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  • Editing Team 17:52 on September 17, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , SDK   

    Things You Need to Know before Buying an RFID Developer’s Kit 

    developers-kit-RFID-blogWhen it comes to RFID, one thing should be borne in mind that it is not a single technology: there are many different types of RFID, including passive low-frequency (LF), high-frequency (HF) and ultrahigh-frequency (UHF), as well as active systems and hybrid solutions (RFID combined with GPS, infrared or some other technology).

    Thus if you want to choose the right developer’s kits for your needs, you should first make clear which type of RFID system you are interested in developing. Here are some developer’s kits that are currently available.

    Ultrahigh-Frequency Kits

    Impinj, a manufacturer of UHF chips, readers and reader chips, offers its INDY SDK software developer’s kit, with a robust application programming interface (API) library, a graphical user interface (GUI) and an extensive sample code library that simplifies application development.

    Alien Technology offers the ALR-9900+ Developer Kit, which includes all necessary components for developing an RFID solution. The kit comes with Alien’s ALR-9900+ RFID reader, which enables users to deploy more efficient and manageable solutions across a variety of industrial verticals.

    CAEN RFID, a manufacturer of passive UHF readers, offers a software developer’s kit including software libraries which “define a high-level object-oriented interface that permits the communication with all easy2read readers, allowing the developers to focus their commitment on the application logic instead of wasting time with the communication protocol details”. CAEN RFID provides libraries for Visual C++, Java and Microsoft .Net. These tools aim to make it easier to link CAEN readers with middleware and enterprise applications.

    ThingMagic, a provider of passive UHF RFID readers and modules, offers developer’s kits for its fixed readers, as well as one for reader modules. Each kit “contains all the components necessary to begin reading and writing RFID tags and developing RFID-enabled applications”. The kit also comes with the Mercury API, which includes code examples and a graphical read-write demonstration program, and “delivers a consistent programmatic interface for development with all ThingMagic fixed and embedded reader products.”

    High-Frequency Kits

    Texas Instruments offers the Stellaris 13.56 MHz RFID Wireless Kit. The kit uses the Stellaris microcontroller development kit (sold separately), a Stellaris EM2 expansion board, and TI’s TRF7960TB HF RFID Reader Module, along with all necessary firmware and software to provide a compelling RFID development environment and interactive system demonstration.

    Low-Frequency Kits

    Atmel, a provider of passive RFID transponder chips, offers several developer’s kits to help engineers evaluate its integrated circuits. The LF RFID Application Kit (ATA2270-EK1), a “self-contained introduction kit for RFID systems for designers with little prior RFID experience, includes an LCD and control buttons to interact with the RFID system”. The kit supports Atmel’s e5530/TK5530, T5551/TK5551, ATA5567 (T5557), ATA5570, ATA5575, ATA5577 and ATA5558 chips, as well as the U2270B. The kit includes a graphical user interface on a CD. The GUI allows users to configure tags into all available modulation and coding schemes. Texas Instruments and Melexis also offer LF developer’s kits.

  • Editing Team 16:20 on February 20, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , encrypt, , SDK,   

    Hoverkey: Unlock Apps by Touching a Smart Card to Your Android NFC devices 

    Hoverkey-smart-card-unlock-apps-Android-NFC-devices-rfid-blogA London-based startup has launched a system called Hoverkey, which uses a contactless smart card as a key to secure NFC-enabled Android devices.

    Users can use Hoverkey to automatically enter a complex password into a mobile login screen by touching a card to the device rather than typing it in. According to the company, this means IT departments can mandate strong passwords to protect enterprise apps and data without meeting the usual user resistance.

    On first use users need to register credentials with the Hoverkey app, which then transmitted over the secure channel to a Java Card applet running on the card, where they are encrypted. The resulting encrypted object is returned to the app for storage.

    On subsequent uses when the card is tapped against the device, the encrypted object is passed to the card, which then verifies its integrity and decrypts it before returning plaintext credentials over the secure channel to the app.

    “Hoverkey is fast, authenticating in just a couple of seconds,” says the company. And, since it does not require a data connection, it continues to work even when devices are offline or outside wireless coverage areas.

    The app and card combination can be used as a password store for third party mobile apps that have been Hoverkey-enabled, which involves integrating a Hoverkey Button user interface widget.

    App developers can encrypt data stored on the device with keys derived from very complex passwords and let Hoverkey do the hard work of remembering and entering these passwords on behalf of the user.

    A developer kit containing two Hoverkey cards is available for £79 (US$99) from the company’s website, along with a free SDK. Support for Windows Phone 8 is planned, with iOS devices getting Hoverkey “as soon as Apple integrates NFC hardware into their devices.”

  • Editing Team 12:11 on January 30, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , SDK   

    Identive Announces RFID Development Kit for Electronic Games 

    Identive-GameChnagR-development-kit-rfid-blogIdentive has announced GameChangR, a developers’ solutions kit that enables the creation and integration of RFID technology into electronic games without the need for specialist RFID knowledge. RFID allows physical objects to interact with virtual environments for a richer user experience.

    “Identive’s GameChangR development kit leverages Identive’s expertise so developers can easily incorporate RFID into electronic games with the addition of instant, contactless communications and memory capabilities to game pieces.” said Dr. Manfred Mueller, COO Identification Products for Identive Group.

    Michael Ganzera, vice president of Marketing for Identive added, “Our new RFID development kit truly is a game changer for developers, because it allows them to create dynamic and interactive gaming experiences using RFID technology, with no prior RFID experience.”

    The GameChangR RFID solutions development kit consists of a specially-configured RFID reader, three GameChangR tags and a USB-UART converter. The 13.56MHz, ISO14443A reader exposes a simple-to-use, high-level API that allows developers to interact with the GameChangR RFID tags in a protected manner, and with no knowledge or prior experience working with RFID technology. Both the reader and the pre-initialized GameChangR tags are configured to work only with each other, which ensures integrity of the tag content and protection of the gaming experience in a given ecosystem.

    Identive currently is accepting orders for the GameChangR development kit for shipment in February.

  • Editing Team 23:29 on November 5, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , SDK,   

    Microsoft Announced New Windows Phone SDK 8.0 with NFC Wallet API 

    Microsoft-Windows-Phone-SDK-8.0-NFC-Wallet-API-rfid-blogMicrosoft has announced the new Windows Phone SDK 8.0, which includes new tools for testing and debugging, a Wallet API to help developers make money with their apps, and tools for building and adding such features as voice recognition, VoIP, and camera integration.

    The new SDK provides standalone IDE (integrated development environment), using the Visual Studio Express 2012 edition, for developers to build Windows Phone 8 applications. It also provides an add-in to the Visual Studio 2012 Professional, Premium, or Ultimate editions.

    To help developers cash in on their apps, Windows Phone 8 has introduced the Wallet, which is capable of collecting coupons, credit cards, and loyalty numbers from a single location; managing payment instruments in the app and music store; and making contactless transactions via NFC. According to Microsoft, the Wallet API offers full programmatic access to the Wallet, allowing developers to create, read, update, and delete Wallet items.

    The SDK also includes tools for helping developers spruce up their apps. For example, developers can create camera apps, dubbed a lens in Microsoft vernacular. A lens opens from the platform’s built-in camera app for users to shoot pictures on the spot. Rich-media lenses support the viewing and editing of digital photos; the lens feature also can be used for scanning bar codes and displaying related data from a local folder.

    Additionally, the SDK includes tools for adding three types of speech components to their apps: voice commands, speech recognition, and text-to-speech. Using the voice command functionality, developers can set up their apps so that phrases link to specific app pages, perform specific tasks, or initiate actions. Speech recognition, though similar in concept, is developed in a different way with a different API, according to Microsoft. The key difference between the two: Speech recognition occurs inside an app, while voice commands occur outside.

    The SDK also enables developers to build VoIP (Voice over IP) apps, enabling users to make audio and video calls over their data connections. The apps integrate with the Windows Phone 8 platform such that incoming calls are displayed with the same phone UI as regular calls.

    The Windows Phone SDK 8.0 is available at the Windows Phone website.

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