After five years' development work, the Danish technology company RFIDsec has produced a unique type of RFID (Radio Frequency IDentification) tag which could be the innovation that kick starts implementation of the technology by manufacturers and retailers, who until now have shown little enthusiasm for adopting it.
Briefly stated, an RFID tag is a tiny microchip transmitter embedded into an item, which can communicate wirelessly with a receiver and needs no batteries. It does essentially the same job as today's barcode technology, but can transmit more information over larger distances.
RFIDsec believes that one of the principal barriers to the technology's uptake is the worry that RFID tagged goods - prescription drug packs for example - can be tracked beyond the point of sale, thus potentially exposing consumers to invasion of privacy.
It is precisely this worry that RFIDsec's new tag tackles, because it can be put into silent mode at the point when it reaches the end user. This eliminates the need to kill the tag at the point of sale, thus enabling the end user to benefit from applications such as warranty and service administration, recall, product updates, asset management and resale.
The RFIDsec tag has other benefits too, including the capability for encryption of the data it contains in such a way that it effectively prevents pirate copying of the product in which the tag is embedded. The RFIDsec tag also features role-based access, so that for example the information accessible by the product manufacturer is not necessarily accessible by the retailer or consumer.
The new chip is being produced in South Korea and will be available during 2008.
Copenhagen-based RFIDsec was established in 2005 and is owned by the founders and three external investors.