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How well do you know your RFID tags?
Turn performance limitations into Competitive Advantage.


Sensors, Healthcare IoT and Pigeon Races - Review of RAIN RFID Research in 2017
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Following research activities of RFID is a nice way to keep up with the latest technology developments. Awareness of hot research topics also helps in anticipating the direction of commercial development and new product launches. Here is my take on the published RFID research in 2017. I have included short comments on the research topics, and a number of links to papers published in 2017 that have caught my attention – for one reason or another.

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Testing Against RFID Immunity Makes Medical Devices Future Proof
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Tightening cost, quality of care and efficiency requirements are some of the drivers that highlight healthcare as one of the strongly growing RFID application areas. RFID improves patient safety, raises operational efficiency and reduces shrinkage. To remove possible RFID related risks and uncertainties, a new test standard was created, describing methods for testing Medical Electric Equipment and System Electromagnetic Immunity against RFID readers.

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Managing RAIN RFID Production Quality
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RAIN RFID use has grown rapidly and implementations are expanding. Nowadays RFID is business as usual and quality management is an essential part of normal business operations. Quality really matters in RAIN tag manufacturing as high readability of tags is expected practically in all applications. In this text I describe how some quality management principles relate to tag manufacturing.

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When Buying Tags - Ask the Right Questions
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I frequently lecture in RFID training events and every now and then a question comes up from RFID users and system integrators: “When buying RAIN RFID tags, what should we ask from suppliers, and what should we tell to the potential supplier?”. I asked the same question from some RFID tag manufacturers and spiced the answers up with my own experiences and collected the following summary from the answers.

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RAIN RFID Speeds Up Season Cycles of Apparel Value Chain
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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.

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Vehicle RFID Tags - Big Benefits with Some Challenges
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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.

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RAIN RFID, UHF RFID, EPC RFID, ... - Confused by the Different Names?
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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.

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How to Win Sales with Good RAIN RFID Test Data
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When selling RAIN RFID tags: wouldn’t it be great to prove that the proposed tag is really the best possible for the customer’s application; and not just send out loads of free samples hoping that customers test them properly? And when purchasing: wouldn’t it be great to have comparable data of how each tag works in your application instead of “our tags are the best ones, you can trust us” statements?

Guess what: it is possible, and in most cases the sales person or buyer just needs to know what to ask. Tag developers have a lot of characterization data ready. Read on to see how to leverage that data following the 3-step approach!

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National UHF RFID Standards and RFID Performance
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ISO 18000-63 (6C, EPC Class 1 Gen 2) has been by far the most used UHF RFID standard for several years. There have been some competing standards such as Tagidu, IP-X (tag-talks-only) and ISO18000-62 (6B), but they are nowadays rarely used in new applications. However, new RFID standards still emerge: for example in Brazil, SINIAV has created a protocol aimed for vehicle tracking applications, and in China, a new UHF standard, GB/T29768-2013 has been recently published.

There are several chip and tag manufacturers working with these new standards. Why do these national RFID standards exist? And what does it mean for performance testing?

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