Secure ID™ eTrak

The Secure ID eTrak system is an electronic labelling system that uses radio frequency to identify and count closely spaced items without the need to separate or scan individual tags. It offers advantages over optical barcode systems and other Automatic Data Collection technologies. It can be used in a variety of applications, where it is desirable to remove dependance on Line Of Sight, Physical Contact and Operator Intervention.

The Secure ID eTrak RF/ID technology is fast; up to 50 assorted or identically coded items can be scanned, identified and counted in one second, at a range of up to 4 meters from the Secure ID eTrak reader.

A unique "anti-clash" protocol incorporated into the technology eliminates the contention problem which normally occurs when conventional radio tags respond simultaneously to an identification command. This anti-clash protocol allows for tags to be simple in design and very low in cost.

OPERATIONAL FEATURES

The Secure ID eTrak system consists of a transponder or "tag", and an interrogator or "reader". The tag can be a single, integrated circuit chip bonded to a flat, printed antenna. Tags are completely passive and do not require batteries to operate. They are therefore both environmentally friendly and long lasting. The tags can be attached to the inside of existing packaging or labelling and encoded with a user defined or precoded numbering system. When scanned, the tag can provide item information similar to barcode systems.

A wide range of encoded information and chip configurations can be designed to suit specific applications. Tags are read collectively without the need to separate or position the tags individually over the interrogator. Due to the absence of tuned cicuits, the antenna can operate in a wide range of illuminating frequencies.

The Secure ID eTrak technology employs a reflection tag principle. Radio waves incident on the reflection "mirror" in the tag are modulated with the data contents of the tag. The tag repeats the broadcast of its data contents 25 times per second during the interrogation. Each tag has a random clock cycle. The interrogator recovers both the data contents and the clock timing broadcast by each tag.

After the tag data has been read, the tag clock receives the "power break" signal. The tag, thus signalled that its data has been read, mutes itself for a pre-determined length of time. The muting or "sleep" process is repeated for each tag, until all the tags in the operating volume have been identified or counted. The "sleep" process is the basis of the anti-clash feature which allows batch identification and counting of multiple tags that are all broadcasting their contents within the same interrogated volume.

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