following organizations:
Invengo;
Nedap;
TexTrace;
Fujitsu Frontech North America;
Harting;
SML Group;
Identiv; and
Dolphin RFID.

Invengo Establishes ‘Kangxi’ RFID Reader Family

Invengo Technology announced a new ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) RFID reader at this week’s RFID Journal LIVE! conference and exhibition, held in Orlando, Fla. The XC-RF868, the first member of Invengo’s Kangxi product line (named after one of the great emperors of Chinese history), is an RFID-enabled computing device designed for enterprise-level applications in the retail, manufacturing and health-care industries. According to Invengo, the Kangxi Emperor’s reign brought about long-term stability and wealth—something the company hopes to achieve with this family of readers, albeit on a more modest scale.

The reader employs the Microsoft Windows 10 IoT operating system, a quad-core processor and HDMI video, Invengo reports, coupled with fast read speeds and optional plug-and-play expansion capabilities. The XC-RF868 features six Quick Connect FAKRA antenna ports, a high-performance multi-core processor, 10/100 Mbit Ethernet with IEEE 802.3at/af PoE, plug-and-play USB ports, SIMM and SD card slots, smart antenna capability with Power-over-Coax, and an HDMI port.

“The release of the XC-RF868 is a giant step forward for the RFID market,” said Scott Medford, Invengo’s CSO, in a prepared statement. “One of the major inhibitors to growth has been a basic issue—how do we integrate RFID into the enterprise? We took a long look at this and we took Einstein’s advice to heart. Instead of doing the same thing over and over again with no change in results; we decided to change the way we connect, both at the interface and physical levels. First, we transformed the entire concept away from ‘another reader’ to a PC-class computer which just happened to have RFID capability on board. Using quad core processors and Win10 OS opens up a category of development and ease of support concept to the broader industry. We flipped the equation so that customers don’t have to learn our complex reader protocol—we implemented theirs! And while we were at it, we created a world-class RFID computing device that exceeds the performance of any other product in the market with added connectivity and scalability features. Speaking of connectivity, we even changed the connectors themselves, moving to an adjacent industry standard with small, flexible cable and click-on connectors, making it easier to install in those hard to reach places and eliminating a common failure point at the connector point itself.”

Invengo is demonstrated the new reader, as well as many of its other products, at the LIVE! conference.

Nedap Intros !D Hand 2 Mobile RFID Reader for Retailers

Nedap showcased a new version of its ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) RAIN RFID !D Hand handheld reader at this week’s RFID Journal LIVE! event, held in Orlando, Fla. Like the previous version of the !D Hand reader, designed for retail stores, the !D Hand 2 has only a single button to activate and operate, as well as enable personnel to perform inventory counts, check incoming goods and commission new RFID tags.

The !D Hand 2 is designed to be easy to use, lightweight and ergonomic, the company reports. Upgrades include an Impinj R2000 RFID reader chip, a 2D bar-code scanner and wireless battery charging. The device works as an accessory for mobile devices via a Bluetooth connection. Whenever employees want to perform an RFID-related task, they can simply take the !D Hand 2 readers, pair them with their mobile device and start their tasks, according to Nedap.

In conjunction, the !D Hand 2, Nedap is releasing a new software development kit (SDK)—something not available for previous version of !D Hand—to make it easier for users to integrate with iOS (Swift and Objective C) and Android (Java) applications. In addition, Nedap offers sample applications enabling its customers to test the source code; the apps are available via the iTunes App Store and Google Play websites.

“We have already integrated the !D Hand into our ControlSpan application,” said Kris Doane, CONTROLTEK USA‘s director of product management, in a prepared statement. “It was very easy to do the integration with the SDK supplied and best of all our customers are really impressed with the user-friendliness and performance of this Bluetooth reader.”

The handheld also comes with an application programming interface (API) with which a retailer or third-party software company can to integrate the device into a total RFID solution. It complies with the different regional European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) and Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulations for UHF RAIN RFID products.

The !D Hand 2 is available now and comes with a charging cradle for wireless charging of the !D Hand’s battery via induction transfer. A user can simply place it on a wireless pad, with no need for additional cables or adaptors. Nedap showcased the device at the LIVE! conference.

TexTrace Unveils New Woven RFID Brand Label With Impinj Monza R6-P

TexTrace has announced the expansion of its family of high-performance, woven radio frequency identification brand labels. These labels offer enhanced real-time inventory visibility even for smaller, delicate items, TexTrace explains, and provides real-time inventory-management capabilities for faster replenishment, reduced out-of-stocks, easy product searching and reliable loss prevention.

The new TexTrace woven RFID brand label features the latest generation of Impinj Monza R6-P RFID chip, and is compliant with the EPC Gen2V2 standards. The smaller sizes—as small as 17 millimeters by 50 millimeters (0.7 inch by 2 inches)—makes the labels suitable for such items as intimate apparel or accessories.

The new label adapts to regional RFID frequencies worldwide, thanks to a new antenna design, TexTrace reports, as well as the Monza R6-P’s auto-tuning feature. With a single global tag that fits all regions, the company explains, labeled items can be shipped from any manufacturing site to any region, permitting simpler workflow processes and faster, easier shipping.

“Security, performance and peace of mind is built into every item with TexTrace’s RFID-enabled woven brand label, eliminating the need for bulky EAS tags on all sizes and types of garments,” said Sybille Korrodi, TexTrace’s head of marketing and business development, in a prepared statement. “On top, we enable seamless product returns and prevent return fraud with stolen as well as fake items.”
and discreet size required for real-time inventory monitoring and loss prevention.”

TexTrace showcased the new woven RFID label at this week’s RFID Journal LIVE! event, held in Orlando, Fla.

Fujitsu Ships New UHF RFID Tags for Flat Linens, Fashion Apparel, Accessories

Fujitsu Frontech North America Inc. has announced that it is now shipping new ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) RFID tags for industrial garments and flat linens, as well as its new fashion tag for formal wear, high-fashion apparel, garments and accessories. The new Fujitsu WT-A522LA Fashion tag, a longer version of its WT-A522L tag (see Fujitsu Launches UHF RFID Tag For Fashion Apparel, Accessories), is about the size of a typical shirt collar stay, the company reports, and is virtually imperceptible when installed in the sheerest of garments. For industrial applications, Fujitsu is introducing the new, ultra-rugged, WT-A533 tag for industrial linen processes.

Unlike most garment RFID tags, Fujitsu’s Fashion tags, including the WT-A522LA Fashion tag, are made from transparent materials and are virtually invisible when sewn into clothing or accessories. From fine silks and lace to sheer gowns, the new tag provides fashion designers and retailers with protection against counterfeiting and fraud. Fashion apparel and formal wear rental enterprises will also benefit, the company says, thanks to precise tracking of rental garments and accessories at the item level, without having to unbox and individually read a bar code. The WT-A522LA features a strong adhesive for attachment to shoes, handbags and accessories.

For industrial garment and linen applications, Fujitsu has announced the new WT-A533 tag for heavy-duty industrial laundry applications. According to Fujitsu, the new tag has an advanced mechanical design that gives it extra strength and reliability in heavy-duty industrial garment and flat-linen applications. Customers will have the ability to perform bulk readings of hundreds or thousands of articles simultaneously within seconds, with high reliability and reading density. Bulk reading enables streamlined automated processes and significant reductions in labor costs compared to high-frequency (HF) systems, which require that the tags be read individually or in small quantities. The WT-A533 tag is the same size—55 millimeters in width by 10 millimeters (2.2 inches by 0.4 inch) in depth by 1.6 millimeters (0.06 inch) in height—and has the same soft exterior as its predecessor, the WT-A522, Fujitsu reports, but offers increased reading range and rugged durability.

Fujitsu displayed the new tags at this week’s RFID Journal LIVE! event, held in Orlando, Fla.

Harting Intros UHF RFID Reader for Railway, Other Industrial Applications

Harting Technology Group, a manufacturer of industrial connectors, cable assemblies, backplane assemblies, Ethernet switches and radio frequency identification solutions, has announced a new ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) RFID reader designed for railway applications and other use cases for which vibration is a concern. Customers can use the RFID reader to determine, for example, at which platform a train car is located, which product groups are on a specific workbench or which load carriers are actually on the conveyor belt. Harting’s new Ha-VIS RF-R300 features a cast aluminum housing and complies with all railway standards, the company says.

The Ha-VIS RF-R300 is compatible with Harting’s GS1 EPCglobal-certified Ha-VIS middleware. The housing has an IP67 rating, Harting reports, which means it is dustproof and waterproof, and all of the compact housing’s connections meet the highest industrial standards. Power and eight general purpose inputs and outputs (GPIO) are connected via standard M12 Harting in-connectors, in order to meet the requirements of harsh project environments. The reader has a maximum UHF output power of 0.5 watts on both RP-TNC connectors. Depending on the antenna used, as well as the coax antenna cable, the reader achieves the maximum permitted UHF emitted power at the antenna of 2 watts of effective radiated power (ERP).

The reader has a modular software design, enabling it to support various communications protocols, such as LLRP, OPC-UA or MQTT. In addition, Harting reports, customer-specific variants can be supplied, made possible by a software container concept based on embedded virtual computing. A Linux-based system contains the actual function containers, which can be easily replaced if required.

Harting unveiled the Ha-VIS RF-R300 at this week’s RFID Journal LIVE! event, held in Orlando, Fla.

SML Group Launches New, Smaller RFID Inlays With the Latest NXP ICs

SML Group has announced new small RFID inlays featuring
NXP Semiconductors‘ Ucode 7 RFID chip. These new inlays are suitable for item-level inventory management and loss prevention of small retail items, the company reports, such as cosmetics, jewelry, sunglasses and fragrance bottles.

The new RFID inlays enable item-level tagging of even the smallest health and beauty items, the company claims, with inlays as small as 14 millimeters by 14 millimeters (0.6 inch by 0.6 inch) to fit onto a lipstick cap. According to SML Group, in-store retail RFID inventory management traditionally has excluded many very small retail items, such as individual cosmetics, due to their size and the challenges inherent in reading small tags within dense displays.

SML Group’s new RFID inlays feature NXP’s Ucode 7 RFID chip.

The new inlays are designed for markets in which inventory accuracy has been notoriously low, the company explains, due to problems with manual stock counts and out-of-stock situations, while inventory shrink is high compared to other categories. The tag development was performed in the context of an overall solutions approach to addressing retail customers’ pain points, in conjunction with SML’s Clarity solutions offering, which includes RFID reader technology supplied by various SML partners.

The inlays support the ISO/IEC 18000-63 and EPC Class 1 Gen 2 communications protocols. There are three sizes available: the GB4uU7, the GB4uU6 and the GB4uU11. The GB4uU7 features an antenna measuring 42 millimeters by 16 millimeters (1.7 inches by 0.6 inch)and a Web inlay measuring 60 millimeters (2.4 inches); the GB4uU6 has an antenna measuring 30 millimeters by 15 millimeters (1.2 inches by 0.6 inch) and a Web inlay measuring 40 millimeters (1.6 inches); and the GB4uU11 has an antenna of 14 millimeters by 14 millimeters (0.6 inch by 0.6 inch) and a Web inlay measuring 60 millimeters (2.4 inches).

SML displayed the new tags at this week’s RFID Journal LIVE! event, held in Orlando, Fla.

Identiv Intros New UHF Tags, HF Library Labels

Identiv has announced a new addition to its RFID Library Labels product offerings, as well as the launch of its UHF Tags family of products for the Internet of Things market. The announcements were made at this week’s RFID Journal LIVE! event, held in Orlando, Fla.

The 13.56 MHz TOM (Tag On Metal) Media Label is suitable for addressing the need to monitor and track the growing number of electronic devices used in the library industry, the company reports, including tablets and laptops. According to Identiv, this new form factor is larger than others currently available—180 millimeters by 146 millimeters (7.1 inches by 5.75 inches—can be used worldwide due to its compatibility with existing product infrastructure (ISO 15693-compliant readers, for instance), and, due to its long read range, meets the needs of the most demanding applications.

Identiv’s UHF Tags family

“The library market has embarked upon a huge transformation with the integration of electronic device support,” said Stephane Ardiley, Identiv’s director of product management, in a prepared statement. “With the addition of tablets, laptops, and mobile devices to library services, Identiv’s RFID product offerings, including our new TOM Media Label, deliver superior contactless solutions for simplified inventory management and item tracking. Specifically tuned for metal environments, this label provides optimum readability when attached to electronic devices.”

Identiv’s new UHF Tags family of products for the IoT market includes a comprehensive set of ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) designs for applications requiring long-distance RFID, the company indicates. The designs are suitable for a variety of applications, including supply chain and inventory management, asset and personnel tracking, logistics, industrial and manufacturing, brand protection and anti-counterfeiting. Other target applications, says notes, include real-time location system (RTLS) technologies, gate and perimeter access control, pharmaceutical and health care, entertainment and travel and IoT enablement. The tags are designed to work in different regions around the globe, and support a frequency range of 860 to 960 MHz.

Identiv’s Tags catalog contains a series of UHF Gen 2 designs—including different dimensions and form factors, such as dry or wet inlays with adhesive backing or labels—that specifically target a variety of environments, including plastic, wood, and human or animal bodies. Samples of Identiv’s new products, including the new TOM Media Label and the UHF tags, were on display and available at the LIVE! conference.

Dolphin RFID Intros New UHF RFID-enabled Locks, RFID Reader

Dolphin RFID, an end-to-end RFID solutions provider based in Mumbai, India, has launched its next-generation ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) RFID-enabled locks: the Asteria, Sleek and Vidala. The locks offer a host of features, such as elevator control, energy management and a display system, the company reports, and can interface with the lock-control software of all major property-management systems (PMS).

Dolphin RFID’s RFID-based locks are used prominently at hotels throughout India, according to the company. The UHF RFID locks facilitate “barrierless” access control without compromising on security and safety for guests and personnel, the company explains. The new locks are ANSI-, CE- and FCC-approved and waterproof. They have bundled features, such as an RFID card-based energy switch and a display system, and work with cards utilizing NXP Semiconductors‘ Mifare chips.

Dolphin RFID has also announced its Dolphin C1G2 reader, which covers both the U.S. and European frequency bands and is available with a GPS unit and a GPRS module to transmit data to a back-end server. The reader, made with a ThingMagic reader module, has an IP 67 rating, meaning it is dustproof and waterproof, and includes coverage. The Dolphin C1G2 reader is being trialed with several garbage haulers in India, and is being mounted in the companies’ trucks, where bins are dumped, above the hopper. The reader is expected to be made commercially available during the fourth quarter of this year.

The locks and reader were showcased at this week’s RFID Journal LIVE! event, held in Orlando, Fla.