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RFID Technology & GPS Tracking

Category: RFID Tags — Posted by BrittanyK - 10:45 pm

GPS tracking with RFID tags are currently available, but do you think it’s an invasion of people’s privacy?

There are two main reasons people are arguing this is ethical. One, it can help track children when they have wandered off or been abducted, and two, for Alzheimer patients who get lost and can’t identify who they are or where they need to be.

Because it is children and child abduction is becoming more and more frequent it seems this new technology is beneficial and essential, but does this mean this sophisticated tag, that uses satellites with RFID, will be able to track where your family is at all times?

However, it can only track a certain distance from the scanner. For example, if you have a chip embedded in your apparel and you walk in to the mall the scanner may pick up that RFID tag and know you’re there. This now sends them your information, where you bought that outfit or when it was purchased. This then allows them to be able to track where you are in the mall.

More recently, American Apparel has over 200 stores in 18 different countries. As you can imagine at times it can be hard to track all their retail transferring from place to place. For a chance to better their company and ensure that their stock was all there and to avoid losing sales, they decided to invest in an RFID to control its manufacturing, distributing and retail operations.

After extensive testing they discovered increased sales and a more accurate inventory. This is now implemented in all the stores in the New York area and in Santa Monica, California. For retailers, like American Apparel, this is beneficial in a different way and not to invade in their customer’s privacy.

Do you think RFID tracking should be allowed in clothing or should it be illegal because of privacy issues?

Sports & RFID

Category: RFID Tags — Posted by BrittanyK - 10:39 pm

Did you know that almost every sport depends on the technology? From American to European, from football to hockey, most of the sports everyone has grown to enjoy depend on these new discoveries, and without them it wouldn’t be the same.

A few examples include the instant replay, wireless microphones for referees, and headsets for coaches and players. Since some of these inventions, technology has expanded in our sports world.

European Rugby teams are turning to RFID tags for the instant replay and taking their game to the next level. According to Sports Network, these teams can “transmit the exact coordinates of the ball and players at an astounding 2000 times per second. It can also be used to calculate movement, speed, accuracy, and even force of impact.”

Will US transition to this new technology and get rid of bad calls?

Other teams exploring this new technology include the NHL, which recently held its first broadcast in 3D and was a huge success. Currently there are enough teams participating in trying this technology that ESPN has launched their first 3 dimensional networks.

Could this be a new trend for sports?

According to RFIDjournal.com, in NFL, two stadiums are leading towards the RFID technology, to speed payments, increase customer insight and increase consumer spending – the Seattle Seahawks and the Philadelphia Eagles.

RFIDTags.com v2.0

Category: RFID Tags — Posted by greggm - 6:40 pm

It has been almost 10 months since we did the initial launch of RFIDTags.com.  We have learned a lot by taking feedback from end users and the RFID tag manufacturers.   The new interface which we just launched in Feb 2010 is much more user friendly by grouping the RFID tags into four groups, which appear as tabs, and a total of 46 different categories.  The amount of people searching for RFID tags using search engines is also seeing significant increases from 40,000 to 70,000 searches per month over the course of one year.

RFIDTags.com is in position #2 when searching for “RFID tags” using Google.  We are also #2 and #3 for Yahoo and Bing respectively.  As expected we are capturing significant portions of this traffic and hopefully in the near future achieve the #1 position for the search term “RFID tags” on all search engines.

What we have learned and the software we have developed should allow for us to duplicate this success across our other RFID related domains.  Hopefully the RFID ocean will keep rising and our boat will still ride high on that ocean.

Metal RFID Tags

Category: RFID Tags — Posted by greggm - 12:54 pm

Metal can pose a serious problem to a RFID solution especially if you are trying to tag a metallic product.  Selecting the proper RFID tag can be the most critical part of the design.  I have found several good tags (inlays) from some of the top RFID manufacturers.
UPM Raflatac UHF Hammer Metal RFID Tag – Excellent performance in RFID near-metal applications

Confidex SteelWING – RFID label for metal surfaces

Avery Dennison AD-843 Metal RFID Tag – excellent direct-attach to metal performance

Here is a general link to Metal RFID Tags

AS5678 RFID Tag

Category: RFID Tag — Posted by greggm - 12:03 pm

AS5678 is a requirements specification created by SAE International for the production and test of passive only RFID tags for the Aerospace industry. An AS5678 RFID tag is for use in the aerospace industry. The use of radio-frequency identification (RFID) in the airline industry will get a start with the expected availability of aerospace-standard RFID tags by the end of the year. “That’s what we believe. If it comes to fruition, we’ll be pleased,” said Daryl Remily, deputy program manager of the Boeing.

RFIDTags.com is looking for UHF, HF, LF and Active RFID Category Sponsors!

Category: Active RFID Tag, RFID Tags — Posted by gregg - 9:39 am

If you are a manufacturer of RFID tags, labels or cards and want to get maximum exposure to over 40,000 searches/month of prospective customers using search engines then please contact BlueBean (800-966-7343 or email: http://www.rfidtags.com//contact.php?advertise=1).  There are six category sponsorships available at RFIDTags.com (www.rfidtags.com)

- UHF RFID Tags
- UHF RFID Labels and Cards
- HF RFID Tags
- HF RFID Labels and Cards
- LF RFID Tags, Key FOBs and Cards
- Active RFID Tags

“To learn more about RFIDTags.com please download the value proposition – www.rfidtags.com/documents/RFIDTagsValueProposition.EXE.”


What’s Frequency Got to Do With It?

Category: RFID Solutions — Tags: — Posted by greggm - 2:56 pm

Contrary to Tina Turner, frequency like love has everything to do with it.  RFID technologies operate at many frequencies, but I will only cover the most common passive ones here:  low-frequency (125 MHz), high-frequency (13.56 MHz) and ultra high-frequency (860-960 MHz).

Low-frequency (LF) passive solutions operate around 125 MHz, use less power and are less susceptible to liquids.  Read ranges are in inches.

High-frequency (HF) passive RFID solutions operate around 13.56 MHz, use more power and are less susceptible to metals.  Read ranges are at most a few feet.

Ultra-high-frequency (UHF) passive RFID solutions operate between 860-960 MHz (depending on the country), uses the most power of the three and are less likely to pass through materials.  The data transfer rate is faster than LF and HF and the read ranges can be as high as 30 feet or more.

As you can see, frequency plays a role in determining the read range of a solution.  Next time I will continue with the role the reader and antennas play.

How RFID Readers and Antennas Affect the Read Range

Category: RFID Solutions — Tags: — Posted by greggm - 2:53 pm

As I mentioned in my previous blog about the million dollar question, “How far will it read?”, two of the factors are the reader and antennas (and remember we are discussing passive RFID).

Passive UHF RFID readers can affect the read range depending on the manufacturer and the power level.  In the US, FCC regulations cap the output power at 4 watts, whereas in Europe it is only 1 watt.  There are studies available for purchase that detail the testing results of readers and antennas in a controlled, RF-friendly environment.  These are appropriate for general guidelines, but each environment is different and a reader that did not test at #1 in the study may be the better one in your environment.

Passive UHF RFID antennas can also affect the read range depending on the manufacturer, the type of polarization and the gain.  Antennas can be either linearly polarized or circularly polarized.  When the direction of the electric field is in one plane, it is called “linear polarization”.  When the direction of the electric field is rotated around the axis of propagation, it is called “circular polarization”.  Linear polarized antennas will provide a longer read range as compared to circular.  Also, an improvement in antenna gain is achieved by focusing the radiated RF into narrower patterns for the purpose of increasing the power in a specific direction.  In general, the higher the gain the longer the read range.
Polarization of a Linear AntennaPolarization of a Circular Antenna

My next post will cover how RFID tags affect the read range.

The Perfect Valentine’s Day Gift

Category: RFID Solutions — Tags: , , — Posted by greggm - 2:47 pm

Looking for just the right gift for Valentine’s Day for the technology-savvy person in your life?  Well, check out your local Ford dealership…they now have trucks available with RFID to keep track of your tools and other assets!

What Will Cupid Bring You This Valentine's Day?According to RFIDUpdate, The newest mobile RFID reader is more than six feet wide, 17 feet long, weighs a few thousand pounds, and is known more for its horsepower than its MHz. Ford’s popular F-150 pickup trucks are now available with an RFID reader integrated in the bed to monitor cargo. …Ford Work Solutions is a series of software and services for vehicle, worker, and asset management. It is targeted to contractors and other customers who use their vehicles for work. The applications rely on an in-dash computer now offered as an option for 2009 model year F-150 and F-Series Super Duty pickups and E-Series vans….Customers receive a supply of specially designed Gen2 RFID tags to apply to the tools, toolboxes, containers, or other items they want to track.

So, how cool is that?  Your truck can actually track your assets for you and before you leave a site you can check to make sure you have everything you came with!

If this is a little out of your price range, remember that flowers, cards and chocolate work well too!  Happy Valentine’s Day.

RFID Advice from a Non-Techie: RFID-Enabling Your Receiving Department

Category: RFID Tags — Tags: — Posted by greggm - 2:44 pm

I was chatting online with one of my fellow bloggers the other day.  He was telling me that the warehouse he works in is going to be receiving and processing RFID-tagged items in the near future.  Being somewhat of a non-techie himself, especially where RFID is concerned, he asked me if I knew how this might work and if I could explain it in non-techie terms.  Well, the first thing I told him was that I had to sit down because no one had ever asked ME for RFID advice before!  But seriously, I did know of a great RFID solution for his company…The BlueBean EasyInbound.

The EasyInbound is a RFID case receiving line, specifically designed and engineered to efficiently and accurately process both RFID labeled and non-RFID labeled cases.  As the boxes move down the BlueBean EasyInbound RFID case receiving line, the conveyor’s zones control spacing between boxes which allows for proper separation.  The box then passes through a lightweight RFID conveyor portal that is framed with RF-reflective mesh screens and over RF-transparent conveyor rollers to ensure bottom read capability.  These components provide highly accurate RFID receiving read rates.

Once the box goes through the portal on the EasyInbound RFID case receiving line, the status lights will indicate whether or not the box had an RFID read.  If the RFID tag on the box was successfully read, the green status light illuminates and it continues down the line. If the RFID tag was not successfully read, the red status light illuminates and it is automatically pushed off the line and down a conveyor specifically for non-RFID labeled cases or RFID labeled cases that failed to read.

So, now, I tell my friend, his warehouse can process both RFID-tagged and non-RFID shipments.   Awesome and, dare I say it, Easy(Inbound)!

So, there you have it, my first bit of RFID advice.  Keep those questions coming, fellow bloggers.  And, if I don’t know the answer, I’ll check in with one of my fellow RFID techies and attempt to translate to something us non-techies can understand!  Looking forward to hearing from you.

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