Powercast Joins RAIN RFID Alliance

Powercast Joins RAIN RFID Alliance

Collaboration brings over-the-air wireless power to UHF RFID systems by harvesting RF from existing RFID infrastructure to power EPD tags, retail ESLs, sensors, logistics and location tracking, and LED illumination

Powercast Corporation, the leader in radio-frequency (RF)-based long-range over-the-air wireless power technology, announced that it has joined 160 other organizations in the RAIN RFID Alliance who share the goal of promoting the universal adoption of ultra-high frequency (UHF) RFID technology. This global alliance aims to emulate the same success for RFID that the Wi-Fi Alliance and Bluetooth SIG have had in achieving universal adoption for their wireless standards.

RAIN RFID is a wireless technology that uses both handheld and fixed UHF RFID readers that are prevalent in industries around the globe to connect billions of everyday items to the internet. It enables businesses and consumers to identify, locate, authenticate and engage each item bearing an RFID tag or label.

Powercast’s Powerharvester® RF-to-DC converter chips harvest RF from 10MHz to 6GHz, and bring new functionality to RAIN RFID systems. The Powerharvester PCC110 and PCC114 chips can harvest RF from existing UHF RFID readers and very efficiently (up to 80% efficiency) convert it to direct current (DC) to power applications over the air. RFID readers emit a similar RF signal to Powercast’s PowerSpot® and Powercaster® RF wireless power transmitters, enabling RAIN RFID to be another reliable source of RF wireless power.

A Powerharvester receiver chip embedded in an electronic paper display (EPD) tag such as a retail electronic shelf-edge label (ESL), an environmental sensing or logistics tag, or a secure ID card can harvest RF when it comes within range of a UHF RFID reader. That range is application dependent; most can function up to 30 feet (9 meters) from a reader, while some can work up to 80 feet (24 meters) away. RFID tag or label devices can be designed with batteries that Powercast either recharges or manages, or without batteries because an embedded Powerharvester chip can harvest enough power from UHF RFID readers to operate perpetually.

Several applications developed with partner E Ink and deployed over the last two years enable companies to use RFID infrastructure to wirelessly update E Ink’s ePaper screen over the air. These include ViewTag’s electronic bag tag, launched by British Airways in 2019 as TAG, which harvests RF from airport RFID equipment to refresh the ePaper screen with the passenger’s itinerary; and Powercast’s UHF RFID Retail Price Tag, a batteryless ESL launched in 2018 which harvests RF from retail RFID readers to send over-the-air price updates to its ePaper screen. More details are in E Ink and Powercast’s white paper, “Integrating wireless power technology into ePaper devices for carefree wireless charging:” http://go.eink.com/whitepapers

Other UHF RFID over-the-air wireless power applications include environmental monitoring, such as Powercast’s RFID Sensor Tags launched in 2017 which measure temperature, light and humidity; smart packaging with wirelessly illuminated LEDs; smart ID cards which electronically verify user credentials; logistics and advanced location tracking devices; and on-product sensing devices.

“We are delighted to join the RAIN RFID Alliance and look forward to a mutually beneficial collaboration,” said Charles Greene, Ph.D., chief operating and technical officer of Powercast. “RAIN provides an industry forum to promote the benefits of RFID technology and is driving awareness to accelerate growth and adoption across many industries.”

“The alliance welcomes Powercast to our growing membership,” said Steve Halliday, president of the RAIN RFID Alliance. “Powercast brings deep experience in defining and executing wireless power solutions to benefit our members, and will contribute to our mission of promoting RFID technology.”

Editorial note: Visuals are available from the links in this release, or from https://www.powercastco.com/visuals/.

About Powercast
Powercast, established in 2003, is the leading provider of RF-based wireless power technologies that work in the far field (up to 80 feet) to provide power-over-distance, eliminate or reduce the need for batteries, and power or charge devices without wires and connectors. Founded with the vision of enabling untethered devices powered over the air, Powercast continues to create the most efficient, safe and highest power harvesting technology achievable while complying with the FCC and other global standards. Powercast’s IP portfolio includes 62 patents worldwide and 38 patents pending. https://www.powercastco.com.

About RAIN RFID Alliance
The RAIN RFID Alliance is an organization supporting the universal adoption of RAIN UHF RFID technology. A wireless technology that connects billions of everyday items to the internet, enabling businesses and consumers to identify, locate, authenticate, and engage each item. The technology is based on the EPC Gen2 UHF RFID specification, incorporated into the ISO/IEC 18000-63 standard. For more information, visit http://www.RAINRFID.org. The RAIN Alliance is part of AIM, Inc. AIM is the trusted worldwide industry association for the automatic identification industry, providing unbiased information, educational resources, and standards for nearly half a century.