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  • Editing Team 16:49 on October 21, 2013 Permalink | Reply
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    IBM Introduces NFC-based Dual-factor Authentication System 

    IBM-NFC-dual-factor-authentication-system-rfid-blogAlthough dual-factor authentication is becoming a popular trend in keeping online accounts and services secure, IBM is claiming that current systems are already getting a bit old and should be updated to a mobile device era, with the inclusion of NFC.

    As the name implies, dual-factor authentication involves two steps. The first is the regular user name and password used to login via a web browser or app, which, in fact, offers little security and is susceptible to hacks. Thus, a second step is needed that involves something a user already has and isn’t easy to get access to: his or her smartphone. Usually, a key is sent to a smartphone or mobile device which can then be used to complete the authentication process.

    But, according to IBM, in today’s world where users access their online services such as banks and stores via their mobile device, the smartphone becomes involved in both the first and second steps in the process, notifying the benefits of dual-factor authentication. A stolen smartphone can thus be used to access an online service and authenticate at the same time.

    The solution, according to the company, can be found in NFC, specifically, an NFC-enabled card issued by, say, a bank that is unique and specific to each user. This card becomes the second factor in authentication. The process is equally simple. A user logs into his or her bank account using a mobile app for that bank and the bank sends a key to the phone and asks for the user’s password. Once the user puts in the password, he must tap the phone to the NFC-enabled card which will calculate the key and send the information back to the bank for verification. If the wrong or no card is used, or if the user enters the wrong password, the login fails.

    This would, indeed, provide a smarter security system for fully mobile transactions, although if both smartphone and card are stolen, then you’d be out of luck. There is, however, one major hurdle to IBM’s proposal. The iPhone, which, like it or not, makes up a large percentage of mobile users, has so far still eschewed NFC technology with no indication of changing its ways any time soon.

     
  • Editing Team 18:12 on October 16, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: cattle, , , ,   

    Regulations for the Use of RFID in Livestock Sector 

    ear-tags-cattle-livestock-RFID-blogRFID ear tags are widely used for livestock. They not only help better manage livestock, but also monitor the animals’ conditions in real time. But is there an international standard for RFID’s use in this sector, or do regulations differ from one nation to another?

    In fact, regulations vary widely from country to country. Australia and New Zealand require the use of RFID to track certain types of livestock, in order to protect both consumers and the countries’ export of meat and other animal products.

    A few years ago, Canada responded to a mad cow disease scare by requiring the cattle industry to replace the existing barcode system with RFID by the end of 2009. All cattle leaving Canadian farms of origin now must be fitted with RFID tags. The unique identification numbers on those tags are linked in a database with the movements of each animal until its slaughter or export.

    Other nations have instituted mandatory livestock tracking without specifying a technology. Argentina and Brazil, for example, have instituted mandatory identification and tracking programs for cattle, though RFID is not specified. And the European Union has required RFID tags for sheep and goats for disease control purposes. Use of RFID on cattle was voluntary, but now, under EC1760/2000, it is recommending the mandatory use of RFID since so few used it voluntarily.

    In the U.S., RFID tracking of cattle has been made mandatory in only one state — Michigan, and that was prompted by the need to keep bovine tuberculosis under control. The National Animal Identification System (NAIS) requires animals to be identified uniquely, but does not require RFID tagging.

    Now more and more farms are using RFID ear tags to track animals for consumer safety purposes. RFID will be the preferred technology in the long run because it is easier and faster to use than having to scan barcodes.

     
  • Editing Team 17:08 on October 16, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: election, , ,   

    U.S. Politician Uses NFC Flyers to Attract Younger Voters 

    U.S. politician Rico Reyes is using NFC solutions provider Camintel’s Touch2Vote platform to send out NFC and QR code-enabled flyers in a bid to attract the support of younger voters in Austin, Texas.

    The promotional material will enable 5,000 potential voters to see an exclusive video message from Reyes, including an invitation to respond via Facebook or Twitter, engage with important local issues and involve themselves in his campaign.

    “The 18 to 30 age group just doesn’t respond to traditional media strategies,” says Camintel CEO Camilo Sandoval. “Political campaigners have the hardest time reaching that demographic.”

    “Our technology provides a perfect solution, because the ‘young adult’ segment that everyone’s after is so completely hooked on mobile communications.”

    U.S.-Politician-Rico-Reyes-NFC-Flyers-attract-Voters-rfid-blog

     
  • Editing Team 15:54 on October 16, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , system,   

    Advice on How to Choose the Right RFID System for Your Application 

    1. Learn some basic knowledge of RFID (radio frequency identification) technology. While you learn how the technology is going to benefit your business, you should not leave out its disadvantages, as there is no such thing as a “perfect-in-every-way” technology.
    2. If you think the cost is affordable and the defects are acceptable, you may determine whether you want to use it as a point solution focusing on solving one problem, or as an infrastructure approach to solve multiple problems.
    3. Determine which objects and/or people you would like to track with RFID technology.
    4. Determine over what distance each object or person needs to be identified and tracked.
    5. Determine how accurately you would like to track each item and also the layout of the environment.
    6. Create a table and place all the items that are needed on your list.
    7. Consider other factors that might influence the system:
    • How large is the asset?
    • Do you need to monitor the item’s condition?
    • What other RF devices are in operation in the area in which the RFID system will be used?
    • How much will deploying the system disrupt existing operational activities?
    • How important is data security?
    8. Find a reliable system integrator.
    9. Pilot the system.
    10. Roll out the system and expand it as needed.

     
  • Editing Team 17:54 on October 15, 2013 Permalink | Reply
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    U.S. Botanical Garden Applies NFC Signs to Provide Extra Information to Visitors 

    Bellevue-Botanical-Garden-NFC-signs-rfid-blog

    The Bellevue Botanical Garden in Washington, USA has installed three NFC-enabled signs in its Fuchsia display garden as part of a pilot project which aims to discover how NFC can be used to engage with visitors.

    The Tap-to-Learn project includes one sign which takes visitors to the garden’s website to provide general information about the Fuchsia display garden and its partner group for that garden, the Eastside Fuchsia Society, according to the manager Nancy Kartes.

    “The other two signs are located in two different planting beds,” she added. “Each sign takes visitors to a complete list of plants within each bed, including each plant’s name, photos and horticultural information.”

    The service will supplement existing plant labelling and allows visitors to delve more deeply into the plants that are of interest to them. Kartes says the garden hopes to expand the project to include all beds in the year ahead.

     
  • Editing Team 17:35 on October 15, 2013 Permalink | Reply
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    Fitbit Upgrades NFC Fitness Wristband 

    Fitbit-Flex-Fitbit-Force-NFC-fitness-wristband-rfid-blogHealth and fitness monitoring specialist Fitbit has upgraded its Fitbit Flex wristband with the Fitbit Force, now featuring an OLED screen that displays the time, how many steps you’ve taken, calories burned and floors climbed.

    As with the Fitbit Flex, NFC can be used for pairing to an Android device. Data is communicated between the Force and devices running Fitbit’s analysis app via Bluetooth 4.0, and owners of Android NFC phones can start the app by tapping their device to the wristband.

    The Fitbit Force also tracks how long you sleep and records periods of restlessness, and the company is working to introduce a feature that will display incoming calls from a synced smartphone on the wristband.

    The battery will last for ten days between charges and the Fitbit Force is available to order now for US$130.

     
  • Editing Team 15:36 on October 15, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , Octopus, ,   

    Octopus Partners with PCCW-HKT to Pilot NFC Payments in Hong Kong 

    Octopus-PCCW-HKT-pilot-NFC-payments-Hong-Kong-rfid-blogOctopus, contactless transportation ticketing and stored value payments provider in Hong Kong, is working with mobile network operator PCCW-HKT to conduct a mobile payments pilot. The pilot uses Octopus Mobile SIMs — NFC-enabled SIM cards compatible with Sony FeliCa contactless card technology.

    Customers taking part in the pilot will be able to use an NFC phone to access the same service as those offered by conventional Octopus cards and products, by installing a FeliCa-based Octopus applet on a new Upteg NFC SIM card and then inserting the SIM into their NFC phone.

    With the new service, customers can pay for journeys on all of Hong Kong’s public transportation systems, including the metro, rail, bus, ferry, coach and tram, as well as pay for fares on minibuses and taxis that accept Octopus. They will also be able to make payments at retail stores as well as purchase entrance tickets at selected entertainment venues. Drivers will also be able to pay for their parking using their NFC phones.

    The service also allows customers to make transactions without opening an app and to track their balance and access their transaction history on their phone.

    An initial 5,000 Octopus Mobile SIMs are being made available for the pilot. Customers who purchase a Sony Xperia V, Z, ZR, Z Ultra (3G), Z Ultra (LTE) or Z1 smartphone on contract with PCCW-HKT will have the usual HK$100 (US$12.90) activation fee waived “while stocks last”.

     
  • Editing Team 17:28 on October 14, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , phone case   

    ISIS to Launch, along with NFC iPhone Case 

    ISIS-NFC-iPhone-Case-rfid-blog

    ISIS — the mobile payments joint venture among AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile — will launch nationwide within the next few weeks with a redesigned app. The company’s NFC-based services will work across most new Android phones, and ISIS plans to support the iPhone via an NFC-capable case that will be released in the next few months.

    The company didn’t release details on the NFC iPhone case, including how much it would cost. When it launches, the company expects ISIS users to be able to make purchases at around 1.3 million contactless payment locations across the country, including at 24 of the top 100 merchants.

    ISIS CEO Michael Abbott remains upbeat about ISIS’ impending nationwide launch, promising that it would outdo rival mobile payment systems like those from PayPal. Further, he promised that there would be 30 million ISIS-capable NFC devices in the U.S. by the end of next year.

     
  • Editing Team 12:04 on October 14, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: anti-counterfeiting,   

    German Bag Maker Adopts RFID Solution for Anti-counterfeiting 

    German-bag-maker-Bagjack-anti-counterfeiting-RFID-blogGerman messenger-bag manufacturer Bagjack is deploying a new RFID-based anti-counterfeiting solution which is intended to help confirm the authenticity of goods, as well as identify instances in which the product may have undergone an unexpected channel on its way to consumers.

    Bagjack is attaching an RFID tag to various parts of its messenger bags (such as the inside flap or underneath one of the mesh straps), depending on the bag’s design.

    This past summer, Bagjack piloted the technology by tagging its high-end products with RFID tags, and by then reading those tags as they left the manufacturing site. But now, the company intends to instruct some of its dealers in Japan to begin reading the tags, to ensure that the bags stay on the expected supply chain route.

     
  • Editing Team 17:31 on October 12, 2013 Permalink | Reply
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    London University Gets Analytics via NFC Posters 

    Queen Mary, University of London is using NFC solutions that feature business analytics to launch an NFC marketing campaign to help students and staff members learn more about the research and public-engagement activities taking place at the school.

    The solution is designed to help organizations analyze where and when users tap the tags with their NFC-enabled smartphones, and to track data regarding behavior related to NFC reads. Each time an NFC tag is tapped, the system will record that event and produce relevant trending data for its clients.

    The university is employing RFID tags made with NXP Semiconductors’ NTAG203 RFID chips which it will place on posters, initially at various locations within its Mile End campus. The school plans to roll out the posters to other campuses as well.

    The initial pilot will feature 100 NFC-enabled “touch points” and by the start of next year, there will be 500 touch points in place.

    In addition, the school will be able to access reports regarding the campaign, and receive alerts indicating how well that campaign is doing.

     
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