How UHF Can Transform the Card Industry


We are just beginning to realize the immense potential of UHF...

...longer read ranges, anti-collision capabilities, and fast data transfer speeds. This could get interesting...

Over a relatively fleeting past decade or two, advancements in integrated chip and data storage technologies have changed the world forever. Affordable computing power has transformed the planet from a smattering of disconnected, monochrome-display desktop computers, into a global population connected in real time, sharing high-definition video from the palms of our hands. The incredible has become routine.

UHF technology has the same potential to transform the card industry. While organizations worldwide are applying UHF technology to logistics systems, providing enhanced oversight and management of assets and inventories, we have just begun to examine the possibilities of UHF applied to identification and access control systems.

Where do we go from here? Here are a couple of thoughts:

Longer read ranges: Read ranges for low frequency and high frequency proximity cards are measured in inches and centimeters. UHF ranges are measured in feet, yards and meters. A good example of an application for this is in identification systems for vehicle access to secure areas or parking garages. When an authorized user pulls up, the system could authenticate and open the door or gate while the driver remains in the safety and comfort of his or her car; no need for the driver to stop, open their window, fumble for a magnetic stripe or near proximity card, and hang out the window exposed to the elements in bad weather. For added security in parking systems, UHF access control may be integrated with video sensors. An automobile license plate could be scanned and compared with credentials before authorizing access.

Improved cardholder convenience: Today's combo cards merge low frequency, high frequency and UHF into a single, multi-purpose ID. Organizations issuing cards can employ LF or HF solutions as appropriate to the function or desired level of security for physical access control or payment. At the same time, with the addition of UHF to create a new combination card, they can expand the use of the credential for applications needing a long read range and fast data communication. This creates the potential for each user ID card to do more. Imagine the convenience to cardholders with the impact of ease of access to controlled lots or garages in addition to traditional building access and cafeteria vending. No one will forget their ID at home again!

Enhanced data speed and accuracy: Recently, HID introduced the expanded family of InLine Tag™ Ultra passive contactless transponders that improve data collection speed and accuracy for logistics applications. These advanced general-purpose UHF tags leverage the same HID Global engineering expertise to embed UHF technology in traditional ISO cards to help customers take the use of card identification systems to the next level so they can enjoy the convenience this technology brings to a traditional access control form factor.

The advance of UHF technology is creating incredible opportunities for organizations to promote a more productive, efficient, intelligent, and secure world. Where do you see this leading us? I'd love to hear your ideas as well. Add your comments below.