Posted by Lori Ayre on February 17, 2015

NXP Semiconductors just announced a new chip, the ICODE SLIX 2, that they'll be incorporating in the RFID tags we use in libraries. RFID tags are composed of an antenna and a chip and adhesive backing.  So this isn't a whole new tag but it will end up in a new tag eventually.

The new chip is supposed to be faster and supposedly allows for "scanning more tags in one go."  The press release states that "situations that required two checkout cycles in the past, work now with only one cycle."  However, the problem for libraries in generally the Integrated Library System (ILS) which can only handle one barcode at a time so for most people, I'm guessing this improvement isn't going to make a big difference.

However, eventually the ILS vendors are going to step up and recognize that they should be building in support for RFID into their staff client instead of leaving all the heavy lifting to the RFID vendors....and then limiting them to SIP2 (fast but limited) or requiring the RFID vendor to create a custom for each ILS via their proprietary APIs.

But, back to this new also supports NFC.  And it has a reserved memory space for doing things with NFC such as storing URLs.  The press release suggests these NFC-based URLs will point users to movie trailers and other groovy content related to the book using their NFC-enabled smartphones.  

The article doesn't mention who would be encoding said URLs.  We'll see if the RFID vendors come up with a new combo staff workstation antenna that can write to both the NFC memory area and the other part of the tag where we keep the bar code and other information that is part of the ISO 28560 Data Model.

Or maybe this will be the incentive the ILS vendors need to start treating RFID readers like the powerful technology they are, instead of continuing to treat them like barcode scanners.

Here's the press release in case you want to learn more about the ICODE SLIX2.