Innovation is occurring rapidly in the RFID sector, and the next round of technology gains hinge on the Gen2 V2 protocol for UHF RFID that was ratified at the end of 2012.
ChainLink Research, which recently added an RFID practice to its suite of market research categories, held a webcast this week to discuss some of the innovation occurring around RFID technology, including Gen2 V2.
Although many technology vendors claim to already have products available that support the new protocol, none are commercially available that utilize the new security and crypto-based features included in Gen2 V2.
The original Gen 2 specs support very limited password and Permalock security. With no robust way to prevent cloning a tag, most applications involving financial transactions are simply not possible using Gen 2.
That’s about to change. Gen2 V2 will enable robust, crypto-based authentication of tags by readers, which will enable many new applications in finance and payments.
“It doesn’t have to add a lot of chip cost,” said Scot Stelter, the former senior director of product marketing for Impinj who is leading the ChainLink RFID effort, “because only a very small subset of the optional Gen2 V2 feature set is going to be required for tag authentication.
“So if you’re not implementing the whole Gen2V2 feature set and you’re just trying to do robust authentication of a tag, the added cost is not significant at the silicon level.”
Stelter notes that as companies adopt this kind of solution, some kind of authority – most likely a cloud-based service – will be required to verify the tags.
“It will be interesting to see who provides these services and what they will cost,” says Stelter.
The Gen2 V2 protocol also provides a lot of optional memory security and access privileges. These optional features can add significant cost to the tag if fully implemented.