Tag: NFC

3 cool real-world applications of NFC

It is truly impressive how Near Field Communication (NFC) technology is transforming the way we do things. By touching a device against an NFC tag or tapping two devices together, this technology allows the exchange of small amounts of data, according to BBC News.

Readers of Modern Safety may be familiar with its applications in the safety field. Correct identification of an employee, harness, vehicle or facility is the first step in any inspection. With NFC technology, the potential is there to scan or tap from identification right into a safety inspection using a smartphone.

And there’s more than that. Some recent applications of this technology are really cool. We’re sharing our top three today.  Read More

Safety trends, culture and the ‘Internet of Things’

Safety trends for the year ahead have been covered and shared, and perhaps they’ll keep coming. The same can be said about technology trends and predictions. Rather than repeat them all, we wanted to highlight a few favourites.

In this post, we’re taking a closer look at the forward-looking statements that really stood out to us. From the continued mobile revolution to the “Internet of Things,” here are some of the talked-about trends that we found most exciting… Read More

What will the iPhone 5 mean for safety inspections?

Earlier this month, leaked photos of what some said was the new iPhone 5 raised questions about whether the device will include an NFC chip.

“We’ll be back. We’re busy updating the Apple Store for you and will be back soon.”

That was the message you’d find if you had visited the online Apple Store looking to buy an iPad or iPhone at the time this post was published. Tech geeks and Apple fans expect the store to go live again with information about the highly anticipated iPhone 5, but the full details won’t be known until after the company’s executives are done speaking at the company’s event in San Francisco today. Many technology writers will be live-blogging or sharing post-event details about the event.

Of course, at Field ID, we’re most interested in any details that stand out as useful for people who conduct safety inspections using our inspection software apps. Read More

Sneak Preview: Field ID running on a Google Nexus 7 tablet

As inspection software developers, the team here at Field ID was very excited by the Google Nexus 7 tablet. It didn’t take long for us to blog about the device after the official announcement at the Google I/O 2012 conference. Will it make a good device for safety inspections? Well, you can see from that link how we answered the question then.

Since the first Nexus 7 tablets arrived at Field ID, we’ve been testing. And we continue to test. Our tests of Field ID running on the Nexus 7 have produced great results. There are still a few improvements to come, but Field ID for Android looks great on this tablet. According to Field ID Chief Product Officer Matthew Paterson, we are looking at adding the Nexus 7 to our list of officially supported Android devices in the near future. For now, we’ve got a sneak preview.

In this video, we’ve loaded Field ID for Android on to the Nexus 7 to test the tablet’s built-in Near Field Communication (NFC) capabilities.

 

Update: We now officially support the Google Nexus 7 tablet.

Will Google's Nexus 7 make a great safety inspection device?

Fans of Google and Android are buzzing about the announcements coming from the Google I/O 2012 conference in San Francisco this week. As developers of inspection software for the web and mobile devices, we’ve plugged in to the live stream and coverage for some of the announcements. But the most exciting announcement for us was the coming Google Nexus 7 tablet, made by Asus.

Rumours about Google launching a tablet circulated (and even leaked) before the conference, but the official reveal is always exciting. We like getting the details straight from the source. And now that we have them, there’s no question about whether the Nexus 7 will be an appealing device for Field ID users and general public. The device looks amazing, and the price is so good it’s almost shocking.

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Safety inspections with Near Field Communication (NFC) and RFID

NFC Apps within the Android Market

We’ve been interested in RFID and Near Field Communication (NFC) for quite some time. As makers of inspection software that works seamlessly with RFID, mobile devices and the web, the idea that more and more mobile devices will include NFC readers is very exciting.

Just this month, ABI Research analyst John Devlin told USA Today that he expects the number of NFC-enabled handsets on the market to grow from 34 million this year to 80 million next year. In the same article, Gartner analyst predicted NFC growth in handsets passing 100 million this year.

Last month, our COO Shaun Ricci blogged about our discovery that a Samsung Galaxy S ll, running a simple NFC reader from the Android Market, could quickly and easily scan a piece of safety equipment. Today, Field ID CEO is featured in a new video demonstration. Somen shows just how easy it is to use an NFC reader for safety inspections.

View the demonstration below or on our YouTube channel.

You’ll probably hear more about NFC this year. Many may associate the technology with solutions such as mobile payments, as Somen notes in the video. At Field ID, we’re constantly looking at how contactless technologies like NFC can improve safety management from a software perspective, and from our users’ perspectives.

Will NFC help change safety compliance?

If you haven’t noticed, we at Field ID are phone geeks. When someone gets a new handheld in the office, we all play around with it. One of our software developers, Kumana, recently picked up the Samsung Galaxy S II.

As we were talking about it and testing it out, we remembered that it has Near Field Communication (NFC) capabilities. And NFC means it works with RFID – the same standard technology that our customers use every day to track safety compliance for millions of assets.

Naturally, we were running around scanning slings and harnesses around the office with Kumana’s phone, having some fun with features, and exploring how this would complement our inspection software.

Why didn’t we try this before?

We’ve written about NFC being the same technology that we use for RFID tags in fall protection equipment in the past. So, what’s changed? Well, it was only last week that we actually fired up an NFC scanner and tested the tags. We headed to the Android Market in search of an NFC test application. We tried three of them, but it wasn’t working. Then, after waving the tag around trying to find the antenna…

“I think it worked!”

I was at my desk and Kumana sent me an instant message: “It worked!” I ran over and, sure enough, it was scanning one of our test tags. With any RFID reader, you need to find the sweet spot in the antenna to scan. The first tag was easy though; it was a sticker tag. We thought, “No way will this scan the tags embedded metal.” Sure enough, we scanned the metal tags too.

More testing, to be sure

Before we can absolutely certify that this use of NFC will work with Field ID (reliably, in the field), we need to do some more testing. We’re hard at work on the Android and iOS Field ID applications right now, so this random test came at the right time. It’s very exciting to uncover details like these.

Think about it. With many new NFC-enabled phones coming to market, we can harness the scanners on these devices to make Field ID even more powerful. Anyone will be able to put the power of electronic inspection management and safety compliance into the palm of their hand, and carry it conveniently in their pocket as they head into the field.

Stay tuned for more NFC testing in the New Year!

NFC (RFID) used for Check-Ins Via Posters – Future of Safety Check-Ins?

I recently read an article about how Foursquare and Google have teamed up to provide NFC (RFID) based check-in ability. At a recent Google conference, a bunch of posters were placed with RFID chips placed in them.  People would use their NFC-enabled mobile devices to read the RFID tag in the poster which would automatically identify them and their location.

To give you a little background, NFC stands for Near Field Communications and is basically a type of RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) technology.  Just like we are placing RFID chips into harnesses and rigging equipment, these same types of chips are now being placed in other types of items, such as these posters.  The big breakthrough is that consumer mobile phones (such as iPhones and Andriod devices) are starting to come with RFID readers built right into them!  NFC is based on high frequency RFID chips (13.56 Mhz) which is compatible with the chips being used with Field ID.  So yes, that means Field ID RFID-enabled products in the future will be compatible with the RFID readers coming built into your mobile phones!

NFC (RFID) Safety Check-Ins

What does this have to do with safety check-ins?  A lot of organizations have trouble having their employees check-in into certain locations to keep track of where they are during an emergency.  Not only that, many organizations have trouble with their equipment.  In many cases, a tool crib will need to check out equipment, but its a very painful paper-based process or a hugely expensive automated process with huge RFID readers.  With NFC and RFID, imagine scanning a piece of equipment, with your phone, and a poster.  Now you have assigned a piece of equipment to a person and location – no paperwork or expensive RFID reader portals.  Field ID is already doing this out in the field, but imagine doing this on your consumer mobile device.  It’ll just make everything so much easier.

NFC (RFID) enabled phones are just starting to trickle out.  It’s good to see how new mainstream technology can help us increase safety.

source: TechCrunch

The Future of RFID and Safety – What the New Google Nexus S teaches us about High Frequency

RFID is an important part of our solution for many of our customers.  It allows people to immediately and digitally identify assets such as harnesses, slings, fire extinguishers, live line sticks, etc.  As you many know, there are a bunch of different RFID frequencies to choose from.  There is low, high and ultra high frequency.  Of course, at Field ID, we can use and have used any frequency – we are frequency agnostic.  But we have definitely chosen to promote high frequency amongst our customers and partners.  For example, MSA is using high frequency chips in all of their equipment.  However, other manufacturers use different frequencies.  We are always wondering if HF is the way to go.

Is High Frequency the way to go for RFID and Safety?

Google Nexus S

To answer this question, we need to look at the recent release of the Nexus S.  For those of you who don’t know, the Nexus S is the new phone being released by Google.  Here’s a description from Google:

Nexus S is the next generation of Nexus devices, co-developed by Google and Samsung. The latest Android platform (Gingerbread), paired with a 1 GHz Hummingbird processor and 16GB of memory, makes Nexus S one of the fastest phones on the market. It comes pre-installed with the best of Google apps and enabled with new and popular features like true multi-tasking, Wi-Fi hotspot, Internet Calling, NFC support, and full web browsing.

Why is this important?  Well, the new Nexus S supports NFC which stands for Near Field Communication.  Basically, the Nexus S will come with an RFID reader that will allow you to read RFID chips for payment purposes.  Think of using your phone to scan a movie poster to buy a movie ticket.

Bottom Line: Why is High Frequency the Right Choice?

NFC is a high frequency technology and is compatible with ISO15693.  High frequency is the technology that almost all of our partners and customers are using.  With smart phones coming out with high frequency RFID readers built in, high frequency definitely seems like the choice to make when thinking of embedding RFID into your products.

Coming soon, inspecting your RFID enabled assets with your smart phone and Field ID!