The combination of UHF and NFC unlocks new possibilities in fashion and luxury retail!
UHF provides complete traceability of products throughout the entire supply chain, reduces out-of-stocks, and enables automated stocktaking. NFC allows retailers and customers to authenticate products with their smartphone or to receive additional product information.
Giovanni Codegoni, Sales and Marketing Director at Lab-ID, speaks to RFID & Wireless IoT Global about features, benefits, and application scenarios for the new hybrid label.
Castel Maggiore, Bologna, Italy
Hybrid tag for luxury and fashion
Lab-ID presented its hybrid UHF/NFC inlay for the first time at RFID & Wireless IoT tomorrow 2017, responding to an emerging trend in the RFID industry: combining multiple technologies – such as HF, UHF and NFC – accelerates technological development.
“With the dual-frequency label, we can offer our customers a label with a hybrid chip in large numbers. The hybrid label is suitable for both identification applications in a production or logistics environment as well as for consumer-related marketing campaigns in retail. We have developed the dual-frequency label for the logistics of luxury and fashion goods to provide UHF readability where HF is not available, and to create new opportunities in customer communications. Industry 4.0, digitization, and NFC-enabled Smartphones are driving interest in hybrid concepts and opening up new potential applications,” Giovanni Codegoni, Sales and Marketing Director, Lab-ID says.
UHF and NFC on a single chip
The new UHF/NFC inlay is based on the EM4423 IC from EM Microelectronics. The inlay combines UHF for long-range applications and NFC for short-range applications on a chip with a common unique ID and shared memory. Combining UHF and NFC, the inlay is well-suited for product authentication and brand protection, supply chain management, and warehouse inventory. The new dual-frequency inlay series includes four products in different dimensions.
The DF426 and DF4426 versions are optimized for retail applications. With the DF105, the company offers a larger inlay mainly for logistics. The miniaturized B34 is designed for the identification of small objects – especially for pharmaceutical applications – without performance losses.
Flexible activation and deactivation of options possible at any time
“The new hybrid label combines UHF and NFC on a single chip and is suitable for identification applications in a production or logistics environment, as well as for consumer-focused marketing campaigns in fashion and luxury retailing. UHF enables the optimization of the entire supply chain down to the shop floor, while NFC enables the customer to check the product authenticity via smartphone or to retrieve additional information.” - Giovanni Codegoni
UHF optimizes the supply chain down to the shop floor
The combination of the two technologies contributes to the optimization of production and logistics processes throughout the supply chain, increasing the visibility of goods, reducing out-of-stocks and improving data security through complete product traceability. In the store, UHF can be used for the inventory at the POS or serve as a loss prevention device – for example, for higher-priced luxury and fashion goods such as jewelry, bags, or delicatessen. UHF applications also benefit from access to B2C consumer data. For example, the digital signature can be used to check the product's authenticity.
NFC label enables one-to-one marketing in the store
With the NFC feature, the inlay provides new retail marketing and business opportunities through a direct connection to end users. The NFC tag allows for one-to-one marketing by providing the customer with product information, such as the production history. With their NFC-enabled smartphone, they can also independently verify product authenticity and be notified about special offers and promotions. The NFC Counter records the extent of interaction between product and customer.
Smartphones can be used to support simple logistics operations in environments without a UHF interface. NFC apps have access to B2B logistics data, allowing retailers and customers to check the status of the goods across the supply chain. The SGTIN number provides specific item information, such as location and period of manufacture, transportation history or best-before date. For example, with a luxury ham, the customer can check both product authenticity and the expiration date with a simple tap on their smartphone.