I had the pleasure of attending a networking event of Americas Apparel Producers’ Network - AAPN a few weeks ago. The presentation topics and discussions ranged from lighter reminiscences of past gatherings to hard core statistics around today’s retail.
As a take-away I thought a grim view was painted of the main stream apparel value chain of brand owners and retailers. This traditional apparel retail value chain seems slow and rigid; and is definitely challenged by online sales and vertically integrated fast fashion companies. Recently I’ve also heard presentations from a couple of vertically integrated retail chains – with focus on their RAIN RFID projects. Those stories painted a more positive view of the retail value chain.
Read on to see how these two opposite forecasts might merge.
After over 18 months of hard work, the TIPP work group under the GS1 Global Office has now released the Tagged Item Performance Protocol (TIPP) for global usage. The guideline focuses on readability of tagged items, supports all the global RAIN RFID frequencies, and also comes with additional supportive documentation to make the adoption process easier.
Many experts have invested a considerable amount of time in the creation of this guideline, and I am personally pleased with the outcome. The feedback that I’ve already collected leads me to believe that the standard lays out useful guidance also for RAIN RFID projects outside of the retail sector. Read on to learn what this standard means for the industry and end users.
There are applications, where fast data collection and high read distances of RAIN RFID (UHF) tags fulfill the overall application requirements only partially. Especially the missing capability of a consumer to easily access the tag contents limits the usability for marketing, product information and authentication purposes. A NFC tag would remove that limitation but also induce additional costs and complexity to the label finishing stages: double encoding and possible data compliance verification between these two tags. Interestingly the first IC chip with both high frequency (HF) and ultra-high frequency (UHF) communication interface was launched in 2015. In this text I will take a closer look at the quality aspects of dual interface tags: How do you verify that each tag produced meets its specification?
In the name of vendor compliance, many suppliers and brand owners are facing new RAIN RFID related product tagging requirements from their retailer customers. The new standard harmonizes these requirements, bringing transparency and new cost-efficiencies within grasp of all parties. Continue reading to catch some more good news coming your way!
Electronic Vehicle Identification (EVI) tags are a perfect match to RAIN RFID (UHF RFID) technology. Once a vehicle is tagged, the possibility to identify the vehicle remotely enables a lot of applications and services. While the vehicle tagging is of high interest, it is not the easiest task. In the past few months I have worked with some vehicle tagging projects and learned that the application requires some special attention from technology providers.
Creating a tagging solution for passive RAIN RFID tags to a particular application starts with understanding the application specific requirements. That involves plenty of process engineering, but also typically discussions around the expected read range between tagged items and reader antennas. The read range is impacted by several factors and many start the cooking process by looking at the properties of RAIN RFID tags.
RAIN RFID Alliance just published a recommendation for RFID reader sensitivity testing. Why is such a recommendation important for RFID industry? I was deeply involved in the work for creating the recommendation and can open up some reasoning behind the recommendation.
I am frequently lecturing to RFID users and technology providers about quality and performance in RFID. Every now and then a question about the terminology comes up. RFID technology has developed through several paths and as a result there are a lot of names and definitions for RFID. A beloved child has many names, says a Finnish proverb. Understanding the different points of view in naming and the origins of the terminology help to understand the many names.
One of my customers in Taiwan is developing battery assisted passive (BAP) tags. He called me recently and asked why the read range that they reach with their RFID reader is only a quarter (1/4) of the distance that they measure with their Tagformance RFID measurement system. I answered him with another question: “Do you know your reader receiver sensitivity…?”
I work as the CEO of Voyantic, a company that specializes in RFID test and measurement equipment. Since our systems are used by hundreds of companies around the world, we often come across cases where a customer needs our help to verify that their tags work as they should. This is a story about a case where things went wrong…