Conference to trial printed organic RFID in badges.
"Printed organic RFID circuits are set to be used in a field trial at the Organic Electronics Conference (OEC-07) in Frankfurt, Germany, due to take place Sept. 24 to 26."

Source: Peter Clarke in EE Times Europe.

Penn State Behrend RFID Training.

This week (June/13/2007) I attended the RFID Training course offered at the Behrend campus of Penn State in Erie PA. The training is great "hands on" preparation for the CompTIA RFID+ Certification, which I'm going to be setting for later this summer.

There was a lot of tips and real world examples, that you can simply not get out of a book.

The RFID Center of Excellence at Penn State Behrend was established in early 2005 as a collaborative initiative with the Center for E-Business and Advanced IT (eBizITPA). The mission of the center is to conduct RFID research and outreach resulting in strategic advantage and economic growth for industry.
Biocompatible ink tattoo with chipless RFID.
Somark Innovations is a technology company that is developing a proprietary ID system based on a biocompatible ink tattoo with chipless RFID functionality. When applied, the ink creates a unique ID that can be detected without line of sight. The technology will be initially leveraged to the livestock industry to help identify/track cattle and thus mitigate export trade loss from BSE (a.k.a. Mad Cow Disease) scares. Secondary target markets include laboratory animals, companion pets, and potentially prime cuts of meat.
RFID Standardization.

When the the initial RFID section was written several years ago, there was no RFID standard. Today EPCGlobal is setting the standards.

NIST Issues Guidelines for Ensuring RFID Security.

Gaithersburg, MD -- Retailers, manufacturers, hospitals, federal agencies and other organizations planning to use radio frequency identification (RFID) technology to improve their operations should also systematically evaluate the possible security and privacy risks and use best practices to mitigate them, according to a new report from the Department of Commerce's National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).

"RFID tags, commonly referred to as smart tags, have the ability to improve logistics, profoundly change cost structures for business, and improve the current levels of safety and authenticity of the international pharmaceutical supply chain and many other industries," said Under Secretary of Commerce for Technology Robert C. Cresanti. "This important report lays the foundation for addressing potential RFID security risks so that a thoughtful enterprise can launch a smart tag program with confidence."

RFID devices send and/or receive radio signals to transmit identifying information such as product model or serial numbers. They come in a wide variety of types and sizes, from the size of a grain of rice or printed on paper to much larger devices with built in batteries. Unlike bar coding systems, RFID devices can communicate without requiring a line of sight and over longer distances for faster batch processing of inventory and can be outfitted with sensors to collect data on temperature changes, sudden shocks, humidity or other factors affecting products.

As RFID devices are deployed in more sophisticated applications from matching hospital patients with laboratory test results to tracking systems for dangerous materials, concerns have been raised about protecting such systems against eavesdropping and unauthorized uses.

"The goal of our report," according to lead author Tom Karygiannis of NIST, "is to give organizations practical ways in a structured format with checklists and specific recommendations to address potential RFID security risks."

NIST prepared the new report as part of its responsibilities under the Federal Information and Security Management Act of 2002 to help federal agencies provide adequate security for their information technology systems. However, its recommendations for selecting appropriate security controls for RFID systems are likely to be useful to other types of organizations as well.

Two case studies -- in health care and supply chain settings -- provide examples for identifying and minimizing security risks throughout the various stages of an RFID project.

Source: NIST News Release.

ZL70101 Medical Implantable RF Transceiver.

"The ZL70101 is a high performance half duplex RF communications link for medical implantable applications.

The system is very flexible and supports several low power wakeup options. Extremely low power is achievable using the 2.45 GHz ISM Band Wakeup-receiver option. The high level of integration includes a Media Access Controller, providing complete control of the device along with coding and decoding of RF messages. A standard SPI interface provides for easy access by the application."

Typical Applications: Body area network, short range device applications using the 433 MHz ISM band.

Source: ZARLINK Semiconductor.

Real-Time Cargo Container Tracking in EPCglobal Pilot.
Oracle and Savi Technology provide critical information link to track active RFID-tagged containers shipped from Hong Kong to Japan.

Source: Sensors Magazine.

Going underground with Trolley Scan.
"UHF transponder systems such as our Ecochip technology, offer long reading ranges and form an ideal input system to a computer network. Trolley Scan have recently supplied a third consignment of readers and tags to our clients for use in mining operations underground, particularly in the control of heavy machinery in situations where the machinery must not be operated when people are close by. Other uses are to computer control the progress of moving machines in close environments and make sure the movement happens safely. As the transponders are passive - offering 100 year type lifecycle - low maintenance systems can be installed. With their very narrow spectrum bandwidth, their low power and their low interference technology for the readers, many readers can operate in close proximity without causing interference. At present this is an adaptation of equipment used above the surface and is not suitable for use in coal mines and those that need intrinsically safety due to our use of materials such as aluminum in the antennas of the reader." [Aluminum is not allowed in Mines in certain countries due to its Magnesium content.]

Source: Trolley Scan Newsletter; November 2006.

Download Paper: IC9496.pdf

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