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Dec 23, 2017

RAIN Man’s Letter to Santa, 2017

Dear Santa,

I saw you at the shopping mall just the other day but you were occupied with other business, so I left you alone. I’ll give you ten points for the impressive entourage!

How has year 2017 been for you? Good funnel and outlook for 2018, or is that still too far away to say?

Me? Thanks, family is good, the dog and the house as well. However, as the next year is again just around the corner, I really wanted to write you this letter from the RAIN man’s perspective.

Please Help Retain the Talents

Both in your organization and ours it’s only natural that people come and go. I mean, it must be hard for your little helpers to keep those huge inventories accurate and muscle around all the odd-shaped packages, such as pianos and snowmobiles! Some of them surely get tired and steer their careers towards less seasonal operations. It’s the same at our end, with the difference ours is a little less seasonal and our helpers are taller than yours. The mileage is rough for both.

Talent pool in the RAIN business is still scarce, and it takes time to train the new superheroes. With that said, as we both need to keep our operations efficient and scalable, I would very much hope for two things:

  1. Keep the best talent motivated, committed and in-house
  2. Endorse standard procedures (or de-facto standard, as your chimney entrance)

Please Just Give Us One Name to Work With

Radio Frequency Identification went by the name RFID for a long while, but it seems we’ve run out of space under the same umbrella with so many very different technologies: LF, HF and UHF. First came NFC Forum and rebranded a hefty part of the portfolio. After a while RAIN Alliance was established to nurture UHF RFID under a new brand, RAIN. However, not all the stakeholders got onboard the RAIN train, which means plenty of branding confusion especially in the retail-domain, where EPC numbering brand by GS1 further complicates communication.

Please, let there be light, co-operation and goodwill among all the stakeholders, and show them the way. We saw GS1 and RAIN shake hands already in Lille in February 2017, they should just get the puzzle finally completed:

Please Supply RAIN Smartphones for Teenagers

Many seasoned RAIN-believers start to attract shades of gray at their temples. I’ve recently been told I’m among them. It’s not that we wouldn’t be as bright and innovative as always, but the youngsters think and act differently.
I’d like to see teenagers inject some craziness into our industry.

After a decade of waiting, could you finally come up with a reasonably priced RAIN enabled smartphone with fair battery capacity that we could give for them? Good things would happen. And I want one, too!

Please do not brand the phone “tubular”.

Please Show E=mc2 for RAIN

On the component level, after a decade of hard work, we have the basic performance metrics for both RAIN tagged items (TIPP) and readers (reader sensitivity testing). Please show everybody how the system level performance can be reasonably estimated based on those performance metrics! I mean the environment is a difficult variable, but on your discretion, just define a new variable , like you gave the speed of light “c” for Albert Einstein.

That’s all! Travel safe, protect yourself against frostbites and watch out for those house-securing-bulldogs. Stay hydrated as well – I know the costume doesn’t ventilate too well.

Dec 15, 2017

Testing Against RFID Immunity Makes Medical Devices Future Proof

中文版 Chinese version

Healthcare spending raises steadily as the silver tsunami rolls over societies in East and West. 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.

Healthcare organizations have expressed concerns about medical device immunity against RFID, and the RFID technology vendors and regulatory authorities have been quick to respond. A new immunity test standard has been developed in cooperation with RFID and healthcare stakeholders, and released by AIM. This standard has been recognized by FDA and the first test laboratories are already offering Immunity Testing as a service for Medical Device manufacturers.

Interference May Effect Medical Devices

Healthcare organizations are understandably very cautious about any new RF systems that could risk the functionality or reliability of various medical testing and treatment devices. Research projects were commissioned and some studies – for example van Lieshout et al. – found that RFID can induce incidents with medical equipment.

Solution – Standardized RFID Immunity Testing for Medical Devices

To remove possible RFID related risks and uncertainties, RFID industry took action. With the help of industry organization AIM, a new test standard was created: AIM 7351731. This standard describes methods for testing Medical Electric Equipment and System Electromagnetic Immunity against RFID readers.

U.S. Food and Drug Administration FDA soon recognized the standard. FDA has also started to endorse it for medical device manufacturers submitting new equipment to Premarket notification (PMN) process according to section 510(k) of the FDA rules.

Voyantic was quick to release a solution that conveniently extends EMC laboratories’ existing EMC hardware to support the new AIM standard. Voyantic approach is based on creating the required test commands on a PC software and loading them over Ethernet to vector signal generator (VSG) already in use at the EMC labs. This approach, called Voyantic RFID Immunity Interface, is a quick and cost-efficient way to implement RFID immunity testing, utilizing the facilities and equipment already available.

Do you have any thoughts or questions about the RFID immunity testing? Contact us – I would be happy to discuss this in more detail!