Posts Tagged ‘rfid tags’

Thai rice project explores RFID

Wednesday, July 9th, 2008

Paddy_Plant.jpgThailand’s Hom Mali project is testing the use of RFID applications in its rice production supply chain. The Software Industry Promotion Agency (SIPA) has created a prototype system which tracks the flow of rice in the Roi-Kaen Sarn cluster area of the country.

The system tracks the flow of rice from the Khon Kaen Bank of Agricultural Cooperatives, where the rice is grown, to the cooperatives’ community mill. Rice trucks will be tagged at the time of loading and then scanned when it reaches the mill, to confirm the receipt of the rice and its point of origin. The tags will include additional information such as weight loads and truck numbers. For the pilot project, 500 tags will be used.

SIPA representatives hope the pilot project, which is expected to conclude in September, will develop into a system that enables local farmers to better compete in the global market. In an effort to further boost the regional economy, the project also encourages local software companies to adopt domestic supply-chain management software instead of importing it from abroad.

The system’s prototype will also be tested on other local agricultural products such as tapioca.

Source: RFID News

SkyeTek provides reader-driven RFID tag security

Wednesday, July 2nd, 2008

While other reader offerings rely on tag manufacturers to provide security for RFID tags, SkyeTek supplies RFID readers that implement security onto generic tags, providing cost savings as well as investment protection by enabling customers to switch tags without penalty.

This newer approach to tag security enables original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and product designers to control their own security requirements. In addition, with reader-driven security on generic tags, manufacturers can take advantage of encryption without the cost of a proprietary tag.

Some tag manufacturers provide no tag security at all, and the ones that do sell those tags at a premium. As part of a security solution, SkyeTek supports several proprietary encryption algorithms that are tailored to provide security for specific markets such as ticketing.

In addition, for those seeking to expand the security of their existing solutions, SkyeTek readers can overlay security on top of existing proprietary tags, the company claims. SkyeTek supports standards-based security algorithms, including TDEA and AES ciphers and SHA-2 hashes, which can be applied in addition to proprietary methods.

Reader-driven security is useful in areas such as product authentication and consumables authentication, as it allows for anti-cloning and anti-tampering. For example, a reader can enforce tag usage constraints by enforcing expiration dates and limiting the number of times a tag can be read. To prevent counterfeiting and cloning, applying a hash algorithm tied to the tag ID prevents the contents of the tag memory from being cloned or replicated on an unauthorized tag. Most proprietary security-enabled RFID tags are not immune to cloning.

SkyeTek’s standards-based approach enables secure support for generic tags, saving customers up to 70% over systems using proprietary security. SkyeTek’s security uses the same standards-based encryption that is used in e-commerce and that has been adopted by the government and military.

More information is available at SkyTek’s website.

RFID may cause interference with medical equipments

Saturday, June 28th, 2008

Certain types of radio frequency identification tags can cause electromagnetic interference with medical equipment, according to a report in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The report cautions facilities to check for interference from an RFID system before deploying it.

The study examined the impact of 125-kHz and 868-MHz frequencies on medical equipment. The 125-kHz is the technology used in proximity cards while the 868-MHz is a long-range RFID tag. Contactless smart cards, which use the 13.56 MHz, were not mentioned in the report.

In 123 tests, RFID induced 34 incidents of interference: 22 were classified as hazardous, two as significant, and ten as light. The 868-MHz RFID signal induced a higher number of incidents, 26 incidents in 41 EMI tests. Compared with the 125-kHz RFID signal which cause eight incidents in 41 tests. The median distance between the RFID reader and the medical device in all EMI incidents was 30 centimeters.

Read a summary of the report here.

RFID making in roads in health care

Sunday, June 15th, 2008

tag_green_inhand.gifThe last thing a hospital employee wants to do is run around searching for a piece of equipment needed for a patient or an upcoming surgery. If the device can’t be found, often, hospitals rent the equipment even though it same device may be sitting somewhere in the hospital, such as a storage room or another area long vacated by the patient, unused. These rentals can cut into a hospital’s bottom line.

But using the same scenario, what if you could go to the nearest computer, call up the device number and get notification, within six feet, of where that device is? That’s the purpose behind RFID in a hospital environment. Yes, it’s the same technology used by major retailers or wholesalers to track products or shipments but health care facilities are also using it to save money.

Awarepoint, San Diego, Calif., was founded six-years ago to track assets and people in real time at acute care hospitals, says its CEO, Jason Howe. Like RFID, Awarepoint’s primary product, real time location service, has its own acronym, RTLS, which goes beyond location. “You also need to monitor and get history as well,” says Howe.

The company’s name is derived from this: “Find a point and you’re aware of everything,” says Howe. While Awarepoint is an active RFID company, he compares RTLS to an indoor positioning system. In fact, Awarepoint got its start by tracking kids at theme parks. RTLS grew from that when it was realized that such a system could work well in hospitals, which “have a lot of unique issues,” says Howe.

He describes what he calls five criteria that need to be in place to make RTLS advantageous for hospitals.

First, you need facility-wide coverage. “You have to cover every square inch of your medical facility,” says Howe. He likens this to GPS. If you drive outside a zone that may not be covered, there’s a problem.

Second, it has to be accurate enough to be able to pinpoint the item’s location. Is it in a hallway, outside of the hallway or in a room? “You have to have enough accuracy to tell you where things are,” he says.

Three, it has to be an easy to install. “You can’t afford to pull wires and cables everywhere. And you can’t shut down patient rooms or the operating rooms. You can’t interfere with any systems,” Howe says.

Lastly, you have to be interoperable with other systems in the hospital. “You have to be able to leverage those systems. There needs to be some way of integrating this system. It can’t be its own proprietary system.” (more…)

Olympic tickets to carry wealth of personal info

Sunday, June 8th, 2008

The Chinese Olympic Committee has offered more details about the RFID-enabled tickets being issued for the Beijing Olympics this summer. All tickets to the opening and closing ceremonies will include RFID tags containing personal information about the ticket holder, including passport information and home and e-mail addresses.

The information is included in an attempt to thwart counterfeiting of the tickets, which have a face value of $720. But the tickets raise concern among security experts, who theorize that an extremely secure RFID system to handle the tickets could cause serious tie-ups at the gates, while a lax security system would make ticket holders’ personal data easy prey to hackers. Officials say the Games’ security team will employ an IT team of at least 4,000 experts with 1,000 servers at their disposal, testing the system for the next two months.

Officials originally planned to embed RFID tags in all 6.8 million tickets issued for Olympics events. These plans apparently went by the wayside, along with a plan to include place a photo of each ticket holder on their ticket. The RFID tags will only be in tickets for the opening and closing events, and photos of the tickets released to the press show no photos on them.

Source: RFID News

New Zealand hopes to track all cattle, deer by 2011

Thursday, June 5th, 2008

cattlesThe New Zealand government has pledged $23.3 million (New Zealand dollars) to create a system of mandatory RFID-tagging for all of the country’s farm-raised cattle and deer by 2011. The funding for the biosecurity project will cover its set-up costs, with a new tax likely to be levied to support operational costs.

Under the proposed National Animal Identification and Tracing project, each farm animal will be assigned a unique code that will be stored in a database alongside details such as the age, sex and breed of the animal, its owner, its herd of origin and the identification number of the property on which it is located. The project would also create FarmsOnLine, an online database that will store up-to-date electronic maps of farms along with their contact and stock details.

The system will assist in tracking animals in the event of disease outbreak, but could also be used by farmers to improve farm management, and by retailers to provide consumers with more information about meat’s origin.

The mandatory nature of the system will require new legislation to put it into permanent effect, but officials believe they can get the system up and running before such legislation is passed. Trials of RFID tags are under way at a dozen farms in New Zealand.

Source: Link