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  • Editing Team 12:01 on February 22, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Cloud-based, , , , ,   

    Using RFID and Other Technologies to Track Global Food Supply Chain Is Essential 

    Europe-horsemeat-scandal-global-food-supply-chain-RFID-blogRecently, Europe is engulfed in horsemeat scandal — spot checks conducted by Irish beef inspectors led consumers across Europe to realize that they might not be getting beef when purchasing beef products. In fact, one inspection found that about a third of hamburger meat was composed of horsemeat, and not beef. This case is evidence that the global food supply chain is just too complex to monitor without RFID and other technologies.

    The issue here is simple: It is expensive to track every animal using pen and paper, inspect every animal crossing borders, and create a chain of custody showing where the meat used in a particular product originated.

    The world’s food supply chain crisscrosses countries and continents. Monitoring billions of dollars’ worth of food moving from one place to another is impossible with the systems currently being used. This leaves gaping holes for unscrupulous businesses to exploit, potentially putting tens of thousands of people at risk.

    The time has come to use RFID and other automatic data-capture technologies to monitor animals and food shipments. Small farms may say that they can’t afford the technology. But tags are becoming cheaper, and there are systems hosted in the cloud that enable users to read tags via their mobile phones and then upload that information, so it can be shared with business partners and government regulators.

    If there’s an international effort to standardize both RFID’s use for food tracking and the systems utilized for sharing data, the cost will be a lot less than the cost of having people swear off beef because they no longer trust that what they get is pure and safe.

  • Editing Team 11:30 on August 30, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Cloud-based, , ,   

    CyanogenMod 9.1 Supports NFC Payment System SimplyTapp 

    CyanogenMod9.1-NFC-payment-SimplyTapp-rfid-blogYesterday, the CyanogenMod team has released a new version — CyanogenMod 9.1, working on Android 4.0.4. The new version provides some much-needed bug fixes and improvements to certain handsets, along with one significant feature added — an NFC-based payment system called SimplyTapp.

    SumplyTapp is created by two dedicated CyanogenMod users who intend to broaden NFC payment usage through a more open implementation of the embattled standard.

    Needless to say, in order to take advantage of the SimplyTapp service, you’ll also need an NFC-enabled device. Right now, the only officially supported devices are the Nexus S, Galaxy Nexus and the Galaxy S II. Since CyanogenMod 9.1 device is also embedded with an NFC chip, it ought to support the app as well.

    Unfortunately, merchants that can use Tapp are limited: besides the “Anywhere” card which can be reloaded via PayPal, NFC systems from McDonalds, Tim Hortons and HEB grocery stores can be added to the app. Currently, only U.S. dollars can be used.

    The way it works is by loading a pre-set amount of money on NFC cards, or by using compatible NFC gift cards. Card credentials are stored in the cloud, which means that any secure information is not accessible to thieves or hackers in case your phone is compromised.

    It is said that the app is both simple to support and implementation and it seems that creators can benefit from it in the long term.

    As ISIS and the original Google Wallet are still struggle to solve their own problems, it’s good to see an alternative emerge from the community. Hopefully SimplyTapp will add more merchants — and more ROMs, like AOKP and MIUI — to its system.

  • Editing Team 12:34 on August 21, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Cloud-based, , , ,   

    Defects of Google’s Cloud-based Wallet Service 

    Google-Wallet-service-Cloud-rfid-blogGoogle is now re-launching its NFC wallet service which supports the new Android-based handsets. It’s good news to those tap & go fans that the service now supports a much wider range of cards. However, there are still major limitations to its usage:

    First, the service is still available for U.S. ONLY, which is specifically designed for U.S. magstripe payment networks.

    Second, it must be connected to the Cloud in order to authenticate the user and switch cards.

    Finally, it ONLY supports Android handsets which have the secure element that Google has used to pre-issue its own pre-paid MasterCard PayPass card, along with the original Citibank card.

    The deadly weak point of Google is that it will have to take the risk and pay the cost for all contactless transactions, instead of the bank that has its cards linked into the Google Wallet Cloud. Google is actually putting its own “card-present” contactless card transactions into less secure e-commerce transactions in the Cloud.

    What’s more, since this is a Cloud-based service, switching or activating cards and logging into Google Wallet will require mobile connectivity. On the other hand, most NFC wallet services being deployed in Europe that work with the EMV card technology support offline functionality for essential tasks such as card switching and PIN authentication.

    MasterCard and Visa are now mandating that U.S. banks also migrate to EMV, which suggests that Google will need to do likewise in the very near future, or it’ll need to invest a lot more to win the banks over with this new Cloud-based service.

    An interesting future direction for Google with this approach is that it is possible to get its pre-paid card into network operators’ SIM-based wallets, and maybe migrate Google Wallet onto other non-Android devices. Many people are waiting to see where Google goes next in the U.S. and other markets with this approach, especially in this budding mobile wallet space that the network operators and banks are teaming up and getting ready for their own non-Cloud-based wallet roll-outs.

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