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Highlights from the Future of RAIN RFID Tag Design Panel Discussion
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On Feb 17th 2021, we hosted an online panel discussion on the future direction of RAIN RFID tag design and tagging implementations. The panelists for the discussion were Matti Tavilampi from Avery Dennison, Steve Berry from Impinj and Jesse Tuominen from Voyantic. The discussion topics ranged from industry trends and standards to the development of readers, systems, ICs, and manufacturing technologies as well as embedded tags and smart packaging.

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Wearable Sensors, Brain Stimulation and Invisible Tags: Review of RAIN RFID Research from 2018 to 2020
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Three years ago I wrote a blog article about RFID research published in 2017.

Now it feels like a good time to take a look at the research front again.

  • Have the research themes changed?
  • What are the new hot topics?
  • What should be expected for commercial use in the upcoming years?
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Ensuring Reliable Operations of Multiple RAIN RFID Systems in Hospitals
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I recently gave a presentation at the RAIN Alliance and AIM EngageAgain event about co-existence of multiple RAIN RFID systems in hospitals. I felt that the topic is important since the use of RAIN RFID is booming in the healthcare industry – including hospitals. Hospitals are unique and challenging environments as there may be several RAIN RFID systems operating in parallel. Each system has its own tags and readers, but they are not isolated from each other.

The coexistence of these systems should be taken into account from the beginning to ensure reliable system operations. The good news is that RAIN RFID technology includes several tools and methods to help with the challenge.

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Successful RAIN RFID Use is Based on Continuous Improvement
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The smaller technical issues often have a root cause in approach to RAIN RFID, especially how it is treated from a continuous improvement point of view. Sometimes (often) RAIN RFID is seen as a one-off IT project. The initial implementation often is an IT project, but when the system is taken into use, the project should not just be signed as complete, but it should be transitioned to the relevant operational organization and under continuous improvement. From this point of RFID has its own particulars.

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Triple Your NFC Label Production Capacity
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In a recently published success story, Mr. Kevin Kuo, Technical Manager of a Taiwanese RAIN RFID and NFC tag manufacturer SAG discussed the improvements they have seen in production after taking the Voyantic Tagsurance HF system into use. He mentioned the improved capability to detect tags that are not working as specified, and also 200% increased production capacity. In this article, I explain more in detail some backgrounds enabling the improvements.

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Optimizing Counting Reliability With Well-Designed Reader Zoning
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中文版 Chinese version At RFID&WIoT Tomorrow 2019, Erik van Noort from Avery Dennison stopped by a Voyantic booth. He introduced a recently launched ShieldSense™ RFID blocking material. The material is for reader zoning and aimed to help system integrators in building better RAIN RFID systems. After sharing some ideas, we decided to write an article explaining the reader zoning and how to use Voyantic Tagformance to check not only if the zoning works, but how well the zoning works. In this piece, we introduce the ShieldSense™ material with the Tagformance test results. What Is Reader Zoning? Reader zoning is a common cha... Read more →

NFC-Powered Storytelling — A New Opportunity for Printing Companies
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The Finns drink more coffee than anyone else in the world. If you read more, you’ll see what it has to do with NFC.

In the past year, I have given half a dozen presentations aimed to label printers and converters considering entry to smart label manufacturing. Just recently I introduced RAIN RFID to a group of printing professionals from Thailand and elsewhere in East Asia and South-East Asia in ASPT 2019 popup event in Bangkok. Many printing companies are thinking about how to replace declining ink-on-paper business, and smart labels are a good option popup.

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NFC Tapping - Smartphone Performance Comparison
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中文版 Chinese version I recently visited an NFC forum meeting where I listened to industry presentations and discussed with many NFC industry experts. User experience, user expectation, and physical level interoperability of various NFC devices came up frequently. This prompted me to finish this article, a draft version was written already while ago. I tested a few smartphones for NFC tapping user-friendliness and dug a bit deeper on the factors affecting the user experience. Three NFC Application Types When I think of NFC, I think of three very different application types and different experiences with them. Smart card: Think of a hotel ... Read more →

Using TIPP Tagged Item Performance Protocol Outside Retail
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RAIN RFID is being adopted increasingly in several industries such as automotive manufacturing, healthcare, and pharma. Because of the growing number of implementations, there is an increasing need for a solution that helps to scale up the implementations. One of the bottlenecks seems to be specifying RAIN tag performance in a way that enables the use of tags from several manufacturers in a system. Need for performance specification or for a method to classify tags comes up more and more frequently in industry meetings. The good news is that pioneering industries have solved these questions earlier, and there are working solutions ready for adoption.

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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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