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  • Editing Team 17:58 on January 9, 2014 Permalink | Reply
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    Lenovo Unveils NFC Products at CES 2014 

    Lenovo-ThinkVision28-NFC-CES2014-rfid-blog

    Computer giant Lenovo has launched a range of NFC-enabled products at CES 2014, including a 28-inch touchscreen monitor/tablet, a 14-inch Ultrabook, a 27-inch Windows 8 all-in-one PC and a touchscreen PC.

    The ThinkVision 28 can be used as an Android tablet or it can be hooked up to a PC and used as an ultra high resolution touchscreen monitor. Secondary devices can be paired with the display via NFC. The ThinkVision 28 will be available in selected markets from July 2014 for US$1,199.

    Also announced at CES is the ThinkPad X1 Carbon, a US$1,299 14-inch Ultrabook that weighs 2.9 pounds and comes with a choice of touch or non-touch HD displays, 8GB RAM and 512GB of SSD storage. With up to nine hours of battery life, the X1 Carbon packs 4G LTE, Bluetooth 4.0 and a fingerprint reader as well as NFC.

    The Horizon 2 27-inch Windows 8 all-in-one PC includes NFC and offers 1080p visuals and up to 500GB of internal storage. Users can transfer data to the PC from a paired Android phone, via Bluetooth, by shaking their mobile device.

    The A740 all-in-one touchscreen PC has a 1080p display, 8GB of DDR3 RAM, up to 1TB internal storage and an Intel Core i7 processor within its thin 4mm frame. Both the Horizon 2 and A740 will launch in June, starting at US$1,499.

     
  • Editing Team 17:22 on January 9, 2014 Permalink | Reply
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    Research: Cold Can Affect RFID Tag Retention 

    The Canadian Cattle Identification Agency (CCIA) has mandated the use of RFID for traceability of individual cattle from birth through to slaughter. Several forms of tags have CCIA approval based on the tags’ retention, readability and ability to withstand tampering.

    However, a research team working with the Prairie Agricultural Machinery Institute (PAMI) has found that very cold temperatures can prevent the tag from staying put on cattle’s ears.

    According to the results of the test, tags were much weaker than to those inserted at room temperature. Besides, the tags were also more difficult to insert when cold, and broke apart “far more easily, even when back at room temperature”.

    The lesson learned, PAMI said, is that it’s best to avoid tagging animals in extremely cold temperatures. Producers, if the job can’t be avoided, should keep both the tag applicator and the tags themselves warm while the tagging is taking place, PAMI recommended.

    cattle-tag-RFID-blog

     
  • Editing Team 17:59 on January 8, 2014 Permalink | Reply
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    Can RFID Be Integrated With IP Cameras? 

    IP-camera-RFID-blogSo far, there is no RFID system that would allow a camera to swivel and follow each employee’s movements, but RFID can be linked with closed-circuit television (CCTV) or a Web camera.

    In 2006, Sony Europe installed a monitoring system that linked RFID-tagged items with closed-circuit video. The system not only helped reduce the theft of DVD players, but also increased the efficiency of Sony’s shipping processes, and resolved shipping disputes with its retailer customers in Germany.

    In addition, Simply RFID has developed an out-of-the-box security system known as Nox, designed for companies that suspect employees are availing themselves of “five-finger discounts”. The Nox system integrates RFID readers with surveillance cameras to automatically create video records when monitored items are moved. The solution, originally developed for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), is now available commercially.

     
  • Editing Team 17:38 on January 8, 2014 Permalink | Reply
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    How to Check If Your Phone Has NFC? 

    Although many latest smartphones have NFC functionality, the mobile networks are generally not ready to start marketing the technology hard, which means that you won’t necessarily see NFC pushed as one of your handset’s key features on the display card in the phone shop, but it may still come equipped with the technology.

    So, if you’re unsure whether your handset is equipped with NFC, you may check with the following ways:

    1. Got an iPhone? Sorry, you don’t have NFC.

    2. Check the NFC-enabled Phones List. You may check Wikipedia for a definitive list of NFC phones to see if your model is listed. However, this is not a guarantee that you have NFC because phone makers sometimes vary handset specifications for different countries and carriers. The Samsung Galaxy S II is an example of a device that comes with NFC in some territories but not in others.

    3. Check the Manual. Look in your phone’s manual for references to NFC, near field communication or RFID.

    4. Look for a Logo. Look on the device itself for any sort of mark indicating an NFC touchpoint. It will probably be on the back of the phone. Here’s an example of the Sony L36h Xperia Z:check-NFC-phone-rfid-blog1

    5. Check Your Settings. Look in your phone’s settings menu for any mention of NFC. It may be listed in the part that deals with wireless or network set-up.

    6. Check Your Apps. Look in your list of apps for anything that mentions NFC.

    7. Look for an Antenna. Open the battery cover and check it for an NFC antenna — they often look like credit card sized spirals of flat wire.

    8. Check the Battery too. Look for signs of an NFC antenna or any text that mentions NFC on the battery itself.

    9. Try It Out! Unlock your phone and wave a contactless payment card or an NFC tag over it to see if anything happens.

    10. Try a Tester App. Apps are available that can test if your handset is NFC capable. Near Field NFC Tester is one such app for Android devices.

    11. Got Any Add-ons? It’s also possible you may have an add-on NFC solution. The SIM+antenna is probably the most common way of adding NFC to an ordinary handset, and is easily recognizable because a thin plastic “flying antenna” is attached to the SIM card.check-NFC-phone-rfid-blog2 Other solutions include NFC built into the SIM (which is not common), NFC in a microSD card, or NFC built into a phone case or sleeve, but in these circumstances you would probably know already that your phone has NFC.

     
  • Editing Team 18:15 on January 7, 2014 Permalink | Reply
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    How Do RFID Readers Work? 

    There are many different types of RFID systems. Readers (interrogators) have different ways of communicating with tags (or, more accurately, with transponders).

    Generally speaking, readers send out a signal and ask tags to respond. Since an interrogator can only communicate with one tag at a time, it needs to go through an algorithm to identify one tag at a time. This is like a teacher asking all new students to stand if their last name begins with the letter A. If five students stand, the teacher then asks the students to remain standing if the second letter of their last name is also A, and so on until only one student is standing. There are different algorithms for different systems.

    Passive tags use energy from the reader to respond. The coiled antenna of a passive LF or HF tag forms an electromagnetic field with the coiled antenna of the passive LF or HF reader. Changes in this field are interpreted by the reader as a one or a zero, enabling the tag to send binary code to the device. Passive UHF tags use backscatter to send a signal over a longer distance.

    Active tags have a power source and broadcast a signal to the reader, which simply has to pick up the waves being emitted and interpret them based on a defined air interface protocol. This protocol is the “language” that tags and readers use to communicate. If there are two passive HF or active tags that employ different protocols from a single reader, then the reader will only be able to communicate with the one that utilizes the same protocol that it uses.

     
  • Editing Team 17:41 on January 7, 2014 Permalink | Reply
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    Taiwanese Researcher Develops RFID Smart Goose Breeding 

    Taiwan-smart-goose-breeding-RFID-blogA local researcher in Taipei, a city in Taiwan, China, has used RFID technology to add “smart” into goose-breeding, in order to keep track of geese which are particularly fruitful when it comes to birthing goslings.

    Chang Shenchang, an assistant researcher at the Livestock Research Institute under the Council of Agriculture, spent four years of trial and error adapting the technology, commonly seen in many high-end smartphones, to the task of tracking specific geese.

    Chang developed a waterproof RFID tag that attaches to the waterfowl’s leg, providing data on how often and when they visit their cages and how long they stay.

    Innovative technology makes it easy to determine which geese lay more eggs. Up to 20% of female geese “do not lay” fertile eggs, he said, explaining that the system allows farmers to focus on those which do.

    “(The invention) can help identify which geese are more productive to help farmers cut down breeding costs and raise productivity by focusing on the more fertile ones,” he said.

    Chang estimated that the RFID system can save NT$700,000 (US$23,271) a year for a farmer of 3,000 geese and help produce 18,000 more goslings than usual.

    He plans a similar system in 2015 for ducks and other livestock.

     
  • Editing Team 15:35 on January 7, 2014 Permalink | Reply
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    NFC Badges Will Be Used at 2014 CES 

    2014CES-NFC-badges-rfid-blogAttendees at this week’s 2014 International CES (Consumer Electronics Show) in Las Vegas will be using NFC-enabled badges to exchange business credentials and retrieve product information from other NFC devices as well as from posters displayed by exhibitors.

    The NFC tags in the badges are supplied by Smartrac, use NXP’s Mifare DESFire EV1 chips and are being deployed in partnership with ITN International, the show’s official registration and lead retrieval supplier.

    “Year after year, CES sees the introduction of the latest consumer technologies,” says the Consumer Electronics Association’s Karen Chupka. “We are excited to use one of our exhibitors’ products for our registration system, and bring a more personalized experience to every attendee.”

     
  • Editing Team 18:16 on January 6, 2014 Permalink | Reply
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    Are Passive RFID Tags Recyclable? 

    If an RFID tag has read-write memory, you can write data to them using software supplied with the reader. If you need to write data to a large number of tags, you can utilize third-party software that will bulk-encode the tags. The Electronic Product Code (EPC) standard for passive UHF tags allows you to write a single 16-bit “word” to the chip’s memory. The Block Write command lets you write multiple 16-bit words. In order to Block Write to the tag, both the tag and the reader must support the Block Write command. If you want to write over existing data, you can do so with the same commands, provided that the memory was not locked the first time data was written to the tag.

    Passive tags can be recycled if they are encased in protective plastic or some other material that will allow them to survive the removal process. If you try to tear a passive RFID label off an object, you will likely destroy the connection between the chip and the antenna, thereby rendering the tag useless. You also will not be able to stick the label on anything else. But there are tags encased in plastic that can be affixed to totes that make multiple trips through the supply chain, or that can be affixed to assets via a plastic loop. Additionally, you can obtain hard tags that can be affixed to clothing and reused, much like how electronic article surveillance (EAS) tags are recycled.

    The challenge with reusing tags is managing the collected data. You must ensure that when a tag is removed, its serial number is no longer associated with the item being tracked, and that it is properly assigned to a new object. If you are doing this for thousands or tens of thousands of items, that can prove challenging. Therefore, proper processes and controls must be established in order to ensure that each tag is associated with the correct item, every time.

     
  • Editing Team 17:12 on January 6, 2014 Permalink | Reply
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    RFID Helps Hospitals to Save Thousands of Dollars 

    The newly-built Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Alliance in Fort Worth is using RFID tags on items including high-value assets, wristbands on patients and the badges of all staff members.

    RFID tags are also playing a role in ensuring that a patient who asks for an extra pillow receives it in a timely manner. The pillow can be delivered quickly because the nurse call system is integrated with RFID and RTLS (real-time location system) technology. The patient presses a button and the countdown to pillow delivery begins. Separate button can alert nurses to a call for assistance to the bathroom, a need for pain medication or a medical emergency.

    Over the past two years, RFID has saved the Texas Health Alliance $65,000 per month in rental fees, said Kathi Cox, a project coordinator at parent company Texas Health Resources.

    All rental equipment is tagged. When rolling the equipment out of a patient’s room, the nurse presses a button that sends an alert to the rental company to pick up the item. In addition, thanks to RTLS, the driver from the rental company will know exactly where to find the equipment.

    Administrators are finding that there inexpensive and unobtrusive tags are saving thousands of dollars while increasing quality of care and patient satisfaction.

     
  • Editing Team 18:25 on January 3, 2014 Permalink | Reply
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    Samsung Unveils Galaxy Camera 2 and NX30 with NFC Photo Sharing 

    Samsung-Galaxy-Camera2-NX30-NFC-rfid-blog

    Samsung has just reveled the Galaxy Camera 2 and NX30, both of which center around an NFC-based “Tag & Go” sharing feature. Tap your phone against either shooter and you can begin transferring photos.

    The unique upgrades to each model vary widely. The Android-powered Galaxy Camera 2 still has the 16-megapixel sensor, 21x zoom lens and 4.8-inch LCD of its predecessor, but it touts much-needed improvements to battery capacity (up to 2,000mAh) and weight (down to 9.2 ounces). Samsung has also stuffed in a newer 1.6GHz quad-core processor with 2GB of RAM, and an update to Android 4.3 introduces both 120fps slow-motion video as well as separate autoexposure and autofocus controls.

    The NX30, meanwhile, builds on the NX20’s formula with upgrades to image quality and the display. The new mirrorless cam sports both a more light-sensitive 20.3-megapixel sensor and a fast hybrid autofocusing system that takes just 80ms to find its subject. On the back there’s a brighter, Super AMOLED-based touchscreen that can now tilt, not just swivel; on the side, there’s a new 3.5mm microphone input. Glass aficionados may also appreciate two 16-50mm lenses launching alongside the NX30, including a quiet f2-2.8 lens and a video-friendly, f3.5-5.6 power zoom unit.

     
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