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Frequently Asked Questions

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General Questions

General Questions

How do RFID readers work?

When you use an RFID reader, it produces an alternating magnetic field at a frequency of 125 / 134.2 kHz (low frequency) or 13.56 MHz (high frequency). This field supplies energy to one or more transponders (media) located in its range. At the same time, data is exchanged between the reader and transponder through this field.

What can I use RFID systems for?

There are many potential uses for RFID technologies. Do you need technology-based personal identification for employee ID, personal ID, passport? Not a problem! RFID is also a reliable solution for the identification of animals, contactless payments, time and attendance recording and physical access control such as doors, turnstiles, lockers, ski lifts. Other potential applications include product identification, product protection (e.g., theft prevention), goods tracking, lifecycle management, Internet of Things (or IoT) applications, fleet management and car or bike sharing.

How does RFID benefit me?

When you use RFID transponders, one of the benefits is they don’t need visual contact to be read or written. RFID gives you a comparatively wear-free technology. For instance, there are no contacts that deteriorate, either in the reader or the transponder. This eliminates scanning problems that can occur with contact-based credit cards or magnetic stripe (magstripe) cards. Unlike printed barcodes, you can also write information to many RFID tags. RFID is also capable of withstanding environmental conditions like wind, weather, UV radiation, soiling and chemicals. RFID provides a scalable degree of security (e.g., from simple read-only tags to high-security transponders tested by EAL/common criteria).

What range can I use with an RFID reader?

Low-frequency and high-frequency RFID readers can typically be used within a distance of two to ten centimeters depending on the transponder, your reader, and the surrounding conditions. There are special applications that give you ranges up to 25 centimeters. The relatively short range can be viewed as a clear affirmative action by an individual. For instance, a door lock will not release until the user has placed his or her ID directly in front of the reader. It will not release unintentionally when the user simply happens to pass by it.

What is the difference between RFID and NFC?

RFID is an overarching term, and NFC is a potential usage technology – RFID could be called the fruit, and NFC then a pear. NFC thus builds on RFID technology and is particularly widespread in many smartphones, for instance, in payment, online banking, physical access control, IoT, SmartPoster and Connection Handover (from NFC to WiFi/Bluetooth) applications.

Technical Questions

Technical Questions

Where can I find documentation and tools for ELATEC products?

You can find all documentation and tools to download in the Support section of our website. You can also download the various developer packages for TWN3/TWN4 readers and TCPConv. These packages give you all the tools for testing and configuring your devices. You can also access the manuals and device specifications. In addition, the “Data sheets” section gives you brief descriptions and specifications for all TWN3/TWN4 readers.

Do I have to install additional drivers for ELATEC readers in the standard keyboard emulation mode?

You don’t need any extra drivers for the standard keyboard emulation mode. ELATEC makes it easy for you with plug and play.

Can I use ELATEC readers to read different frequencies?

With ELATEC, you can choose from a portfolio that offers low frequency (125 / 134.2 kHz), high frequency (13.56 MHz) and multi-frequency (125 / 134.2 kHz + 13.56 MHz) readers.

What scanning distance or range can I use with ELATEC readers?

The maximum scanning distance for your ELATEC reader depends on several factors, such as

  • the size of the tag antenna
  • the RFID standard of the tag chip
  • the positioning of the tag in the reader's field
  • ambient factors such as metal or other material near the tag and/or reader

With optimal conditions, you can use ELATEC readers with RFID technology in distances up to ten centimeters.

What kind of encryption is needed for RFID applications?

When you are planning to implement RFID technologies to exchange or store information, you must first assess the level of encryption required by your application and the exact channel where this needs to be enforced. For example, you may require encryption of data exchanged between the reader and the host system or via the air interface between the RFID reader and the card or device. In some cases, data must be encrypted at both interfaces. It is important to first analyze where exactly in your architecture the encryption is required and then to establish the strength of this security. Then, you need to make sure the reader you select has the capability to support the encryption you need and to execute cryptographic algorithms.

Many types of contactless RFID transponders have the ability to store data within their memory segments and encrypt or lock these segments with cryptographic keys. The best card reader is one that can not only decrypt the memory segments and access the data but also provides an easy means for the end-user to carry out this operation themselves. In many instances, the end-users have their own customized cryptographic keys for their credentials and are unwilling to share these keys with the card reader provider. Therefore, having the capability to load custom keys by someone other than the card reader manufacturer becomes essential. This can be facilitated in multiple ways. For example, the manufacturer can implement high-level APIs and allow the user to write custom applications for the card reader. Alternatively, the manufacturer could enable the customer with a graphical user interface to enter keys used to access data sectors. ELATEC readers support both approaches.

What kind of encryption capabilities should I look for in an RFID reader?

In a typical scenario, the card reader behaves as a medium to facilitate data collection and transfer between the contactless or contact-based transponder and the host system. The host system can either be an endpoint that locally validates the credential presented to it, or it can be a microcontroller that sends data over the network to the cloud or a database for validation and authentication. The first step is assessing whether the need for encryption is between the RFID media (e.g., card or device) and the reader or from the reader to the host. If it is the former, you need an RFID reader that supports the appropriate credentials, such as an ELATEC TWN4 RFID reader.

In some cases, personal information such as name, address, date of birth or biometric data can be stored within the credential—for example, when smart cards or passports are used as credentials. In this case, encrypting the exchange of such data both between the credential and the reader as well as the reader and the host becomes critical. Moreover, the card reader must support encryption algorithm engines (such as AES, DES, 3DES) or the capability to implement custom algorithms for ease of integration. Typically, in cases where smartcards or contact-based credentials are used, the host system drives the communication in its entirety. So, the card reader must also have:

  • Software capabilities such as Personal Computer Smart Card (PCSC) or Chip Card Interface Device (CCID) mode of communication. The availability of drivers to facilitate communication with the host also enables easy software integration.
  • Hardware support for communication standards such as ISO7816 and the presence of Secure Access Modules (SAM) slots and other contact-based interfaces.

 

How does mutual authentication with Secure Access Modules (SAM) and RFID media work?

A Secure Access Module is a type of smart card that follows a contact-based communication standard to interact with an RFID card reader. These modules ensure the safety of security keys and facilitate cryptographic operations. Typically, SAMs are used to generate application keys based on a specific master key or to generate session keys. They also enable secure messaging between the RFID media, the reader and the host system.

Many contactless credentials hold memory segments/applications that are encrypted with cryptographic keys. These keys are often stored in SAMs and supplied to card reader manufacturers. This not only ensures the security of the keys but adds a step in the authentication process. The card reader in this case should first perform authentication operations with the SAM and then carry out a series of cryptographic and bit manipulation operations between the contactless card and the SAM. This can be further secured by adding a key diversification step. The card reader must be able to support such a scenario both in the hardware as well as in the software. Many end-users require the card reader to natively support such a scenario and have high-level APIs to help in their implementation. In addition to this, high security applications demand transfer of data in an encrypted format. One can ensure end-to-end encryption/security with the help of SAMs. In such an architecture, the reader facilitates mutual authentication with the RFID media and the SAM, thus transferring protected data over a radio link and also ensuring the safety of encryption keys. The reader can also transfer data encrypted by the SAM to the host system, maintaining a high level of security across the system. ELATEC TWN4 RFID readers support mutual authentication with SAMs.

Note: The safety of distributing SAMs, as well as administering the installation process within the reader, should be treated as a separate issue and tackled accordingly. There is also an issue of the readers being stolen or the SAM modules being dismounted from the reader. The security considerations here do not delve into these topics; appropriate physical security precautions must be put in place to improve the overall security of the system.

How secure is the Wiegand communication interface for RFID, and are there more secure alternatives?

The Wiegand card, as well as the Wiegand interface for data transmission, is a 40-year-old technology that originates from the Wiegand effect discovered by John R. Wiegand in the early 1970s. While the Wiegand cards are still in production for RFID applications, they have been largely replaced by newer and cheaper forms of RFID access cards. However, these cards are still based on the Wiegand data format that is susceptible to interception, as the data are available in plain text. Also, the Wiegand interface introduced in the 1980s remains prevalent across both the logical access and the physical access control industries despite various security vulnerabilities. This technology no longer conforms to the current security standards. It is therefore important for integrators to choose a communication interface that can offer higher security from interception and support encrypted data exchange. ELATEC readers support modern, secure communication interfaces such as RS485 and RS232 to enable encrypted data exchange and minimize data interception risks.

Do I need tamper-resistance for my RFID reader?

The need for tamper detection varies widely between RFID applications, so it’s important to consider the level of security required for your specific use case. For example, card readers attached to multi-function printers (MFPs) for releasing print jobs in an enterprise environment can be considered less critical, since tampering with the reader can ultimately lead to downtime for the printers but will not compromise the safety of your documents. Typically, in such scenarios the card reader works hand-in-hand with the MFP and a print management solution that ensures the release of print jobs. Therefore, if the card reader is sabotaged or tampered with, the MFP or the print management software simply prevents the release of any information. On the other hand, high security environments such as data centers certainly need a more secure RFID reader solution. One would need to thoroughly evaluate the consequences of any attempts directed towards compromising the device integrity or the data associated with the device. Depending on the application, the credentials involved, and the data that is being exchanged with the card reader and eventually the host, tamper detection technologies can improve the security of the device. There are several technologies in the market such as mechanical and optical tamper detectors that can be embedded directly on the card reader for superior protection against threats.

What kind of security is needed for configuration or firmware updates for an RFID reader?

Just like your smart phone or laptop, an RFID card reader will occasionally need a firmware update or new configuration. This is typically done to address emerging security requirements, to expand the number of technologies the reader is able to read, or to introduce new functionality. Depending on the type of data that is stored in the firmware, it may be desirable to encrypt the new configuration data or firmware update for higher security. Encrypted firmware or configuration files can be safely shared with end customers to perform updates to existing readers or with the card reader manufacturer to load new readers with the update. Using encrypted files secures the sharing process and the update process to eliminate security risks that arise with a firmware update.

The need for encryption depends on the type of data being exchanged or stored by the reader. For example, if the reader is merely reading static card numbers from the RFID media and isn’t using data protected by encryption keys, the firmware and/or configuration files do not need to be encrypted, since these files do not carry any sensitive information. The need to encrypt configuration/firmware files arises if the data that is being read by the reader contains any personal information or is part of a proprietary corporate format that is confidential. Secure transfer of data is also needed if a customer decides to move to a higher security credential encrypted with keys. This means that the card readers (which may be existing or new) must have a configuration that holds these keys. In these scenarios, the configuration and firmware files must also be encrypted since they hold sensitive information.

It is essential to choose a card reader that supports the security features appropriate to the requirement of the customer. ELATEC TWN4 RFID readers support the exchange of encrypted files for secure configuration and firmware updates.

Can an RFID reader support multiple transponder technologies?

There are more than 60 transponder technologies in common use across the globe, along with emerging smartphone-based technologies such as Bluetooth® Low Energy (BLE) and Near-Field Communication (NFC). Low-frequency (LF) RFID uses frequency ranges of 125 or 134.2 kHz, while high-frequency (HF) RFID uses a frequency of 13.56 MHz. Within those frequencies, there are dozens of proprietary transponder technologies, each with their own unique communication formats.

Most RFID readers are only able to support a small number of transponder technologies. Many RFID readers provided by transponder manufacturers are designed to only support their proprietary technologies. Other readers may only support a single frequency (LF or HF), or be limited in the number of transponder technologies that they can be configured to support at once, or lack the ability to add new transponder or smartphone-based technologies.

This becomes a problem when integrators want to sell a device to a broad client base using many different transponder technologies. If they do not have an RFID reader that supports all of the technologies their clients are using, they will have to stock multiple versions of their device with different readers installed. This creates significant inventory management issues. End purchasers may also have the need for a solution that supports multiple transponder technologies at once. For example, a building manager may have multiple corporate tenants, each with existing company ID cards they want to leverage for building access.

A universal RFID reader can accommodate these and other scenarios where support for multiple RFID and smartphone technologies is desirable. ELATEC TWN4 readers can be programmed to support 60+ transponder technologies, plus BLE and NFC applications for smartphone. Our readers support all major transponders from suppliers including ATMEL, EM, ST, NXP, TI, HID and LEGIC.

Why do you need a multi-frequency RFID reader?

The world of RFID is changing all the time. Currently, there are 60+ commonly used transponder technologies across the globe, including both LF (125 or 134.2 kHz) and HF (13.56 MHz) technologies. In addition, there are newer smartphone applications using Bluetooth® Low Energy (BLE) and Near-Field Communication (NFC). Single frequency readers can only support transponder technologies in the frequency that they were designed for. A multi-frequency reader that can support both HF and LF technologies provides more flexibility to meet future needs.

A flexible, reconfigurable multi-frequency RFID reader benefits both integrators and their end customers. Customers may need to reconfigure installed RFID readers to accept new technologies for a number of reasons. For example, a company may have a merger and want to update readers so they do not have to issue new cards to all of the employees of the acquired company. Or, a building management company may acquire a new tenant with existing corporate cards they want to use for building access. Integrators may also want to update readers currently in inventory—for example, to add the ability to accept BLE or NFC technologies to meet emerging customer demands. If the reader does not have the right hardware and software attributes to support the desired new technology, or if it cannot be reconfigured once installed, the only way to add the new technology is to physically replace the reader.

ELATEC TWN4 multi-frequency readers come equipped with the right antennae to support both LF and HF RFID as well as BLE and NFC technologies. That means they can be configured to read any technologies required by the end user. And as those needs change, the readers can be easily reconfigured in the field to add support for additional transponder technologies. They are built for maximum flexibility, so they are “future proof.”

What certifications are required to sell RFID readers internationally?

Integrators wishing to sell products with embedded RFID in a global market need to look for a reader that is certified in the markets they plan to serve. Each region or country has its own certification requirements. Many RFID readers are only certified for sale in certain countries or regions. If this is the case, integrators will need to have readers from multiple manufacturers in inventory to support all of the countries that they serve.

ELATEC readers are certified for sale in 110 countries across the globe. ELACTEC TWN4 readers meet ISO standards ISO14443A/B (T=CL), ISO15693, ISO18092 / ECMA-340 (NFC). These certifications provide maximum market potential for integrators.

How are RFID readers updated in the field?

When selecting an RFID reader, it is important to consider how convenient it will be to update or reconfigure the reader once installed. RFID readers may need to be updated after installation to add new transponder technologies, functionality or security features. The ability to quickly and easily reconfigure installed devices saves time and money and adds convenience for both integrators and their end customers.

For maximum convenience, look for an RFID reader that can be reconfigured without physically removing the reader from its housing or connecting it to another device. These methods are labor intensive and costly. A contactless update card is fast and convenient for many scenarios; the end-user simply has to pass the contactless card over the reader to install the update. If you have a large installed reader base with many remote devices, you will want to look for remote configuration capabilities. Remote updates can be sent over a network, so distributed RFID readers on the network can all be updated at once. This option cuts labor costs and provides maximum convenience for customers with widely distributed devices. Convenient update options are an important element of customer satisfaction with RFID-enabled devices.

ELATEC readers support easy, convenient post-installation reconfiguration via a contactless CONFIG card or remote updates over a network.

What kind of support should I expect from my RFID manufacturer?

RFID is a simple and convenient technology for end-users, but it takes a lot of technical knowledge to optimize an RFID solution for a specific application. To get the most from their investment, integrators need support from the RFID manufacturer at all stages of the process, from needs analysis and planning to post-installation support.

When selecting an RFID partner, look for technical expertise as well as a commitment to ongoing service at all stages of the process. Make sure that the customer support people that you are working with have the subject matter expertise to answer your questions and provide the right solution.

At ELATEC, we provide ongoing support, so you are always connected. Our customer support team is staffed by full engineers, so you can get expert advice and answers every time you call. We are available from anywhere in the world by telephone, email and remote session, in the major three world time zones and in many languages.

Software and Configuration

Software and Configuration

Which configuration tool can I use to configure TWN4 readers?

You can configure TWN4 readers with the Appblaster Tool. It is available in the TWN4 developer package. You can use the tool to configure the reader in six ways:

  • Programming of firmware image
  • Loading of pre-compiled firmware images
  • Configurable project
  • Producing an image from an interactive configuration
  • Source code project
  • Producing an image from a written C code

Which configuration tool can I use to configure TWN3 readers?

You can configure TWN3 readers with the TWNConfig tool from the TWN3 developer package. There are three possible scenarios:

  • Loading of pre-compiled firmware images
  • Importing/exporting of configuration files
  • Loading and compiling of scripts

What do I use the AppBlaster.exe and Director.exe files for?

  • You can use AppBlaster to change the configuration of TWN4 readers.
  • Use Director to test the reader’s API.

Can I export the current configuration of a TWN3 reader?

You can export the configuration of a TWN3 reader with the TWNConfig tool. However, you cannot extract keys that have cryptographic functionality.

Can I export TWN4 firmware or apps from the reader?

You can export neither firmware nor apps from the TWN4 reader. It is therefore possible to store confidential keys and other cryptographic functions as part of an app. You can also be certain that devices can’t be cloned and that intellectual property is protected.

TWN4-P or PI option – what should I decide?

There are three TWN4 reader versions to choose from at ELATEC: Standard and P or PI options. Both of the P options give you extra functions compared to the standard reader.

P OPTION

With this option, you can expand the range of supported NF transponders (125 kHz) to include the following functions: Cotag, G-Prox6, HID DuoProx II, HID ISO Prox II, HID MicroProx, HID ProxKey III, HID Prox, HID Prox II, Indala, ioProx and Nexwatch.

PI OPTION

Choosing the PI option gives you support for HID iClass cards. The option allows the TWN4 reader to access a blocked section of your storage. If you want to read the number printed on the HID iClass card, the TWN4 reader with PI option is necessary. The printed number is part of the PAC number (Physical Access Control) embedded in the HID iClass card storage. An extra chip, the SE processor, is essential for this functionality. This chip lets you read the PAC when it is inserted in the SAM slots. If you use HID iClass SEOS cards, you can only select readers with the PI option, since the UID of the card technology outlined above is randomly assigned.

Please note: With TWN4 standard and P option-capable readers, you can only read the UID of the HID iClass cards, not the printed number.

Secure printing

Secure printing

Which printers are compatible with ELATEC readers?

We have been cooperating with all printer manufacturers for years, so our secure printing solutions are 100% compatible with all major printer manufacturers worldwide on the hardware side. Of course, the printer manufacturers prefer to customize our RFID readers so that end customers can purchase them directly from the printer manufacturer as an integrated secure printing solution. In this context, it is also important to know that most manufacturers prefer our TWN4 product family for easy upgrades and updates in the field. Our TWN4 products are unmatched in their ability to support new features such as remote firmware updates or authentication via smartphone instead of RFID card.

Which print management solutions support ELATEC's products?

We support all known print management solutions.

Our current print management partners include: Celiveo, Cirrato, Drivve, Equitrac, EveryonePrint, GeniusBytes, LRS, MyQ, oneQ, OptimiDoc, Pcounter, PaperCut, Pharos Systems, PrintAudit, PlusTechnologies, PrinterLogic, Printix, QPilot, Ringdale, SafeCom, UniFlow, UniPrint, WatchDoc and Ysoft.*

If your preferred print management solution is missing, please contact our team of experts.

*Note: License fees may apply for some partners.

 

Can I configure the ELATEC readers myself using a software tool to optimize the reader for secure printing?

Yes, you can easily optimize our RFID readers for your secure printing application. With the TWN4 family, we have made it a priority to enable users to make all settings with one convenient tool, the AppBlaster. The software works seamlessly with all TWN4 family members, including TWN4 MultiTech Single and Dual Frequency, TWN4 FrontReader and TWN4 Slim Reader.

Physical access

Physical access

Can we use multiple identification methods for physical access control to our building, for example badge and fingerprint?

Yes, you can use multi-factor identification in your physical access control solution with ELATEC readers. It is even possible to adapt the security level to your individual circumstances. For example, you can customize your physical access control solution to the time of day, with a practical badge control solution (with ID cards or smartphone credentials) during official working hours and a strong multi-factor identification solution outside working hours.

Is it possible to assign several system managers for our physical access control system, each of whom can only manage access at their own location?

Yes, ELATEC makes it easy to manage authorization levels for multiple individuals in a physical access control scenario. The authorizations of any person can easily be restricted to certain locations or even areas.

We use different access control systems at our company locations. How difficult is it to migrate to a new, common system?

With ELATEC, it is not difficult at all! We can help you migrate your different access control systems to our common platform. The process is secure, works smoothly and saves you a lot of time and effort. By the way, ELATEC solutions can be integrated into many databases. Migration to a uniform system is therefore worthwhile in any situation.

Are ELATEC solutions suitable for physical access control for groups and large companies?

Our solutions are ideal for large companies that need to manage physical access for their organizations in a flexible and scalable way. Our solution not only offers integration into the surrounding IT infrastructure, but also covers all requirements within this type of company.

Our company works with SAP. Are ELATEC solutions compatible?

Our solutions offer the best possible integration with all leading ERP systems. In particular, the high level of integration into the SAP system creates a seamless application experience. This allows our access control solutions to become an integral part of the customer's ERP system.

Time and attendance

Time and attendance

How does RFID for time and attendance benefit HR management?

RFID has many benefits for HR management. Time and attendance solutions are designed to be simple and intuitive to use. Nevertheless, these systems are powerful tools for increasing operational efficiency, automating key workforce management processes and reducing costs. They also provide management with real-time transparency.

Do your time tracking solutions help us to better manage our teams?

Absolutely—because the clocks show a definitive timestamp of when the transaction takes place, eliminating any "grey areas" in measuring attendance. They are also helpful in the calculation of workstations.

Are your time recording solutions in compliance with employment and workplace legislation?

Yes, because automated time and attendance systems help to ensure that employees' schedules comply with legislation regarding permitted working hours, mandatory break times, and so on. As the adage says: you can only manage what you can measure.

Can your time tracking solutions be integrated with our core business systems?

Yes. ELATEC supports all available API and integration tools so that third-party software, including HR management software and other business systems, can work seamlessly with our hardware solutions.

Single Sign-on

Single Sign-on

Can I use an RFID card or smartphone instead of a Windows password or PIN for single sign-on applications?

You can set the UID for RFID cards or smartphones as a Windows password or Windows PIN for use in single sign-on applications. For smartphones, simply use our ELATEC Mobile Badge App. When a card or smartphone is held to the reader, the UID is recognized contactlessly and the user is authenticated.

An active connection to the computer is required for sign-on using a card or smartphone.

Does single sign-on work with and without PKI?

You can set up single sign-on both with and without PKI on ELATEC readers. ELATEC supports you with third-party software to find the best single sign-on solution for your individual needs. For the PKI version, we recommend IDvation Java Cards, which can be added to the Atos Evidian Software Solution. For the version without PKI, we help with the ISLogon solution (ISlog Society), which works both standalone and as a server version.

How can I secure the communication between the computer and reader during sign-on?

To ensure secure communication between the reader and computer for single sign-on applications, you will need software from the appropriate third-party provider. We will send you a UID that is integrated into a low-level command line.

Driver identification

Driver identification

How can I assign who can drive which vehicle from our fleet?

With RFID, NFC and BLE solutions for driver identification, you can not only specify who is allowed to access a vehicle, but also for what purpose a person is allowed. All three systems can be easily integrated into existing logistics systems and they work without contact—i.e., they are more hygienic than fingerprint solutions, which is an advantage at a time when virus protection is a concern.

Operators use different transponder technologies. Do ELATEC solutions work with all transponder technologies and in all countries?

ELATEC’s universal readers are compatible with >60 transponder technologies, plus NFC and BLE. Our products are certified in up to 110 countries ... so you and your customers will be well-prepared to meet driver identification needs all over the world.

Some vehicles have longer idle times. Can I be sure that the RFID reader will not discharge the battery?

Yes, if you specify the correct settings. It is best to configure the reader with a defined "sleep mode" so it draws very little power when it is not active. But there are also many other options—e.g., setting the device to be active only when an RFID card or other transmitter is nearby or when a door is opened. You will certainly find the best choice for your individual driver ID application.

Our support team will be happy to advise you on this matter.

Machine authentication

Machine authentication

What types of form factors and housings are available for the installation of the RFID readers into my machine authentication application?

We offer a range of different OEM boards for you to choose from to fit practically any machine authentication scenario. For flush mounting, we recommend our Palon Wall. For installation (e.g., in switch cabinets) the Palon Panel (with IP 65 rating) is the optimal solution. Housings (with ratings up to IP 67) are only available for desktop readers.

We need a machine authentication solution that can also be used at our international locations. Which countries are you approved to operate in?

Some of our RFID reader models have official approvals in up to 100 countries. The OEM boards are CE and RED approved; some are also FCC approved. In principle, our products can also be approved for other countries, but this must be requested individually. Since our products already have approval in most of the world’s markets, we are an ideal solution for machine authentication in multinational companies.

Which interfaces are available for integration of RDIF readers into our machine authentication application?

We have integrated the most common interfaces into our products: i.e., USB, RS232, RS485 and also other serial interfaces such as logic level 3.3 V and CMOS 5 V tolerant. In addition, connections via I²C, SPI, GPIOs, CAN and Clock/Data run without problems. Our compatibility with practically any interface makes it easy to integrate ELATEC readers into a broad range of machine authentication applications.

EV charging

EV charging

We want to support EV charging at our e-charging stations using mobile authentication. On which smartphone operating systems does the ELATEC solution run?

Our TWN4 product family supports both BLE and NFC authentication for applications such as EV charging. With the smartphone app provided by us, both iOS and Android devices can therefore communicate directly with the RFID readers in e-charging stations. However, NFC currently only works with Android.

Which protocols do ELATEC devices support for EV charging in addition to LEGIC, HID iClass and HIDprox?

In addition to the three mentioned, very common protocols, our universal readers support about 60 additional protocols and are certified in up to 110 countries worldwide. That means they can be used for EV charging all over the world!

Can I use the ELATEC solution to carry out remote maintenance of our E-Charging poles? For example, remote installation of an update?

Yes, ELATEC makes it easy to update E-Charging poles and other distributed assets remotely. All of our products support remote updates, which makes them perfect for maintaining widely distributed EV charging stations.

Fleet management

Fleet management

Can I use ELATEC solutions to ensure that specific vehicles can only be driven by people who are authorized to drive them?

RFID, NFC and Bluetooth® Low Energy (BLE) are currently the most popular access control mechanisms for fleet management on the market. One of the reasons is that they can be easily connected to fleet management systems and logistics applications, so when a person logs onto a vehicle via RFID, the telematics system automatically and reliably checks whether he or she is legitimate as a driver and whether all compliance aspects for vehicle use are currently met (e.g., certifications, rest periods, etc.). If everything fits, the journey can begin; if not, the vehicle does not move a meter.

Operators use different transponder technologies. Can I be sure that our fleet management solutions with ELATEC products work everywhere?

Our RFID readers are compatible with >60 transponder technologies, including NFC and BLE for mobile access. They are also certified in 110 countries. In short: ELATEC products are universally applicable for fleet management solutions worldwide. So, yes, you can rely on them anywhere.

Our vehicles are on the road, sometimes under extreme conditions. Can I be sure that the ELATEC readers are sufficiently protected and function properly for this?

Our products are available in different versions. Their robustness has been well proven in a wide range of applications, including fleet management for vehicles operating in all kinds of conditions. In terms of water and dust IP ratings, we have achieved the maximum certification of IP-68 with some products, which means that they are protected against permanent immersion in water and are dust-tight.

Vending and ticketing

Vending and ticketing

Our company provides solutions for companies that offer kiosk systems with locking, dispensing or ticketing functions. What advantages would RFID authentication offer our customers and their end users?

One of the most important advantages for your customers is that they can track the users of their kiosk systems—i.e., know exactly who did what and when—from ticket purchase to product withdrawal to the retrieval of specific information. This usage data helps your customers to optimally manage their inventory, enjoy full cost transparency and understand exactly what the end users want.

A further advantage for your customers is that they can determine exactly what each user is and is not allowed to do on the RFID card or with a mobile credential. The individual programming is reliable and absolutely secure.

But the advantages for the end users are also impressive: RFID authentication offers maximum ease of use, simple handling and maximum security. To carry out the desired action, the user simply pulls his or her card or mobile phone past the reader, and voila! Gone are the days when users had to remember a PIN or password or carry cash or a credit card with them to carry out certain actions.

And last, but not least, contactless authentication is a big advantage: the user authenticates himself without contact, absolutely hygienically and securely. This is becoming increasingly important in times when virus sensitivity is growing worldwide.

 

As a manufacturer of kiosk systems, we ask ourselves why we should install products from ELATEC?

Very simple: because our universal RFID readers are the best and most flexible on the market. Thanks to their architecture and open API, they can be optimally adapted to your specific application situation in terms of software: everything works exactly as your kiosk system requires it, as your users want it, and as safety regulations require. In addition, our products can be easily set up remotely: i.e., an update is installed simultaneously on all systems, no matter where in the world the terminals are located to save you time and money.

Above all, our devices are compatible with all common transponder technologies, currently more than 60 worldwide, plus BLE and NFC for smartphones. And you probably don't have to worry about national idiosyncrasies, either: our readers are certified in over 110 countries.

In short, with an ELATEC solution, you reduce the complexity of operation thanks to the simplest handling, keep the lifecycle costs as low as possible, and yet at the same time be prepared for all future developments in order to keep your kiosk systems always up to date.

Why should we as kiosk system manufacturers use RFID for user authentication instead of password, PIN, magnetic stripe or a biometric solution?

Quite simply, because an RFID solution is significantly better than all other options.

Compared to password & PIN: Forgetting or losing your password or PIN is a huge weakness that unfortunately happens all too often to many users. But the systems also carry risks; the danger of being hacked is great. With an RFID solution, you are on the safe side. Your IT department will thank you for it, and also your users, because they no longer have the stress of remembering their password or PIN or keeping it safe.

Compared to magnetic strips: The cheap magnetic strips are easily broken and are very susceptible to early signs of wear. Another problem: if users use them despite damage, they can put your entire kiosk system out of operation. RFID cards, on the other hand, are more robust and do not contain any personal, sensitive data that could be lost or provide hackers with points of attack.

Compared to biometric solutions: Biometric authentication can be very efficient in practice. However, as a fingerprint solution, for example, it is not very hygienic, and as far as facial recognition is concerned, there is still a great deal of confusion about privacy and data protection. In contrast, an RFID solution using smartphone authentication at the kiosk, for example, is super convenient, works without contact and is very hygienic. The user simply has to load an app onto the smartphone, and that's it—no card to lose, no PIN to remember.

Bike/Car sharing

Bike/Car sharing

What are the advantages of RFID for bike sharing?

RFID is simple and convenient for bike share operators and riders. It makes it easier for public transit users to add bike sharing to their transportation alternatives. Riders can use the same card they already use for train, bus, streetcar or metro ticketing to also rent a bike. This simple solution promotes adoption of bike sharing among transit riders.

Of course, there are also smartphone-based app solutions for riders who use their mobile devices for transit ticketing. The RFID reader allows users to rent a bike safely and conveniently using a mobile app for rider authentication. ELATEC offers a variety of NFC- and BLE-based mobile ID solutions for Android and iOS devices.

Why is bike sharing such a booming market?

Many people in large and mid-sized cities are looking for alternatives to public transit beyond commuting by individual passenger car. Bike sharing is gaining in popularity because it gives riders more control over their commute while supporting a healthy, sustainable lifestyle. This is a phenomenon that can be observed in many countries. Because of this, many cities are working intensively to expand their bike-sharing services. Thanks to COVID-19 and associated fears related to packed public transit options, the trend towards bike sharing as an alternative is gaining even more momentum.

Do you support the ISO1443B' @ Calypso technology required to ensure interoperability between different transit providers in the same area?

Yes, ELATEC supports the Calypso standard for contactless electronic ticketing to gain access to trains, buses and other means of transport. That enables seamless mobility between public transit and bike sharing applications.

Fitness equipment

Fitness equipment

How can RFID and mobile credentials help my fitness equipment customers and their end-users?

RFID and mobile credentials enable your gym customers to quickly and easily log into and access their personalized fitness plans on compatible cardio machines.  Providing your customers with the ability to easily access, track and store their workout information provides a positive customer experience. The user’s RFID card or mobile credential can also be programmed to authorize or restrict access to the fitness facility, parking garage or locker rooms.

The fitness end user benefits from the convenience, simplicity and security of RFID and mobile user authentication.  To access the content, they simply wave their card, smartphone or smartwatch instead of remembering and entering a cumbersome password and PIN code.  As RFID and mobile credentials are contactless, it is hygienic—of increased importance and desirability in our virus-conscious age.

 

Why are ELATEC’s RFID readers the best choice for me (the fitness equipment manufacturer)?

ELATEC’s RFID readers are the most advanced available today. Their flexible architecture and open API enable firmware customization based on your fitness applications needs, the desired user experience and evolving security requirements.

ELATEC readers are certified for use in as many as 110 countries ELATEC readers support remote programming enabling instantaneous, simultaneous updating, eliminating onsite labor and associated costs. And ELATEC readers are “universal” in that they read all major transponder technologies worldwide—more than 60—as well as BLE and NFC for smartphones.

globally. Combined, this provides you with a virtual single-part solution that eliminate inventory management complexity, reduce life-cycle cost and ensure future-proof solutions for fitness applications.

Why are RFID and mobile credentials a better choice for user authentication on fitness equipment than the alternatives (e.g., PIN/password, mag stripe, bar code, biometric)?

RFID and mobile credentials have significant advantages over other forms of fitness equipment user authentication.

Passwords and personal identification numbers (PINs) can be difficult to remember and can be a burden on IT staff to change and manage.  While inexpensive, magstripe cards are susceptible to damage from wear and tear and they can accumulate debris which impacts the functionality of both the card and the reader. Biometric authentication can be an effective multifactor solution along with RFID, though that is subject to debate due to the question of hygiene with fingerprint contact requirements as well as privacy concerns with facial recognition technology.

RFID and smartphone authentication for fitness equipment is convenient, contactless and hygienic. The cards are durable and contain no personally identifiable information that could be lost or hacked. And with smartphone mobile credentials, not even a card is required. Just a downloadable app.

Gaming

Gaming

What are the benefits of RFID technology for gaming applications (such as casinos, arcades, cruise ships and gaming halls)?

There are two common scenarios for the use of RFID in gaming applications. First: you as a gaming operator or slot manufacturer can use RFID to enable your staff to operate the gaming machine (e.g., winner payouts, internal statistics access, machine maintenance, physical keys replacement). Second: you can use RFID for player authentication (to control who is playing, track winnings/losses, etc.) RFID player authentication can also help you meet local government regulations requiring player identification (age, blacklist, etc.).

Can players use a smartphone or mobile device instead of a contactless RFID card for player authentication in gaming?

Yes, players can use their smartphone, or any near field communications (NFC)-enabled device, for authentication in gaming applications. The device can tap on and tap off to the game machine so a player can walk up to the game and use their NFC-enabled device to log onto the machine. In addition to NFC, ELATEC readers are equipped with a BLE (Bluetooth® Low Energy) module. While NFC is used for short-range communication between gaming machines and mobile devices, BLE allows players to be authenticated via their mobile phones in ranges of several meters.

How secure is a contactless RFID card for gaming applications? Can I use it as a contactless wallet for casinos, arcades, cruise ships and gaming halls?

There are many use cases when a contactless card is used for an internal payment system. This works very well for gaming environments such as casinos, arcades, cruise ships and gaming halls. Players can use their RFID cards for authentication and keep their credits stored securely on the card. The latest products (e.g. DESfire EV2) provide a high level of security using 3DES or AES encryption for privacy and reliable protection of transmitted data.

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