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RFID Technology for Tracking Data Center Assets

October 17, 2006 HP Labs scientist Cyril Brignone shows how a new radio frequency identification (RFID) technology created by the company's central research facility can track IT assets in data centers, even identifying when a component is moved from one location to another. Keeping track of assets could enable better accuracy of inventory, increase security and reduce data center operational and auditing costs. The HP Labs technology was tested at Meijer, a retailer with more than 170 grocery and specialty stores in the midwestern United States. The solution could automatically monitor data center assets, providing real-time tracking and auditing of servers, networking equipment, server and storage enclosures and other technology using RFID.  Read More

Collector Cards and Video Gaming come together using RFID

October 2, 2006 Collector cards have been with us for 120 years, so it’d be fair to say that many a business tycoon learned the fundamental laws of supply and demand with a stack of two and a half inches by three and a half inch cards in their hands. Now the time-honoured tween hobby that has kept boys entertained until they found out about girls is going high tech, with the first-of-its-kind HyperScan hybrid game system that uses RFID technology, allowing players to scan collectible game cards, enhance and modify their game skills, and make their video game characters more powerful over time and permanently add statistics to each card for future play. The US$70 HyperScan system arrives on retail shelves across America later this month.  Read More

World's smallest, globally-compliant UHF RFID reader module

August 5, 2006 Embedded RFID reader technology specialist SkyeTek has announced availability of the M9 UHF SkyeModule, the world's smallest, least expensive EPC Class 1 Gen 1/2 and ISO 18000-6B/C OEM reader module that meets regulatory compliance requirements for the world's major markets including North America, Europe (ETSI 302 208), Korea, and Japan. Approximately half the size of a business card, the M9 was designed for embedded UHF applications such as item-level inventory, handheld reading / encoding, and printing. Priced at US$199 per module and US$59 per ReaderWare license, the M9 offers excellent value in the embedded UHF reader market.  Read More

Privacy-enabled RFID labels for product tracking

July 13, 2006 IBM and Marnlen RFiD are collaborating on enabling consumer privacy protection for RFID tags -- the potential production of smart radio frequency identification (RFID) labels using IBM Research's Clipped Tag privacy technology. Clipped Tag technology allows consumers to tear off a section of the tag which in turn reduces the tag's read range to just a few inches, protecting consumer privacy while maintaining the benefits of the technology, such as product authentication or recalls. The Clipped Tag puts privacy protection into the hands of the consumer as it gives the consumer a visual confirmation of the tag's modification.  Read More

Barcode and RFID Medication Administration System

June 6, 2006 We just love clever systems that reduce error and make the world a more efficient and safer place, and the devilishly clever VeriScan medication administration system fits the bill perfectly, using a synthesis of bar code and Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tag readers to track medication directly at the patient's bedside. VeriScan runs on a Pocket PC equipped with a dual RFID and bar code reader. The nurse scans the bar code on the medication package and RFID tags on both the patient's wristband and the nurse's identification badge. Updates or changes to a patient's medication order are available in real-time, providing the nurse instant access to those changes, and the system also automatically charts each medication administration into the patient's Electronic Medical Record (EMR), saving data entry time and reducing the opportunity for human error. RFID technology is used on the patient's wristband and the caregiver's ID badge as it does not require direct contact or line-of-sight necessary for a bar code reader. It was announced yesterday that the US-developed system would be distributed to healthcare organizations in 15 Asian nations.  Read More

RFID tag implant for humans DIY kit

May 5, 2006 While RFID hasn’t exactly got a great name in some circles thanks to the technology’s capabilities becoming a threat to privacy, there are some people on the planet who just can’t wait for the technology to develop. Like Amal Graafstra f’rinstance. Graafstra heard about RFID being used to tag cats and dogs and decided he wanted to explore what was possible. He now has two RFID implants - a 3mm by 13mm EM4102 glass RFID tag in his left hand and a 2mm by 12mm Philips HITAG 2048 S implant with crypto-security features and 255 bytes of read/write memory storage space in his right hand. Getting implants meant there was no need to carry an RFID access card around and he could implement his own RFID access control systems instead of buying expensive off-the-shelf products. Amal has now built systems that enable him to access his front door, car door, and log into his computer using his implants, and has written a book called RFID Toys ($US$16.50 here) which details how to build these and other RFID enabled projects and produced a kit of the parts you’ll need (book and kit US$96.85 here).  Read More

Instant EPC Hotspot RFID Visualization Software

March 15, 2006 With the world moving towards the mass implementation of RFID, we have no doubt that 'Instant EPC Hotspot' RFID Visualization Software will prove to be very useful to a lot of people. The software uses commercial RFID tags and readers to measure RFID performance at the item, case and pallet level under real-world conditions. Results from these measurements are displayed using interactive 3D models color-coded to show RF properties. This unique and intuitive visualization system conveys an immediate understanding of the RF behavior of a product. This in turn leads to optimal tag placement and significantly improved performance at all levels of RFID tag reading. A fully functioning, 15-day trial version of the software is available here.  Read More

Philips demonstrates world-first technical feasibility of 13.56-MHz RFID tags based on pla...

February 7, 2006 Scientists at Philips Research have created a fully functional 13.56 MHz RFID tag based entirely on plastic electronics. In contrast to conventional silicon-chip-based RFID tags, a plastic electronics RFID chip can be printed directly onto a plastic substrate along with an antenna without involving complex assembly steps. This could pave the way for the packaging industry to replace existing barcodes by a low-cost RFID tag that provides individual packages with a unique item-level identification code – something not feasible with current barcode technology.  Read More

RFID Wal-Mart Compliance Kits Unveiled

July 15, 2005 RFID is an important technology for the future and with major purchasers such as the US Department of Defense and America’s largest retailer Walmart mandating the use of RFID by its suppliers, the clock is ticking to embrace the new technology for many suppliers and indeed, for everyone in retail, logistics and supply chain management to assess the technology. This week Baltimore based Barcoding Inc. released several RFID kits that will allow companies to comply with the Wal-Mart mandates as well as investigate the technology for future use in their own supply chain. Currently there are three main reasons why companies are purchasing RFID technology: they are complying with customer mandates, they are evaluating the technology for their own use, or they are preparing for the future. Barcoding Inc. has created three kits, each addressing one of these reasons. There’s also a useful downloadable 10 page overview of RFID.  Read More

The future of RFID is dawning

January 21, 2005 Radio Frequency Identification Devices (known as RFID's) are set to usher in a new world of consumer convenience. But beware the 'silent stalker' that accompanies this technology. You may need an electronic jammer to shield your privacy. An RFID attached to your windscreen (E-tag) lets you automatically pay road or bridge tolls but in parts of the USA it can also buy a fast-fill from Mobil or a Big Mac at a McDonald's drive-through. Now, micro devices, no bigger than a grain of sand, can be implanted in passports, driver's licences and credit cards to transmit your ID. Embed them in products and they transmit (the equivalent of) a barcode - able to be read at a distance.  Read More

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