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Security & Identification

Calibration

Some devices require individual calibration or adaptation to the consumables used in each case

For example, blood sugar test strips contain chemicals that react with the blood. This reaction is evaluated by the measuring device, which then displays the blood sugar level. The connection of the consumables with an RFID tag that contains the batch-specific production parameters of the test strips enables efficient calibration – a functionality that can also be transferred to other areas. For example, some reagents only have a specific life or a limited use-by date, so RFID tags can ensure proper use.

Data Logging

Logging over a longer period of time is well supported by the dual-interface memory

In a medical application, patients could even use an app on their own Smartphones to read the recorded data from the dual-interface memory and automatically send it to the doctor or another evaluation point. For a diabetic patient, who records blood sugar values via RFID on a Smartphone and also keeps a food diary in the relevant app, this can create an excellent database for further decisions: in this way, the patients can better look after themselves. This improved fine-tuning can increase quality of life considerably.

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Parameter Settings

A dual-interface memory can be used, for example, to set country-specific parameters

If, for example, a printer delivery is sent to the USA, then shortly before dispatch the defaults are programmed in the factory to imperial measurements (inches and letter format) and to English as the user language, while a printer for the German market is set to metric measurements (cm and DIN A4 format) and German as the user language. In this way, a company can produce a single hardware version for the global market while still offering highly efficient country-specific adaptations.

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Product Activation

Dual Interface products can be used to activate products after arrival in the logistics center – theft can then be reduced

A device can remain de-activated (and therefore useless) until it is activated via an identification system such as an RFID tag or a crypto controller chip card. This often offers clear logistical advantages. The dual-interface memory acts as the interface between the device and the access code or it contains the access code.

Sensors

A dual-interface memory also permits data exchange between a sensor and an NFC interface implemented in a Smartphone

For example, enabling the acquisition of data in an RFID tag using the mobile system. For example, patients who have the relevant medical sensor on their person can when necessary – i.e., if they feel unwell – read the data stored in the dual interface memory from the NFC tag and use an app to send it immediately to the doctor, who can make an initial diagnosis based on this data.

SW Update

A dual interface memory can even be used in bridging mode to update the software of an entire system via NFC

NFC is a technology which allows contactless communication between devices providing end users with an easier and more convenient way to make transactions. Due to its low power, inherent security, interoperability, versatility, and low cost, it is a technology that is increasingly growing in popularity. The integration of NFC in next-generation cell phones, laptops, and tablets and other fields of applications will provide end users and developers with a complete new range of possibilities to explore including device SW updated and upgrades.

Tap and Pair

Tap and Pair offers an easy way to create clear, logical connections

If, for example, you want a Smartphone to stream music to a stereo system via a Bluetooth connection, in the past this required a relatively complex code entry process. With Tap & Pair, the NFC phone is placed on the stereo system and streaming can begin, while the integrated speaker in the phone is de-activated – even if the Smartphone is a few metres from the stereo system. In this way, numerous devices can be assigned individually without problems. If, for example, you want a Smartphone to connect to a car via a Bluetooth connection, in the past this required a relatively complex code entry process. With Tap & Pair, you can simply hold the mobile phone with integrated RFID tag at a pre-defined position on the dashboard, confirm on the mobile and in the car, and Bluetooth pairing can be started. In this way, mobile telephony via SIM access profiles is just as easy as streaming music. After a very brief pairing time, the mobile phone simply has to be anywhere inside the car.

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Wireless Service Interface

Service personnel can use a wireless service interface and an RFID reader or NFC phone to access the electronics inside a device

The example of a washing machine illustrates the potential of this technology. In washing machines, service plugs are undesirable as they can cause problems in terms of water leakage or mechanical/electrical issues. In the event of a washing machine fault, the end-customers only have to hold their NFC Smartphone next to the washing machine and read the contents of one of the dual interface memories that are written by the washing machine. This bi-directional RFID tag contains error codes that have been written by the washing machine via a (wired) microcontroller interface and acts like a blackbox or data logger because the washing machine writes its most recent actions and status permanently to the memory. The end-user's Smartphone or the service technician's reader can read the RFID tag even when the machine is switched off because it operates completely independently of the power supply and does not use the wireless component of the other electronics. The normal data link of the Smartphone can be used to send the data to the manufacturer via an app, so that the service technician has an immediate overview of the current situation – even if the end user has read the RFID element. So perhaps the service technician discovers that although water has been heated, the lye pump has not worked properly. This remote maintenance can often be used for remote diagnostics, ensuring that the technician brings the necessary replacement parts when visiting the customer. A wireless service interface can also be used to enable functions – usually for a fee – without opening the device. If a device is sent to the manufacturer in the event of an error, the manufacturer can read the error memory in the RFID tag before even opening the device or the package, and can also read the operating hours, information about the guarantee status, the hardware or the software – even for a faulty device. However, a wireless service interface can also be used to set country-specific parameters. If, for example, a printer delivery is sent to the USA, then shortly before dispatch the defaults are programmed in the factory to imperial measurements (inches and letter format) and to English as the user language, while a printer for the German market is set to metric measurements (cm and DIN A4 format) and German as the user language. In this way, a company can produce a single hardware version for the global market while still offering highly efficient country-specific adaptations.