RFID News Roundup

By Admin

European Youth Olympic Festival to use RFID-enabled ID cards; RF-iT adds virtual tunnel to its RFID solutions; Seoul Subway to save millions with RFID ticketing; Pennsylvania lawmakers move closer to banning forced chip implants in people; Maryland hospital to use VeriChip's RFID-enabled emergency management system; Hi-G-Tek unveils new line of active RFID tags, readers.


The following are news announcements made during the last week.

European Youth Olympic Festival to Use RFID-enabled ID Cards

UPM Raflatac, a supplier of pressure-sensitive labels and RFID products located in Tampere, Finland, will supply RFID inlays for access control in support of the European Youth Olympic Festival (EYOF), to be held on July 18-25, in Tampere. The RFID tag passes leverage UPM Raflatac’s RaceTrack high-frequency (HF) RFID products that comply with the ISO 15693 standard and operate at 13.56 MHz. Authorized individuals at EYOF will be issued integrated UPM Raflatac RFID tag identification passes, to be used to enter accommodations, dining and competition venues. The passes will also allow access to free usage of the public transportation system in Tampere. “By supporting the EYOF, we can directly show event organizers the benefits of using RFID technology and indirectly the authorized event participants,” said Samuli Strömberg, UPM Raflatac’s VP of marketing, in a prepared statement. The EYOF is a biennial multisport event for youth athletes from the 49 European Union member countries of the European Olympic Committee. EYOF’s first summer event was hosted in Brussels, Belgium, in 1991, followed by the winter event two years later, in Aosta, Italy. In Tampere, more than 2,600 young European athletes will compete in track and field, basketball, cycling, gymnastics, volleyball, judo, swimming, tennis and handball.

RF-iT Adds Virtual Tunnel to Its RFID Solutions

RF-iT Solutions, an RFID software and consulting company based in Graz, Austria, has announced an add-on to its You-R Open middleware platform. The You-R Virtual Tunnel is designed to help companies automatically identify RFID-tagged individual components, and determine where they should be allocated during packing processes. The You-R Virtual Tunnel is able to distinguish between RFID tags moving on a conveyor belt and those that may be placed or affixed to objects near the conveyor. “By filtering out transponders located beside, but not directly on the conveyor, and by selective reads on the conveyor, we offer our customers a reliable solution to the phenomenon of false positive reads, a problem known throughout the industry,” explained Dominik Berger, RF-iT’s managing director, in a prepared statement. In tests the company conducted, including those with German shirt manufacturer Seidensticker, up to 50 components were clearly allocated to their packing units at a conveyor speed of one meter (3.3 feet) per second. RF-iT Solutions consultants will help customers implement the solution, and—depending on the requirements and spatial conditions of the customer’s site—the solution may be provided with a single or several antennas.

Seoul Subway to Save Millions With RFID Ticketing

The Seoul Subway, which serves a city of 10 million people in South Korea, has implemented an RFID ticketing system based on technology from chipmaker STMicroelectronics (ST), based in Geneva, Switzerland. The system replaces Seoul Subway’s paper tickets with RFID smart cards known as Single Journey Tickets. Each ticket contains ST’s SRT512 contactless memory chip, enabling the cards to be returned and reissued to new passengers. The SRT512, specifically designed for short-range applications, complies with the ISO 14443-B standard. By recycling the tickets, Seoul Subway can save an estimated 3 billion Won (more than $2.4 million) on the cost and environmental impact of generating more than 450 million disposable paper tickets each year. With the new system, customers can purchase single-journey tickets in automated vending machines in exchange for each passenger’s payment, plus a 500 Won ($0.40) deposit for the ticket. ST worked with card issuer Korea Smart Card Co. (KSCC), which operates the New Transportation System for the Seoul Metropolitan Government, to optimize the SRT512 to support the subway’s ticketing system. The new single-use, reusable cards augment Seoul Subway’s existing RFID ticketing system, a refillable traffic-card system called T-Money. ST and KSCC collaborated on the T-Money prepaid transportation cards, which are accepted in buses, subway and taxis, and are based on ST’s ST19WR contactless smart cards.

Pennsylvania Lawmakers Move Closer to Banning Forced Chip Implants

The Pennsylvania House of Representatives has unanimously passed a bill introduced by Rep. Babette Josephs (D-Philadelphia) that would make it illegal to force someone to have an identification device—such as an RFID transponder—implanted on or under his or her skin. House Bill 1175 does not specifically refer to RFID, though it defines an identification device as anything containing or transmitting personal information, such as an individual’s name; address; contact information, including phone number and e-mail; date of birth; driver’s license number; Social Security or state identification number; religion; ethnicity; bank or credit card information; fingerprint or any other unique identifier. Under the bill, a person would have to be at least 18 years old and of sound mind to undergo implantation, and the consent of a parent, guardian or attorney would not be considered adequate. A person found in violation would be subject to a civil penalty of up to $10,000. The individual subjected to the implantation would also be able to bring a civil action against the guilty person for actual damages. The bill was amended on the House floor to include two exemptions: an individual ordered by a state or federal court to be implanted, as part of his sentence or condition of probation or parole, and any Guantanamo Bay detainees. The bill now goes to the Senate for consideration. A few other states have passed similar legislation, including Wisconsin (see Wisconsin Governor Signs ‘Chip Implant’ Bill).

Maryland Hospital to Use VeriChip’s RFID-enabled Emergency Management System

Calvert Memorial Hospital in Prince Frederick, Md., has signed a deal with RFID solutions provider VeriChip to employ VeriChip’s VeriTrace solution for disaster preparedness and emergency management. The deal includes 1,000 implantable RFID microchips. VeriTrace consists of the microchips, a VeriTrace Bluetooth handheld interrogator, a customized Ricoh 500SE Digital Camera capable of wirelessly receiving both RFID-scanned data and GPS information, and a Web-enabled database for gathering and storing information and images captured during emergency response operations. VeriTrace was used to help the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Disaster Mortuary Operational Response Teams identify and track the remains of those who died during Hurricane Katrina (see VeriChip’s VeriTrace Platform Sees Sales Boost). Since then, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, the Hawaii Department of Health, the Florida Emergency Mortuary Operations Response System (FEMORS), the medical examiner’s office at the Department of Heath in New York’s Erie County, and two counties in New Jersey have all purchased the system.

Hi-G-Tek Unveils New Line of Active Tags, Readers

Hi-G-Tek, a developer and manufacturer of active-RFID sensing and control solutions for tracking high-value cargo and sensitive materials, is introducing its 18.7 Secure Series, a line of active RFID interrogators, transponders and sensors designed to track and monitor sensitive cargo and materials, including fresh produce. The new line complies with the ISO 18000-7 standard and operates at 433 MHz. The series includes a model with a temperature sensor that can report, in real time, the condition of a shipment in the back of a truck. Another product in the line is a container security device, whereby loads can be locked and monitored for any instances of tampering or contamination. Hi-G-Tek says it has already received a significant purchase order for a broad range of the 18.7 Secure Series products, through the U.S. Department of Defense‘s RFID III indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity (IDIQ) contract established by the U.S. Army on behalf of all U.S. armed services. The contract, administered by the Army’s Product Manager Joint-Automatic Identification Technology (PM J-AIT) office, was awarded to four prime contractors and their subcontractors in 2008, who are competing for purchase orders from any authorized organization supporting the DOD, the U.S. Coast Guard, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), coalition partners and other foreign military agencies. The prime contractors consisted of Savi Technology, Northrop Grumman, Unisys and SPEC (see U.S. Defense Department Picks Four for RFID III). Hi-G-Tek is a Unisys subcontractor.