Smartrac have launched a new version of their popular 22mm NFC tag called the CIRCUS PRO, featuring NXP’s NTAG424 authentication NFC chip.
Clearly, Smartrac aren’t the only tag manufacturer to start production of tags with the NTAG424 chip but it’s a big move and a strong statement. The 22mm tags from Smartrac are big sellers. Exceptionally well made with a strong and consistent performance.
There’s two interesting additional points.
The first is that Smartrac never made an NFC tag with the previous generation NTAG413 chip from NXP. For a number of technical reasons, the NTAG413 wasn’t easy to work with and was never particularly popular. But it’s also that many tag manufacturers felt that it was too early in the market for authentication tags in general. Smartrac’s launch of the 22mm is statement of intent but they have also announced it will be following by a 38mm and a 12x19mm Midas option as well. Again, this is partly because it’s easier to work with the 424 than the 413 but it’s also very much perhaps an indicator that the market is ready.
The second interesting point is that Smartrac will be adding what they call their ‘glop top’ which is essentially a blob of glue over the chip/antenna bonds. It’s something already present on their 22mm NTAG213 circus flex product and it’s designed to add additional strength with little additional cost and thickness. Essentially, it’ll position the tag somewhere between the circus flex and the standard tag which makes something of a ‘one size fits all’ type of product.
The NTAG424 tags need specialist encoding to work properly and specialist authentication back-end servers to verify the codes they generate. However, Seritag offer high speed NTAG424 encoding services and all the NTAG424 and the NTAG413 chips work with our Ixkio tag management platform allowing quick and easy deployment. Seritag can encode the tags and a simple API on the Ixkio system allows for authentication. The barrier for using these advanced authentication NFC tags has never been lower.
First shipments of the tags are expected in the coming months and Seritag expect to add the 22mm NTAG424 Pro tags alongside other popular authentication tags such as our newly released 29mm White NTAG424 NFC Tag.