News | September 10, 2008

Location Based Services And NFC - The Hot Topics For Cellphones

The IDTechEx conference "Active RFID, RTLS and Sensor Networks" in Dallas on November 5-6 will once again show strong growth, primarily thanks to the hottest area of RFID recently which is Real Time Locating Systems (RTLS) and the closely associated subject of Location Based Services on cellphones. The location based services may use the phone to show where tagged items and people are located – say by displaying a map. Lucrative added value services can be based on this. The other hot topic of Near Field Communication (NFC) with cellphones will also be covered at this conference. NFC starts with use of the phone to buy things such as access to mass transit systems.

Location based services and more
The acclaimed IDTechEx report "NFC Enabled Phones and Contactless Smart Cards 2008-2018" has now been issued in a completely new edition for 2008 and analysts Trevor Crotch Harvey and Dr Peter Harrop will share both this research and their assessment of location based services in their presentations at the conference. There are other RFID issues of great interest to the cellphone industry. For example, there are now 60 retailers and brands rolling out RFID on apparel, but Ultra High Frequency (UHF) RFID has been chosen for technical reasons despite NFC being at the most popular RFID frequency which is 13.56MHz, or High Frequency (HF). This is explained in the new IDTechEx research report "Apparel RFID 2008-2018". Will UHF functionality be added to phones so we can buy apparel in these stores without going to the checkout? New entrant RF Controls will show how even standard Gen 2 UHF tags, as used on air baggage, pallets and cases, can be now located in 3D by its powerful new antenna system. This alternative to active RFID is a new breakthrough.

World first
A world first at the conference will be startup Loc8tor presenting on its highly successful ultra low cost locating system. It has a six gram tag locatable at 180 meters. Will this be put in phones so we can find them when they are lost" Will that type of reader be subsumed into phones" See for what one new type of hand held locating system can do.

Top conference on the subject
The unique "Active RFID, RTLS and Sensor Networks" conference and exhibition will have about 300 delegates and 50 speakers with optional Masterclasses, an investment forum and visits to local centers of excellence. Other RTLS companies speaking or exhibiting include Merlin 360 International, Awarepoint, Ekahau, Jennic, DecaWave, Sonitor, Q-Track and others. That covers everything from chip design to applications and Low Frequency LF, Ultra Wide band UWB, WiFi, ZigBee, Ultrasound and other location systems. Professor John Wang will speak on "Opportunities for Active RFID and RTLS in China" and the boom in NFC phones in Japan will be covered.

For more information on Near Field Communications please contact the author Peter Harrop at To find out more about Active RFID, RTLS & Sensor Networks USA 2008 please contact the Event Manager Sarah Lee at

IDTechEx Dates:
RFID Europe 2008 | Sept 30-Oct 1
Printed Electronics Asia 2008 | October 8-9
Active RFID, RTLS & Sensor Networks 2008 | November 5-6
Printed Electronics USA 2008 | Dec 3-4
RFID Applications 2009 | March 2009
Printed Electronics Europe 2009 | April 7-8