Feature Article

March 28, 2012

Dual RFID-ZigBee Sensors Enable Accurate Asset Tracking along the Entire Supply Chain

Hardware technology provider Libelium has launched a new RFID/NFC module for its  Waspmote sensor platform. According to Libelium, the new radio module extends Waspmote features to allow sensor data to be used in Location Based Services (LBS), such as asset tracking, supply chain monitoring, intelligent shopping or access management.

The company said the module uses RFID/NFC passive sensors and ZigBee active sensors to accurately track assets along the entire supply chain process. Plus, the technology also enables secure access control. The RFID standard Mifare uses a 6 bytes key to ensure maximum privacy and authentication.

In this solution, said Libelium, the information given by the passive tags (cards, key rings, stickers, etc.) is read by the RFID/NFC interface and then transmitted using the ZigBee radio to an Internet Gateway which will finally upload it to a Cloud server, making it accessible everywhere. Concurrently, using the Wi-Fi radio, the identification data is also sent to the Cloud for security.

Since NFC technology is rapidly pervading smartphones, Libelium is actively exploring new applications. Libelium’s CTO David Gascón said, “Soon, we will scan products in the supermarket with our smartphones to check if they contain anything our family is allergic to and see nutritional information while our fridge will warn us about expiring dates and suggest shopping lists according to our preferences.”

Because Libelium’s RFID/NFC radio module completes Waspmote connectivity, it is compliant with a variety of wireless technologies in the market, which include ZigBee, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth  and 3G/GPRS..

According to Libeluim, the new radio module is available in both 125 KHz and 13.56 MHz bands to ensure compatibility with previous RFID deployments. It also provides an intuitive and open source programming API and complete documentation with examples in order to help developers to easily start working with the platform.

Edited by Jennifer Russell

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