ThingMagic and Partners’ Innovations on Display at MIT Auto ID & Sensing Solutions Expo

Posted by Austin Rand on Wed, Jun 04, 2014 @ 03:43 PM

Tags: RFID, Sensors, RFID tags, MIT

Last week we had the opportunity to be back at MIT, where ThingMagic first was started, to display our latest suite of innovations alongside a number of our partners at the 5th annual Auto ID & Sensing Solutions Expo. Given the size of the show, we didn’t expect any groundbreaking announcements that would shake up the auto ID and wireless industry.  But it but was a good opportunity to connect with partners and other vendors and OEMs leading the RFID industry. It was also good to see MIT students (and perhaps the next generation of RFID professionals) roaming the expo floor as well. Among the roughly 50 exhibitors at the show, a few ThingMagic partners had interesting deployments to demo for the attendees.


A leader in cloud printing, Zebra had a few printers displayed, including their ZD500R, which takes advantage of a ThingMagic reader module and is versatile in the applications you’ll find it in – from the manufacturing floor to tagging and tracking for retail, healthcare and government.

The Zatar platform was their main attraction, their cloud-based software service that’s meant to help feed Internet of Things solutions more easily into users’ operations. Zatar makes it easier to configure devices together for smoother connectivity and will soon be compatible with ThingMagic devices, though beta customers like American Barcode.

RF Micron

RF Micron is a newer company with beta users developing solutions that involve their sensors which can adjust to environmental conditions and will involve ThingMagic’s M6 and M6e reader modules. Their innovation will prove to be big in industries like oil and gas and other industrial settings where conditions can often affect technology’s functionality. This could range from moisture detection and knowing when water has leaked into places it is not supposed to be, to pressure detection in tire gauges that will allow us to have smarter vehicles.


The newest and probably most interesting thing we saw was the Omni-ID View Tags, that use both active and passive RFID to replace paper labels in supply chain operations with an electronically re-writeable surface that’s added to RF tracking technologies. Picture a nurse wheeling a patient around a hospital, where patient information can be pushed to this device telling where exactly that patient needs to be next. Or an operator on a manufacturing plant floor walking up to a particular asset and having information pushed to this rugged handheld based on his particular role.


All in all, it’s good to see the variety of industries deploying ThingMagic and other RFID technology continue to grow and expand. We had the chance to catch up with one industry analyst at the show for his impression on everything being displayed and his thoughts seemed to mirror what we and other auto ID companies have been seeing and saying more and more – that connectivity across the board, not just RFID, is going to continue becoming cheaper, more fluid and more accessible; all making the Internet of Things more of a reality. And we were glad to be able to have aided in more than a few of such solutions on display at the Auto ID & Sensing Solutions Expo.

Going Green with Xerafy for RFID

Posted by Ken Lynch on Mon, Jun 13, 2011 @ 09:57 AM

Tags: RFID, Asset Tracking, Tool Tracking, RFID tags

Dennis KhooThe following guest post has been provided by Dennis Khoo, CEO and Founder of Xerafy.  For more information about the powerful combination of ThingMagic RFID readers and Xerafy RFID tags, please contact or

There’s a lot of enthusiasm around going green lately.  From recycling paper to reducing carbon footprints, companies are now very aware of the impact their business can have on the environment. Yet, have you ever considered how RFID technology would be able to support the green initiative?

RFID has been around for a while, you have probably use it today when you get out of the car park, check out a library book, gain access to your office and maybe to make a payment for your coffee. RFID is used to track many things from retail clothing to livestock. It’s a technology that can provide organizations with unprecedented improved visibility and traceability of items throughout their journey in the value chain.

At Xerafy, in addition to our green logo, we like the fact that our RFID technology is not only allowing businesses to be more efficient but also allowing companies to reduce waste, over consumption and limit the carbon footprint. By enabling more industries to use RFID with the smallest and most rugged tags on the market and working with partners like ThingMagic, Xerafy empowers our customers to do the following: reduce, reuse, and recycle with RFID.

Reducing consumption - RFID tracking of tools and equipment increases product utilization and reduces theft, loss, and requirements for redundant supplies.

Reuse of containers – Tracking returnable transit containers with RFID can ensure containers are returned and managed.

Reuse of tools, and equipment – Utilizing RFID tracking for maintenance and repair calibration records ensures that parts last longer and are verified for quality checks.

Recycle – RFID tracking of parts from point of manufacture to end of life can allow customers to return to manufacturers to recycle or ensure proper disposal is taken.

Xerafy is committed to bringing innovative tag solutions to help our customers meet their individual needs and help the environment.  We have a suite of different EPC UHF tags built for industrial markets for reliable identification of on-metal parts, embed-in-metal assets, and versatile tags that can perform over a wide range of materials including metals and plastics. Let us know how your company has helped the environment with RFID on our Facebook page.





Do you have a market-changing RFID product or a unique RFID-enabled solution that has produced a nice ROI for your customers?  If so, please let us know and we'll consider it for ThingMaigc's RFID Blog!

Zebra Earns its RFID Stripes Again

Posted by Ken Lynch on Mon, Aug 30, 2010 @ 12:20 PM

Tags: RFID, RFID tags, RFID Printers

Low Cost, Item-Level Tagging for Package Verification, Work in Process, Product Authentication and More

One major milestone achieved by the RFID industry over the last 10 years is its more affordable price tag.  RFID tags in particular used to cost about $5.00 each.  Now they cost pennies each.  We’ve celebrated the innovative uses of RFID in this blog, many of them made possible because deployments are easier on the budget, including lower tag cots.  Now it’s time to recognize the positive cost impact made by RFID printers/encoders.   More specifically, products from ThingMagic partner Zebra Technologies, designed for organizations with high-volume, mission-critical or specialty labeling applications.

Zebra 110xi4Zebra recently announced the R110Xi4, a new high-performance RFID printer/encoder which is fully integrated with the ThingMagic Mercury5e embedded module for UHF read/write capabilities.

The R110Xi4 addresses the growing market for high-volume, item-level tagging and the recognized market shift from compliance-based tracking to more item-level tracking applications; such as retail item tagging, package verification, work in process, product authentication, document tracking and healthcare specimen tracking, to name a few.  In addition to item-level tracking, the R110Xi4 streamlines business improvement and supply-chain management applications like asset tracking and inventory management across retail, manufacturing, healthcare and distribution channels.

In the spirit of lower cost RFID tags, Zebra’s RXi4 overcomes one of the largest barriers to RFID adoption – media cost – by up to 10 percent. Here’s how.

It simplifies set up because the auto-configuration enables encoding of a variety of different RFID tags.  It also cuts cost per label, requires fewer media-roll changes and saves time with faster throughput by encoding RFID inlays that are spaced closer together (.6"/16 mm).  The RXi4 can detect the RFID inlay position within the label and automatically configure the printer/encoder without having to manually calibrate for the inlay – ensuring tag accuracy and saving time and money. If a tag is not encoded accurately, the tagged asset doesn’t “exist” in inventory or in transit and becomes lost, costing money and time.

But wait, there’s more.

Zebra’s Xi™ series printers are built for rugged durability, outstanding print quality, fast print speed, long life, and unparalleled reliability in demanding applications. How’s that for lower total cost of ownership?

RFID Privacy Through Dispersion

Posted by Ravi Pappu on Fri, Feb 15, 2008 @ 11:49 AM

Tags: RFID Privacy, RFID, Supply Chain, RFID tags

Ari Juels, Bryan Parno, and I have been working on an approach to solving the key management problem in passive RFID systems. The results of the work are now in peer review, and a preprint is available here.

The key idea (no pun intended!) is to encrypt the tag IDs using a secret key and put shares of the secret key in the RFID tags themselves such that an entity with RF access to a sufficient number of tags (i.e., shares) is able to recover the key and decrypt the tags. An adversary without access to a sufficient number of tags is not able to glean any information about the key or interpret the tag ID (i.e., privacy protection).

This approach works because supply chains possess some interesting properties. First, tags start out in large collections which get smaller over time until there are only a small number on the store shelf and an even smaller number with the consumer. Second, larger collections of tags are usually located in physically secure areas (i.e., backroom of the retail store). Finally, as tags travel through the supply chain, the context they share with each other is lost. An adversary looking some tags on the store shelf does not know anything about their fellow travellers - history is erased. We used these three observations to devise a key management and privacy protection scheme.

More information: Wikipedia entries on Secret Sharing and Reed Solomon Error Correction

RFID Journal article

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