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  • Editing Team 18:01 on February 4, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , laser, printing, ,   

    Laser Structuring Technology Can Write RFID Tag Antennas in Goods 

    Laser-structuring-technology-tag-antenna-RFID-blogSome RFID label manufacturers and vendors of goods are taking advantage of a new technology developed by German company LPKF Laser & Electronics AG. The technology enables the laser-printing of an antenna and circuit board for RFID transmission.

    LPKF’s Laser Direct Structuring (LDS) technology is said to be able to reduce the size of RFID tags, thereby making the tag manufacturing process less expensive, while also making it possible for a tag to be incorporated directly onto an item being tracked — even if that product’s surface is three-dimensional, such as a ball.

    The LDS process consists of first designing a hard plastic item, such as a hearing aid, automotive part or mobile phone handset; molding that piece of plastic from granulated plastic containing a special additive; and then placing the molded plastic item into a laser machine, which then writes the circuitry onto the part’s surface by activating particles of the plastic additive.

    “The advantage is you can now put circuitry on a three-dimensional part,” states Stephan Krause, LPKF’s LDS strategic product manager, by printing the antenna onto something that may not have a flat surface. “The whole process reduces components, such as screws or glue that would be used to attach a label to a product or asset.” Compared with the traditional method of manufacturing RFID tags, he explains, the LDS process eliminates the need to affix a tag to a part, ensuring that tags will not fall off or lose adhesion.

     
  • Editing Team 07:26 on September 19, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , printing, Z-ink   

    LG Debuts Pocket Photo Printer, Using NFC Technology 

    LG-Pocket-Photo-Printer-NFC-rfid-blogFor those who want the ability to print photos while on the go, here’s the good news: LG has rolled out a new highly portable printing device — the LG Pocket Photo.

    As the name has suggested, it could fit into your pocket. It is one of the world’s smallest photo printers out there on the market, with a thickness of just 0.94 inches and a weight of 0.47 pounds.

    Photos taken can be sent to the Pocket Photo via NFC, Bluetooth or USB. The app will also allow users to edit the photos, applying filters, messages and even QR codes.

    The device will be able to print 2×3-inch photos, utilizing Z-ink (Zero ink) printing technology, which uses special photo paper where the colors are already applied and are simply heated up and formed when you print an image, thus discarding the need for conventional ink cartridges.

    Unfortunately the device is only expected to debut in Korea. The price will be around $169.

     
  • Editing Team 17:28 on August 22, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , link, , printing,   

    OKSU Can Print Photos with Link to Webpage via NFC 

    OKSU is a digital printer designed by Alex Zhulin, which produces physical connections to what you see online. It was developed as a senior project for the British Higher School of Art & Design in Moscow.

    This mini machine can print off any photo, recipe, or article you wish from the Internet, but it promises to offer much more than just printing services. When you print anything out on the OKSU printer, simply placing it on top of the printer again will re-open the particular webpage on your laptop, phone, or tablet.

    For example, if you print out a photo of your favorite album and embed a link to the music in the image, when you drop the printed version on top of the OKSU, your NFC-enabled device will automatically start to play it. Just like a magic.

    OKSU-printer-NFC-link-webpage-rfid-blog1

    Of course it’s not. Such a thing is made possible because the paper which OKSU prints on has an NFC (Near-field Communication) chip embedded in it. Thus, any device that can read from the chip can instantly open whatever link is embedded.

    What may disappoint you is that OKSU wouldn’t work with normal sheets of paper. Instead, you would have to invest in packs of Z-ink (zero ink) paper and they would also have to be a new range of Z-ink sheets that include the necessary NFC chip. But the good news is that this kind of paper has built-in color pigments, which means no ink cartridges are needed.

    OKSU-printer-NFC-link-webpage-rfid-blog2

    Most websites have their own phones apps now and many posters use QR codes to open up webpages, but this printer requires no scanning. It’s instant. It also helps that there are growing number of applications for these NFC cards, such as giving away music samples at gigs, adverts in magazines linking to the iPad version, or even a new type of business card that links to your website!

    Sadly this printer is only a concept at the moment, so there’s no word yet on pricing or when it would be available, but the overwhelming interest thus far has given Alex Zhulin the incentive to move forward with the project. As long as the printer and the Z-ink paper aren’t too expensive, this little gadget could hit the market.

     
  • Editing Team 17:05 on August 13, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , printing   

    Newspaper-style Printing Technique Makes NFC Printing Cheaper 

    rectenna-printing-NFC-chips-cheaper-rfid-blogIf you follow the NFC trend, you may be probably aware that it is meant to be the next big thing. However, it’s still not commonplace for the time being. The main reason for its lack of adoption is all down to price, according to a group of Korean scientists. To solve this problem, they have developed a newspaper-style printing technique that will allow for the exchange of digital information at a cost of one penny per unit.

    The device is called a rectenna. It harnesses power from radio waves given off by a mobile phone, converting them from AC to DC, which allows the rectenna to transmit information to a mobile phone or other electronic device with a simple swipe.

    “What is great about this technique is that we can also print the digital information onto the rectenna, meaning that everything you need for wireless communication is in one place,” said co-author of the study, Gyoujin Cho, an engineer at Sunchon National University in Korea.

    As is known, NFC is already being used to perform some financial transactions. However, this low-cost printing technique could lead to the adoption of the technology on a wide scale.

    In the Nanotechnology study, the scientists were able to print rectennas using roll-to-roll presses at a rate of about 26 feet per minute. The process, also called rotogravure, uses an engraved cylinder and was once a staple in the newspaper industry.

    “Our advantage over current technology is lower cost, since we can produce a roll-to-roll printing process with high throughput in an environmentally friendly manner,” said Cho. “Furthermore, we can integrate many extra functions without huge extra cost in the printing process.”

     
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