RFID News Roundup

The following are news announcements made during the past week by the following organizations:
Farsens;
Neology;
IDTronic;
VivaLnk; and
Panasonic.

Farsens Introduces RFID-enabled Light Detector

Shadow ambient light detector

Farsens, a Spanish developer of RFID sensors, has announced the Shadow, a passive light-detecting RFID tag that lets companies detect tagged assets’ exposure to light or darkness. The Shadow tag was created for automation applications in which tagged assets’ exposure to light changes throughout the process, Farsens explains. Monitoring these changes enables a user to program a variety of procedures based on process time and status, as well as the detector data.

The Shadow—made with Farsens’ ANDY100 proprietary RFID integrated circuit—is compatible with commercial EPC Gen 2 ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) RFID readers, and is designed for companies that want to develop their own sensors. It features a Low Power Radio Solutions (LPRS) N5AC-501085 light-dependent resistor (LDR), 96 bits of Electronic Product Code (EPC) memory, a 32-bit Tag Identifier (TID) and a password-protected kill command. Built in a PCB format, the Shadow is available in a variety of antenna design and sizes, depending on the specific application.

The tag can be embedded in a variety of materials, such as plastics or concrete—even in sealed places where light exposure is scarce—and can also be encapsulated in an IP 67 or IP 68 casing for usage in harsh environments. It has a communication range is up to 1.5 meters (4.9 feet). Operating temperatures range from -30 degrees to +85 degrees Celsius (-22 degrees to +185 degrees Fahrenheit). Evaluation kits are available.

Neology Receives OmniAir 6C Certification for RFID Tags

Neology, a subsidiary of Smartrac, has announced that it has received certification from OmniAir Certification Services (OCS) for its 6C Dual Mode Switch tag, 6C Hard Case Transportation tag and 6C Standard Windshield Sticker tag. OmniAir is a nonprofit standards organization that provides 6C testing and certification services for ISO 18000-6C ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) RFID readers and passive tags, which are attached to vehicles and used for tolling (see Efforts to Aid Adoption of ISO 18000-6C RFID for Toll Collection Move Forward).

The OCS validates that Neology tags comply with baseline and applied interoperability across equipment vendors and facilities, according to Neology, and can withstand conditions of the toll environment. All three tags certified by OCS are based on RFID ICs provided by NXP Semiconductors. Neology’s 6C Dual Mode Switch tag is designed for electronic toll collection (ETC) and high-occupancy toll (HOT) lane applications, Neology reports, and the dual-mode feature enables users to switch between two separate accounts, including a standard ETC account versus an HOT account, or a personal account versus a business account. The 6C Windshield Sticker features proprietary security features via the incorporation of custom programming, printing and optional holographic elements.

“The certification of our 6C Dual Mode Switch Tag, 6C Hard Case Transportation Tag, and 6C Standard Windshield Sticker Tag strengthens our position as a market leader in Vehicle Registration and Tolling,” said Francisco Martinez, Neology’s CEO, in a prepared statement. “Utilizing the proven RFID IC technology provided by our partner, NXP Semiconductors, our tags will enable game-changing electronic toll collection (ETC) and high occupancy toll (HOT) lane applications.”

IDTronic Adds New Soft, Flexible RFID Wristband to Lineup

Silicone Fit wristband

IDTronic, an RFID hardware provider based in Germany, has unveiled the Silicone Fit, an RFID-enabled wristband designed for use in access-control applications at health clubs, hotels and fitness areas, such as saunas and pools. Silicone Fit features a new shape, three new sizes (for children, young people and adults) and a range of personalization options, the company reports, and is available in blue, red, black, yellow and green.

Like IDTronic’s other RFID wristbands (Rubber, Smooth and Tag), the new Silicone Fit wristband is available with all standard ICs, including low-frequency (LF) 125 kHz chips, such as EM Microelectronic‘s 4200 and 4550, Atmel‘s Temic 5567, and NXP Semiconductors‘ Hitag, as well as high-frequency (HF) 13.56 MHz chips from NXP (the Mifare Ultralight, Mifare Classic, Mifare DESfire EV1, I-Code SLI and I-Code SLI-S models), Legic‘s MIM256 and MIM1024, and Texas Instruments‘ Tag-It HFI Plus. Other types of passive ICs, including UHF versions, are available upon request. The Silicone Fit can be personalized with new printing options that include silkscreen printing (up to three colors), laser engraving (optional color filled), logo debossing or embossing, and more.

VivaLnk Announces Digital Tattoo

VivaLnk’s Digital Tattoo

VivaLnk has announced, Digital Tattoo, an electronic skin (eSkin) product with an embedded Near Field Communication (NFC) RFID tag. Developed with Google’s Advanced Technology and Projects (ATAP) group—a small, agile skunkworks team within Google—Digital Tatoo is a nickel-sized, paper-thin adhesive worn on the wrist and used to wirelessly communicate with a user’s smartphone. It utilizes NXP Semiconductors‘ Ntag chip in an inlay designed by VivaLnk, the company reports.

Currently, VivaLnk’s Digital Tattoo works only with Motorola‘s Moto X smartphone. When worn by a smartphone user, VivaLnk reports, Digital Tattoo provides electronic authentication to unlock the phone for use and make logging into the device fast, easy and secure. After setting up Moto X, the user can activate a Digital Tattoo by tapping the back of the phone to the Digital Tattoo and following onscreen instructions. For the first activation, the individual will be prompted to re-enter an existing PIN and set a master PIN. For the remaining activations of the same tattoo, the user pairs the tattoo and taps the phone to activate. Digital Tattoos are disposable and can be worn for about five days before replacement is required. VivaLnk has begun selling Digital Tattoo 10-packs via its website for $9.99.

The VivaLnk team is currently looking to expand to other devices and future versions of Android, and also expects to develop other products utilizing eSkin technology in health care, security, entertainment and numerous other fields, the company says.

Panasonic Updates Toughpad FZ-G1 10-inch Rugged Windows Tablet With RFID Options

Panasonic’s Toughpad FZ-G1 tablet

Panasonic has announced upgrades to its Toughpad FZ-G1 rugged 10-inch tablet. The updated tablet features a faster fourth-generation Intel Core i5 vPro processor, the Microsoft Windows 8.1 Pro update, a single battery providing up to 10 hours of continuous use and three new options, including an ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) RFID reader, a high-frequency (UHF) contactless smart card reader and a bridge battery.

According to Panasonic, the Toughpad FZ-G1 is designed as a lightweight tablet PC providing desktop-like performance in extreme environments, and is suitable for military personnel, first-responders, and field service and sales teams. The tablet complies with IP 65 and MIL-STD-810G specifications for drops (up to 4 feet), shock, vibration, altitude, humidity and extreme temperatures, and features Hazardous Location Certification for standard chemical resistance. Optional certification is available for use in hazardous locations.

For added security, Panasonic reports, an optional Opal-compliant, self-encrypting drive will be made available later this summer. The tablet also features Wi-Fi connectivity, an upgraded camera, touchscreen enhancements and more. Available now, the Toughpad FZ-G1 costs $2,599.