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  • Editing Team 16:12 on November 27, 2013 Permalink | Reply
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    US Department Stores Add NFC Tags to Provide Stock Information 


    Thirty US department stores will be placing NFC labels on items in their shoe sections, letting shoppers tap a product to find out if their size and preferred color is in stock and, if not, get details of the nearest store that has stock available or place an online order for later delivery.

    The thirty stores are all part of the Bon-Ton Stores group and include Bergner’s, Boston Store, Carson’s, Herberger’s, Elder-Beerman and Younkers stores as well as Bon-Ton outlets in eleven US states. Thinaire’s NFC platform will be used to provide the service, which also enables coupons and other promotions to be delivered to shoppers.

    “By enhancing our displays with Thinaire’s technology we will be providing our shoppers with an engaging in-store experience,” says Luis Fernandez, chief omnichannel officer for Bon-Ton Stores. “Bon-Ton has developed a user-friendly mobile optimized process that makes it easy and intuitive for shoppers to find and purchase the products they want.”

    “Delivering dynamic product information through smartphones is just the beginning of the mobile engagement experience,” says Thinaire chief marketing officer Patrick Meyer. “Allowing shoppers immediate visibility into product availability makes the shopping experience more rewarding.”

    “The additional benefit of receiving coupons and promotions further strengthens Bon-Ton’s relationship with each customer who walks into a Bon-Ton store and taps. Shopping has never been so easy!”

  • Editing Team 17:40 on November 26, 2013 Permalink | Reply

    One in Ten Consumers Say They Have NFC Embedded in Their Phone 

    The number of consumers with an NFC-enabled phone has doubled since 2012, with 10% of 37,600 consumers surveyed in 20 countries saying they know that they have the technology embedded in their smartphone. 62% say they do not and 28% do not know if their phone has NFC or not, according to Deloitte’s third annual Global Mobile Consumer Survey.

    Of the 10% that know they have an NFC-enabled device, 34% said they have used it within the last month but 62% say they have never used the capability.

    More men than women know they have an NFC-enabled phone, the survey found, and men are also more likely to use it:

    ■13% of males say they have an NFC-enabled phone, 60% say they do not and 26% are unsure. Of those that do, 39% said they had used NFC in the last month, 56% said they had not and 6% were unsure.

    ■7% of females say they have an NFC-enabled phone, 63% say they do not and 30% are unsure. 26% said they had used the technology during the last month, 71% said no and 3% were unsure.

  • Editing Team 18:18 on November 25, 2013 Permalink | Reply

    How RFID Works 

    how-RFID-works-rfid-blogA passive UHF system usually have 4 main components: the tag, antenna, reader, and host PC.

    The reader scans each antenna attached to it so that once a tag enters the field of one of the antenna, it is first powered up. Once fully powered, the tag “backscatters” its information which the antenna can then pick up. This is the most delicate part of any system, since this is where interference comes into play: liquids absorb the projected signal while metals will reflect it. Depending on what you are labeling, where the tag is placed, and how many items you are trying to read at once, the performance of any system will greatly vary.

    In the cases where the tag is powered and read properly, the data on the tag is processed by the reader and sent onto your host PC. On your host you would be running some type of software to then put the read tag information to use. This could be an asset tracking software, an inventory management system, or even an event tracking application.

    Like barcodes, RFID tags are a simple identifier but the tags can be read faster and automatically without line-of-site or orientation concerns. Since each tag will have a unique number on it, the ways you track items will only be limited by your needs and software capabilities.

  • Editing Team 17:50 on November 22, 2013 Permalink | Reply
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    How Does RFID Help to Save Time and Money in Data Center 

    data-center-RFID-blog1. Reduce time on conducting audits and maintaining inventory. Whether annually, semi-annually, monthly or weekly, using RFID technology can speed audit time, allowing data center staff to focus on higher-priority tasks.

    2. Increase accuracy of data center audits. Using an RFID reader is a simpler, more accurate method of conducting audits and maintaining inventory. It reduces human error by removing the number of steps involved in cataloging assets. Information about a data center asset is only entered once, as an asset enters a data center or during the first audit. After that, the information resides in a database.

    3. Quickly locate critical data center assets. The typical 25,000 to 50,000 square foot data center may contain 5,000 to 15,000 individual assets — from racks, to servers to individual blades inside a server chassis. It is not uncommon for a service person to enter a large, enterprise data center with a service ticket and then spend most of the day simply attempting to locate the specific asset for repair.

    4. Manage time-to-deployment. Large data centers experience nearly 50% IT asset turnover due to equipment upgrades and end-of-life. Tens of thousands of dollars in equipment arrives through the receiving bay, enters a holding cage in the data center where it is stages, and then gets deployed into racks on the data center floor. The longer the time-to-deploy, the more these new assets cost the organization. While many IT equipment vendors now include RFID tags directly in their equipment, most data centers do not take advantage of this time-saving technology.

    5. Manage service level agreements (SLAs). Data center professionals can associate maintenance and warranty information with every RFID equipment tag. This way they can monitor and manage equipment and associated SLAs including when warranties expire, depreciation and disposal policies. These can be reviewed monthly, weekly or even daily, helping a data center tech more easily monitor, locate and manage IT assets.

  • Editing Team 17:55 on November 21, 2013 Permalink | Reply
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    Thai Firm Develops Passive NFC Chip to Power Lights and Sounds 


    Thailand-based NFC designer Silicon Craft Technology has developed a passive NFC transponder chip aimed at the toy, advertising and souvenir markets that harvests energy provided by an NFC interaction and uses it to power sounds and LED lights.

    The SIC4310 NFC Enabler’s UART (universal asynchronous receiver/transmitter) interface can directly drive a piezo speaker to play melodies while its GPIOs (general purpose input/output pins) are able to turn LED lights on and off using only harvested power from an NFC device.

    “We believe that there will be a huge demand for passively-operated and passive-powered NFC solutions,” says managing director Manop Thamsirianunt. “Therefore, Silicon Craft is continuing to develop new revision with more features and capabilities including integrating sensors and a processor, targeted to be launched in 2014.”

  • Editing Team 17:50 on November 20, 2013 Permalink | Reply
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    NFC Mobile Wallet Isis Finally Rolls out across the U.S. 


    More than three years after it was first announced, carrier-backed mobile wallet company Isis has finally launched nationwide.

    But even if you’ve been eagerly awaiting Isis, which lets you tap your smartphone to pay for items, you’ll need to go through a few hoops to actually use it. First of all, you’ll need an “Isis Ready” Android smartphone that supports NFC and secure SIM capabilities. Then you’ll need to get an “enhanced” SIM card from AT&T, T-Mobile, or Verizon (Isis’ parent companies). And finally, you’ll have to find a place to actually use it (which includes Toys “R” Us, Jamba Juice, and Coca-Cola vending machines).

    To encourage people to use Isis, the company is offering a few tempting deals, including 20 percent cash back for American Express Serve customers, free Jamba Juice smoothies, and free Coca-Cola vending machine drinks.

    During its pilot program, Isis noted that it saw some interesting results: Isis users tapped more than 10 times a month, two thirds of users chose to receive offers from brands, and more than 80 percent of payments occurred at locations like gas stations, convenience stores, and coffee shops.

  • Editing Team 17:33 on November 19, 2013 Permalink | Reply

    Swiss Firms Partner for NFC ID Ecosystem 

    Mobile network operator Swisscom, ID company Legic Identsystems and security specialist Kaba are working together to create an NFC ecosystem that will allow businesses across Switzerland to easily integrate NFC-based access control and time and attendance recording services.

    Swisscom’s Tapit NFC platform is to be launched in 2014, offering access to both payments and access control services. Legic’s IDConnect platform, which uses Bell ID’s Mobile Token Manager software, will be used to allow access control credential providers to store IDs on Swisscom SIMs.


  • Editing Team 18:09 on November 18, 2013 Permalink | Reply

    Global RFID Market to Reach $7.88 Billion in 2013 

    According to a RFID sector survey by IDTechEx Research, the RFID market will increase from $6.98 billion in 2012 to $7.88 billion, and will reach $23.4 billion in 2020. This includes tags, readers and software/services for RFID cards, labels, fobs and all other form factors for both passive and active RFID.

    The market for RFID has grown steadily despite the economic downturn due to the diverse nature of its applications from tagging retail apparel to transport ticketing to animals. Since 2000 there has been a strong push to use passive RFID to improve supply chain visibility, with a wide range of investment in new RFID technologies, new standards and much publicity. Inevitably as with most new technologies, aspects were over hyped and demand not in sync with capacity, but as we entered 2010 the industry emerged from the hype cycle and over the following years until now, has entered a period of rapid growth and profitability for some. There are different rates of growth for different applications and many challenges, but in total, IDTechEx finds that 5.9 billion tags will be sold in 2013 versus 4.8 billion in 2012. This was reflected earlier this year in studies by VDC Research.

    The last five years has seen consolidation throughout the value chain in passive UHF RFID with some companies emerging in true phoenix-from-ashes style. This is mainly driven by one application—retail apparel—which will globally demand 2.25 billion RFID labels in 2013. Some suppliers are now profitable and see rapid growth ahead. After apparel tagging, passive UHF is deployed in many different application areas for asset tracking and other applications. These are small volumes in their own right but add up to hundreds of millions of tags per year given the strong payback they give users. IDTechEx Research expects 3.1 billion passive UHF RFID tags to be sold in 2013.

  • Editing Team 18:08 on November 18, 2013 Permalink | Reply
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    Dutch Bank to Launch NFC Payments in the Netherlands 

    Netherlands-Rabobank-NFC-payments-rfid-blogDutch bank Rabobank is going to commercially launch an NFC mobile payments service in the Netherlands next year. Rabobank customers will be able to apply for a payment card online and have it sent securely over-the-air to their NFC phone by technology provider Giesecke & Devrient, which is acting as the bank’s trusted service manager (TSM).

    Rabobank is still in the process of deciding on whether to use an NFC SIM card or a phone’s embedded secure element to store customer’s payment credentials.

    The bank has been testing NFC payments as part of a group pilot project with other Dutch banks in the city of Leiden. That trial has now been extended to run until January 1st, 2014, following a higher than expected uptake of the service with 15,000 transactions being made in the trial’s first 90 days and the number of participating merchants rising to 250.

  • Editing Team 18:07 on November 15, 2013 Permalink | Reply
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    Are There Any RFID Tags Made Specifically for Computing Devices? 

    Intel-Core-vPro-motherboard-RFID-blogThere are RFID tags designed specifically to be placed on a motherboard, or on any printed circuit board, for tracking work-in-process, and to store data about the board.

    Intel has developed a platform that integrates the RFID transponder with the central processing unit (CPU) via a wired connection on the board. The chip in the RFID transponder is designed with extra memory dedicated to the processor, creating what Intel describes as “processor-secured storage,” in which data can be stored safely and activated when needed. The information on the chip can be written to or accessed by the Intel processor via an inter-integrated circuit (I2C) interface, which is a semiconductor industry standard, and from an external handheld or fixed RFID reader.

    This integration between the RFID tag and the motherboard creates the opportunity to add new functionality to devices that use it. One application is called “lock in transit.” The CPU is locked so the device cannot be turned on after it is manufactured, which makes it less attractive to thieves. Once it arrives at a store and is purchased, the retailer can transmit a security code to the device in order to unlock it. Retailers and device manufacturers could also let consumers customize the device. For instance, they could send, through the RFID transponder, a customized message to display when the device starts up, such as “Happy Birthday, Mom.” This could be accomplished without opening the device.

    In September, Intel released its fourth-generation Core vPro computer processor with a built-in AeroScout active RFID Wi-Fi tag, enabling what Intel calls indoor location-based services (LBS). That, according to AeroScout, means that a computing device using the vPro Generation 4 platform can be located if it comes within range of an enterprise Wi-Fi network, and can be programmed to change its own settings based on that device’s location. Such devices can also identify the locations of other laptops and tablets containing the new processor, as well as assets fitted with AeroScout Wi-Fi RFID tag.

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