Blog Joomla! - the dynamic portal engine and content management system Fri, 19 Jan 2018 19:41:35 +0000 Joomla! 1.5 - Open Source Content Management en-gb On The Calendar - AWID Coming To An Event Near You

June 4 through 10, AWID will be at InfoComm 2016 in Las Vegas. InfoComm is the largest event in the United States focused on the pro-AV industry, and provides a once-a-year opportunity to see the latest audiovisual technology in action. AWID will be exhibiting June 8 through 10 in booth C9145-02.

In September, we’re heading to Orlando, Florida, for ASIS 2016. Some 20,000 security professionals will be at the 62nd Annual ASIS International Seminar, co-located with the (ISC)2 Security Congress, to find the latest innovations and solutions for data threats and security challenges. We will be presenting our solutions in booth 3364 September 12-15.

Then on to Toronto! Security Canada Central will be held October 19-20, and brings together thousands of security professionals from both government and private sectors along with the world’s leading providers of technology, products and services. You’ll find us at booth 641.

We also have a few other events in the planning stages, and we’ll be announcing those dates soon.

If you are attending any of these events, we’d love to hear from you. Just let us know which event you will be at so we can coordinate a meet-up with you. And to keep on top of new event announcements, check our events page regularly.


]]> (Administrator) Blog Tue, 31 May 2016 16:44:46 +0000
AVI programs becoming more aggressive with passive UHF technology The U.S. Department of Transportation’s MAP-21 program could be a treasure map of opportunity for RFID developers with creativity and patience. MAP-21 is an acronym for Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act, a piece of legislation that earmarked more than $100 billion to modernize the U.S. highway system.

MAP-21 includes efforts to improve and possibly standardize toll tagging systems. Most vehicle toll tags used for turnpikes and other public highway systems today use active RFID technology, but many vehicle ID tags used for parking control and other private access are passive UHF tags. There are multiple standards, which hasn’t really standardized the environment at all, resulting in many vehicles using multiple tags.

Now there is growing interest in passive UHF RFID technology for highway tolling and other over-the-road use cases. Intelligent highway system planners are intrigued by the higher security now available in ISO-18000-6C/EPCglobal Gen 2-standard passive UHF, along with the technology’s comparatively low cost. Performance is also a big factor in the growing enthusiasm for using passive RFID for automatic vehicle identification (AVI). Active technology has traditionally been favored because of its long read range, but passive UHF can also provide the required range and reliability. We know this firsthand, because AWID is a long-time provider of passive AVI technology and we have many customers using our long-range readers and tags for access control, automated parking management, vehicle registration, asset tracking and related applications.

If you have a fleet of vehicles, need to coordinate vehicle access, yard management or parking control operations, or develop solutions for those business processes, take the time to follow MAP-21 developments and considered how low-cost, reliable long-range passive RFID might add value.


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]]> (Administrator) Blog Tue, 03 May 2016 17:00:12 +0000
Lifting the fog on fog computing, IoT and RFID There are a lot of references, and hype, about the Internet of Things (IoT). Cisco has predicted there will be 20 billion connected devices, while Intel puts the number at 200 billion. In the most touted visions of IoT, items are intelligent, uniquely identified and connected to a network that can provide remote monitoring and take proactive action. Examples include the popular Nest thermostat that senses when to turn up the heat, or the proverbial smart fridge that will order milk when you’re running low – which is an application that has been talked about since the early 2000s but hasn’t driven the pen-and-paper shopping list to extinction.

You can see why there is some intersection between IoT and RFID technologies. RFID uniquely identifies items, gives them intelligence and uses readers that can be networked to share the data with systems anywhere in the world. The big difference is that each RFID tag doesn’t have its own IP address, which can serve as both the unique identifier and the network connection. RFID has much more flexible memory, so the unique ID can be serialized while also allowing other data to be encoded, and updated. Another big difference is that tags do not require their own IP connections to share data on a network, they simply have to be read, and the reader will provide the link to the Internet and beyond.

Because no direct connection is required, RFID enables the Internet of Things to include a lot more things. The Internet of Things can exist wherever you can produce an RFID read field. That brings RFID into the realm of fog computing, which is Cisco’s vision for a more refined, defined IoT. Fog is nothing new to us in Silicon Valley near San Francisco, but this fog is special. Cisco’s first principle for fog computing is that data is collected at the edge of operations.

Why does this matter? Because the IoT is real. AWID has seen many examples of companies that are collectively investing billions to develop and use IoT technologies. Significantly, the investment and interest isn’t only coming from giant tech vendors like Cisco, Intel and IBM that will push these solutions to markets. There are investments and projects happening on the demand side. Self-ordering milk isn’t the main focus either. Companies want to use IoT, RFID and fog computing to monitor and maintain rail cars, oil rigs and other remote assets, track the progress and chain-of-custody of goods in the supply chain, optimize industrial processes, and more. That’s where AWID’s embedded RFID read/write modules, antennas and full reader systems can help.

We hope this post helped lift the fog for how RFID fits into the Internet of Things. Contact us to continue the conversation.

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]]> (Administrator) Blog Wed, 16 Mar 2016 22:54:19 +0000
Embedded Selection Points to Consider When Selecting an Embedded RFID Reader

Choosing an RFID reader that will be used inside another device such as a kiosk, smart shelf, packaging line, etc. can be tricky. The physical and mechanical characteristics of the host device influence RFID read/write performance, and the ability to place and orient the reader and external antennas may be limited. Some of the specifications that are typically key to reader selection are not especially useful for embedded environments. Here are some points to consider when considering an embedded RFID reader. 

There is More to Successful Reading than Range – In a distribution yard, parking lot or warehouse, long read range is usually very desirable. In embedded applications the distance between the reader and the tagged object is usually consistent (such as conveyor-mounted readers that support material handling operations, or smart cabinets and tool cribs where tagged objects pass through a defined opening). The challenging part is often getting a consistent, accurate read in an environment where there may be a lot of electromechanical interference. Therefore the range of an embedded reader is less important than the shape of its read field and how easily it can be fine tuned. The reader-antenna combination is essential, so readers that offer the ability to use different antennas are valuable. AWID is one of the few companies that designs and manufacturers our own readers and antennas, because it gives us more flexibility to give each customer exactly what is needed. 

Look Beyond Basic Standards – Standards are essential, but they are not enough to ensure proper performance. For example, most UHF systems use tags and readers that comply with the ISO 18006-C/GS1 EPCglobal Gen 2 standard. Embedded readers may need to also comply with Dense Reader Mode, which is an optional component of the Gen 2 standard. Dense Reader Mode products use RF communication protocols that help maintain accurate performance and avoid interference in usage environments where multiple RFID readers are present – such as in a store or warehouse that has smart shelves.

Sometimes Intelligence is a Smart Idea – For high-volume or high-speed applications (for example packaging verification) it is often desirable to have some tag data or other data processing capability built directly into the reader. Having an intelligent reader can eliminate dependency on another processor or a network connection to complete transactions. AWID’s MPR-8018QN Smart Network Reader/Encoder is an example of areader with onboard intelligence. 

Not sure what you need? Our engineers would be happy to talk you through it. Contact us if you’d like some guidance.

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]]> (Administrator) Blog Thu, 18 Feb 2016 17:50:35 +0000
New Points of View on Where RFID is Going Consulting and market analysis firm ChainLink Research partnered with industry association RAIN RFID to present its latest market research and points of view on the direction of the UHF RFID industry. Much of the presentation focused on tags and the retail market, but there were some nuggets of interest about other RFID use cases and how RFID readers are evolving. Here are some highlights of the presentation, along with AWID’s own commentary.

  • Embedded readers are one of the higher-growth segments of the UHF reader market – this was one of ChainLink Research’s findings, and AWID concurs. According to ChainLink, interest in Internet of Things (IoT) systems and greater automation are helping to increase demand for UHF readers that are embedded into other devices. As a leading specialist in this type of reader, we are certainly seeing increased interest and we are working with a more diverse set of clients, including kiosk and cabinet markets, to help them embed RFID into their products and services.

  • Readers are becoming more industry/application specific–ChainLink also noted that manufacturers are optimizing readers and antennas for specific use cases. Again, this is nothing new to AWID, which is one of the few manufacturers that makes both readers and antennas and engineers them to complement each other for top performance in specific environments.

  • The IoT is leading to RFID adoption and is a source of confusion – Enterprises are pursuing Internet of Things projects, which is leading to more RFID use, including more embedded applications. While ChainLink noted IoT is generally good for RFID market growth, it noted that many people are confused about what IoT encompasses and where IoT fits. This point was underscored during the Q&A section at the end of the presentation, as several attendees submitted questions asking what “IoT”refers to.

You can listen to a free replay of the presentation by registering here. Feel free to share your comments and questions about where you see RFID going in the comments section below.

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]]> (Administrator) Blog Mon, 23 Nov 2015 17:35:40 +0000
Construction Firms Are Building On AWID’s RFID Experience There is an interesting change of thinking going on in the construction industry. For years, construction professionals had little awareness and less interest in RFID; it was up to RFID companies to introduce the technology and its business benefits to the industry. Today construction companies see the value RFID can create and are coming to AWID with technical questions about how they can get the technology to work in their environment.

There is a clear and strong case for RFID in the construction industry. Here’s why:

  • Tools, equipment and materials are expensive and millions of dollars worth are stolen from construction sites every year.
  • Construction delays cost companies even more because they drive up labor costs, equipment rental costs and threaten project financing provisions.
  • Construction firms typically have a lot of capital tied up in excess inventory that is kept to ensure workers will have enough tools and materials on hand.
  • Labor and materials must be scheduled and managed carefully to keep projects on schedule.
  • Bar code tracking is inefficient because it is very manual and unreliable because bar codes often become unreadable due to material storage and usage conditions.
  • RFID can make sure the right materials are in the right place at the right time to prevent losses and delays.

RFID-based asset management systems that track tools and materials, update inventory levels and provide utilization data make a lot of sense for construction companies. However, creating systems that can automatically track items in all kinds of conditions isn’t easy, especially with so many RFID readers on the market designed for retail and other friendly environments.

That’s where AWID comes in. We’ve helped companies specify and implement RFID readers to track materials in and out of tool storage units, control vehicle access to sites, provide employee access control and time & attendance tracking and more. We have weatherproof, long-range readers that are sensitive enough to accurately read RFID tags that are applied to metal tools and equipment. That’s the kind of performance and experience you can build on – contact us to learn more.

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]]> (Administrator) Blog Fri, 30 Oct 2015 21:37:38 +0000
Applying RFID to Slow the Spread of Counterfeiting One segment of the global economy has continued to boom despite the global recession, Greek default and the dramatic drops and recoveries in global stock markets. The segment that has continued to grow despite these challenges is, unfortunately, counterfeit products. Last year 23,000 counterfeit goods shipments were seized in the U.S. alone, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection data published in a recent Consumer Reports article.

The problem goes far beyond knockoff handbags sold on street corners and fake pharmaceuticals from shady websites. Just this summer, a Connecticut man pled guilty to reselling counterfeit aircraft parts, Toyota took distributors to court in Australia in a counterfeit airbag scandal, and Singapore authorized seized millions worth of fake consumer electronics. Here is some data from the Consumer Reports article about the breakdown of U.S.-seized counterfeits:


Number of seizures

Percent of total

Apparel and accessories



Consumer electronics



Pharmaceuticals and personal care products



Handbags and wallets






Watches and jewelry



Optical media (CDs, DVDs)



Computers and accessories



Labels and tags






Source: US Department of Homeland Security/Customs and Border Protection

Of course, the data above only reflects counterfeit products that were seized. Many more go undetected, and industrial goods are a common target for counterfeiters.

The motivation to make and distribute counterfeit goods won’t go away, so we need better ways to detect them and prevent them from reaching the market. That’s where RFID – and AWID – come in.

RFID tags enable lifetime product identification and traceability. The more points in the supply chain where RFID tags are read to authenticate products, the more effective the technology will be for preventing counterfeiting and diversion. AWID has several UHF RFID readers that are ideal to support product authentication processes. These include component modules that are engineered to be embedded inside equipment and machines to prevent the use of unauthorized supplies or replacement parts. Other AWID readers are ideal for building into receiving doors, storage shelves and other areas to identify and authenticate products.

Companies will spend an estimated $15.6 billion on anti-counterfeit packaging technologies this year, and RFID is accounting for a fast-growing share of the total. Now that RFID tags are being built into more products, talk to AWID to learn how you can get more out of them.

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]]> (Administrator) Blog Fri, 11 Sep 2015 19:04:22 +0000
The AWID Blog – Delivery Our Problem-Solving Experience to You Welcome to the inaugural Applied Wireless ID (AWID) blog and thank you for reading. We decided to start blogging because we see a lot of confusion and uncertainty about how to use RFID technology, and we see even more potential.

AWID has been engineering and manufacturing high-quality, industry-standard RFID products since 1997. However, many people don’t know us because we’ve primarily been a “silent partner” in the industry – other providers of automation and control systems build our readers, encoders and antennas into their solutions. We’ve worked with thousands of companies around the world to incorporate RFID a variety of products, processes and facilities, and now we want to use that experience to RFID-enable the next generation use cases, from automated tool cribs and smart cabinets, to ingenious systems for validating products, parts and configurations, to providing traceability in industrial automation and throughout supply chains, and even positioning products for the Internet of Things (IoT).

AWID can provide a unique and valuable voice to the discussion on how RFID can be applied to improve business. As noted, our products are already built into thousands of RFID systems that make millions of tag reads every day around the world. We design and manufacture low frequency (proximity, 125 KHz) and UHF (865-928 MHz) technology products that comply with ISO, EPCglobal and other international standards, and we’re one of the only companies that produces both readers and antennas.

More importantly, we collaborate with engineers that are designing RFID capabilities into products and systems, and with customers without much knowledge about RFID but need to find ways to improve their operations. AWID works much more closely with its customers than most RFID providers. That experience translates into problem-solving expertise that we hope to share in this blog.

Thanks for reading, and check back every couple weeks to see our insights into new ways RFID is being used, tips for RFID-enabling your products and processes, independent news and views on RFID developments from respected consultants, researchers and reporters, and first-hand advice and lessons learned from our customers and partners.

What do YOU want to see in this blog? Please let us know in the Comments section below.

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]]> (Administrator) Blog Tue, 01 Sep 2015 22:04:15 +0000