Tuesday, 02 August 2011

Completion of European Research Project - BioPass

The handover of the final research report to the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) at the end of July marked the completion of the biggest chip card research project in the European Union. The research results of the "BioPass" project lay the technical foundations for future electronic ID documents in the EU. There are estimated to be 380 million ID cards currently in circulation in the 27 EU member states with their total population of about 500 million.

The chip card maker Giesecke & Devrient GmbH (G&D) and chip manufacturers Infineon Technologies AG and NXP Semiconductors Germany GmbH (NXP) were three of the eleven companies from six EU member states who - as from February 2008 - conducted research into the development of high-security chip card technologies in the BioPass project.

The research activities encompassed the further development of the security chips and their encryption technologies through to the development of the card operating system and security software for the Internet PCs used by citizens and public authorities alike. The research partners demonstrated that the data transfer rate between electronic ID document and reader can be increased from 848 kbit/s so far to about 6.8 Mbit/s and theoretically could be further increased to up to 12 Mbit/s. The chip card operating system developed by G&D proves that the use of future electronic ID documents on the Internet is possible without the need to install additional software components on the PC.

A number of European nations plan the introduction over the next few years of electronic ID cards that conform to international standards and can use technologies developed in the BioPass project.

The handover of the final report end of July 2011 marked the completion of the BioPass research project. The budget totalled some 13 million-Euros. For further information on the BioPass project and the project partners is available at www.biopass.eu

Verizon to Integrate American Express' Serve on Wireless Phones and Tablets

American Express and Verizon Wireless, announce they will integrate Serve, a next-generation digital payment and commerce platform, on many Verizon mobile phones and tablets. Over the coming months, Verizon Wireless customers will be able to establish Serve accounts that will enable them to make payments and redeem offers for goods and services directly from their mobile phones and tablets.

Serve simplifies the online checkout experience by authenticating a mobile number, then allowing a customer to make a purchase on-screen. American Express and Verizon Wireless will also collaborate to source, distribute and simplify redemption of online and mobile offers with participating merchants through the use of the Serve account.

Greg Haller, president, Enterprise & Government for Verizon Wireless, said, "Serve provides a quick and intuitive way for our customers to use their mobile service in a refreshingly convenient way. Our commitment to building the entire mobile payments ecosystem, through our Isis joint venture and now with Serve, gives customers incredible new ways to use their mobile devices."

Global EPOS Market on Path to Recovery

The global EPOS (electronic point of sale) market is recovering from the recessionary environment of 2008 and 2009, according to new research by London-based strategic research and consulting firm RBR. The number of programmable EPOS terminals shipped worldwide increased by 11% in 2010 to 1.38 million, and the total installed base of terminals reached 10 million.

Despite a pick-up in EPOS shipments in 2010, the challenging economic climate is leading some retailers and hospitality operators to operate their EPOS terminals for longer than usual before replacement. Furthermore, new installation activity remains generally subdued.

RBR forecasts that global EPOS shipments will increase by 14% in 2011 and 12% in 2012, as retailers and hospitality operators resume replacement and new installation activity. Growth will then continue at a slower rate until 2015 and 2016, when the market downturn of 2008-2010 will cause a fall in shipments, as fewer machines will need replacement.

Rice University Builds Nanowire Battery

The Rice University laboratory of Professor Pulickel Ajayan has packed an entire lithium ion energy storage device into a single nanowire. The researchers believe their creation is as small as such devices can possibly get, and could be valuable as a rechargeable power source for new generations of nanoelectronics.

In their paper, researchers described testing two versions of their battery/supercapacitor hybrid. The first is a sandwich with nickel/tin anode, polyethylene oxide (PEO) electrolyte and polyaniline cathode layers; it was built as proof that lithium ions would move efficiently through the anode to the electrolyte and then to the supercapacitor-like cathode, which stores the ions in bulk and gives the device the ability to charge and discharge quickly.

The second packs the same capabilities into a single nanowire. The researchers built centimetre-scale arrays containing thousands of nanowire devices, each about 150 nanometres wide. A nanometre is a billionth of a meter, thousands of times smaller than a human hair.

"The idea here is to fabricate nanowire energy storage devices with ultrathin separation between the electrodes," said Arava Leela Mohana Reddy, a research scientist at Rice and co-author of the paper. "This affects the electrochemical behaviour of the device. Our devices could be a very useful tool to probe nanoscale phenomenon."

The team's experimental batteries are about 50 microns tall -- about the diameter of a human hair and almost invisible when viewed edge-on, Reddy said. Theoretically, the nanowire energy storage devices can be as long and wide as the templates allow, which makes them scalable.

SATO Patient Safety Wristband Receives GS1 Certification

Following its recent appointment as a GS1 Solutions Partner, SATO UK, a subsidiary of the barcode and RFID technology company SATO Corporation, has received certification from GS1 for its newly developed patient wristband identification system.

Demonstrating its expertise in providing effective identification solutions to the healthcare industry, SATO has developed a new system for patient identification wristbands that incorporates SATO's compact and versatile CG2 barcode printer, SATO LabelGallery software and the company's existing range of patient identification wristbands. The new system has been approved as suitable for use in UK hospitals and patient healthcare facilities by GS1, the global organisation responsible for developing and administering barcode identification standards worldwide

SATO's new patient wristband identification system, which meets the required standard for 2D barcode print quality, was approved by GS1 following stringent tests to determine its conformance to the specific patient information structure required for patient identification wristbands. The certification follows the UK government's instruction that the NHS adopts GS1 recommended technologies in instances wherever barcodes are used in their systems.

UPM RFID Ranked No 1 for Passive UHF RFID Label Inlays

ABI Research has published the results of vendor matrix for passive ultra-high frequency (UHF) RFID label inlays. UPM RFID was ranked number one for innovation and implementation among the UHF inlay business companies. For the vendor matrix, ABI examined ten leading global companies supplying RFID tags, RFID solutions or software.

ABI Research evaluated passive UHF RFID label inlay manufacturers on the basis of innovation and implementation by selecting multiple criteria related to product and company characteristics. For innovation UPM RFID achieved the highest scoring for many in-house competencies, wide-ranging R&D expertise, and strong support in product research and development.

ABI Research's report highlighted UPM RFID's active work and long-term commitment in market creation and technology development that is now bearing fruit in growing applications such as retail apparel and document tracking. Other leading applications include product authentication and item-level tracking e.g. in pharmaceutical industry. Asset management covering returnable transit items, containers, and corporate IT assets, is also gaining ground, as well as pallet and case tagging for supply chain management.

"We are very pleased that UPM RFID's persistent and systematic input on developing of UHF RFID markets and products during the past years is gaining momentum and being recognised by ABI Research. This is great news for the whole UPM RFID team and a very rewarding feedback for everyone's work and commitment in our business," says Samuli Stromberg, Vice President, Marketing, UPM RFID.

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