(19)
(11)EP 3 732 621 B1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT SPECIFICATION

(45)Mention of the grant of the patent:
02.11.2022 Bulletin 2022/44

(21)Application number: 18830979.3

(22)Date of filing:  09.12.2018
(51)International Patent Classification (IPC): 
G06K 19/07(2006.01)
G06K 19/077(2006.01)
(52)Cooperative Patent Classification (CPC):
G06K 19/0717; G06K 19/07726; G06K 19/0723
(86)International application number:
PCT/US2018/064639
(87)International publication number:
WO 2019/133226 (04.07.2019 Gazette  2019/27)

(54)

DUAL PASSIVE TECHNOLOGY RFID TEMPERATURE ACTIVATED MEDIA

DURCH RFID-TEMPERATUR MITHILFE DUALER PASSIVER TECHNOLOGIE AKTIVIERTE MEDIEN

SUPPORT ACTIVÉ PAR LA TEMPÉRATURE RFID À TECHNOLOGIE PASSIVE DOUBLE


(84)Designated Contracting States:
AL AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU LV MC MK MT NL NO PL PT RO RS SE SI SK SM TR

(30)Priority: 29.12.2017 US 201762611700 P

(43)Date of publication of application:
04.11.2020 Bulletin 2020/45

(73)Proprietor: Avery Dennison Retail Information Services LLC
Mentor, OH 44060 (US)

(72)Inventor:
  • ROTH, Mark
    North Miami, Florida 33181 (US)

(74)Representative: HGF 
HGF Limited 1 City Walk
Leeds LS11 9DX
Leeds LS11 9DX (GB)


(56)References cited: : 
WO-A1-01/25472
WO-A1-02/077939
WO-A1-2014/197573
DE-A1-102009 005 100
US-A- 4 892 677
US-A1- 2008 272 131
US-A1- 2017 255 854
WO-A1-02/073523
WO-A1-2004/042668
WO-A2-2006/068999
JP-A- 2007 089 054
US-A1- 2005 284 358
US-A1- 2014 209 692
  
      
    Note: Within nine months from the publication of the mention of the grant of the European patent, any person may give notice to the European Patent Office of opposition to the European patent granted. Notice of opposition shall be filed in a written reasoned statement. It shall not be deemed to have been filed until the opposition fee has been paid. (Art. 99(1) European Patent Convention).


    Description

    Field of the Disclosure



    [0001] The present subject matter relates to tracking and temperature monitoring of temperature-sensitive items. More particularly, the present subject matter relates to tracking and temperature monitoring using radio frequency identification ("RFID") technology.

    Description of Related Art



    [0002] Food manufactures typically have very tight environmental controls in place within their own facilities and packaging processes, as many food items must be stored and transported under particular conditions to ensure their freshness and quality. The guarantee of freshness and quality assurance of proper handling right up until the point of consumption or the point of retail sale is paramount. While manufacturers typically implement some level of quality oversight as part of their food production process, it is the subsequent storage, transit, menu integration, and/or retail display residing outside their direct influence that pose a greater risk the further away a food item moves from point of manufacture.

    [0003] Due to potential liability and food safety concerns, the food industry is exploring ways to implement the use of RFID devices, such as passive ultra-high frequency ("UHF") devices, embedded in various media to track and trace product through the entire supply chain. Unfortunately, this only addresses one facet of identification, and quality handling itself (i.e., proper temperature control during transport, storage, and/or display) may be suspect. Indeed, it is critical to insure both food safety and lot tracking to provide quality and freshness assurance in food products.

    [0004] While the foregoing is certainly true for many food items, it should be understood that lot tracking and exposure to temperature variations are also concerns for any other temperature-sensitive items, including non-food items, that may experience temperature fluctuations on their journey from the point of origin to the point of use or consumption
    DE102009005100A1 discloses a transponder device for storing data. The transponder device comprises a sensor element, wherein a state of the sensor element is changed as a function of a physical or chemical action (e.g., change in temperature) on the material. The transponder device is configured to output a signal that is dependent on the state of the sensor element.

    Summary



    [0005] There are several aspects of the present subject matter which may be embodied separately or together in the devices and systems described and claimed below. These aspects may be employed alone or in combination with other aspects of the subject matter described herein, and the description of these aspects together is not intended to preclude the use of these aspects separately or the claiming of such aspects separately or in different combinations as may be set forth in the claims appended hereto.

    [0006] The present disclosure is directed to various approaches to combining the typical lot tracking functionality of an RFID device (e.g., as applied to a container, package or item such as, but not limited to, a food item, the package of a food item, or some other item requiring consistent refrigeration or the package of such an item) with a configuration capable of alerting a manufacturer, logistics handler, and/or a consumer to a temperature-sensitive item being exposed to a temperature above a certain level. In one embodiment, both the lot tracking and temperature monitoring aspects of the approaches described herein are referred to herein as "passive" to the extent that they require an external event (e.g., an increase in temperature or signal transmission in an RF field) to activate or trigger the technology. Thus, RFID devices described herein may be considered to employ "dual passive" technology.

    [0007] One of the intentions of the present invention is to provide a means of indicating quality assurance and product safety, and in doing so, create a tamper-resistant label as well. These dual technologies are preferably provided in combination so that their individual functions cannot be easily defeated or subverted.

    [0008] The dual technologies described herein may be incorporated into an RFID device in a variety of ways. Accordingly, different embodiments are described herein, with each being capable of creating a solution that combines visual indicia with the advantages of RFID technology to carry data internal to the RFID device itself. The various combinations may provide different levels of security and/or different levels of cost, which may be attractive to different segments of the markets that would utilize this technology.

    [0009] According to a preferred feature of the present disclosure, an RFID device may further provide visual feedback (e.g., color change) to indicate exposure to an elevated temperature. In a preferred embodiment, it is possible to have LED in the RFID circuit that may illuminate. The LED circuit, in this preferred embodiment, can "piggy back" on the antenna used for the RFID. Additionally, RFID devices according to the present disclosure may utilize media conducive to printing methods, with human- and/or computer readable information (e.g., text or a bar code) being imparted on a portion of such an RFID device or another surface associated with the RFID device. By incorporating such technology, RFID devices according to the present disclosure may provide even more levels and types of communication regarding the disposition and status of an associated temperature-sensitive item.

    [0010] The present invention relates to a RFID device comprising: an RFID chip; an antenna coupled to the RFID chip; and a member configured to be in a first condition and in a second condition to signify that the RFID device has been exposed to an event, wherein the member is temperature sensitive and the first condition is below a selected temperature and the second condition is above a selected temperature, wherein the antenna includes a near field sub-antenna electrically coupled to the RFID chip, characterized in that the antenna further comprises a wide-field sub-antenna electrically coupled to the near-field sub-antenna, and wherein the temperature-sensitive member is incorporated into the wide-field sub-antenna, and the wide-field sub-antenna is designed to communicate with a far-field RF reader. In this and other aspects, included can be a print-conductive portion configured for printing upon with indicia.

    [0011] Additional aspects include a device as above wherein the temperature-sensitive member is electrically conductive below (or above) a selected temperature, and electrically non-conductive above (or below) the selected temperature, such that the wide-field sub-antenna is operative below (or above) the selected temperature when the temperature-sensitive member is electrically conductive and inoperative above (or below) the selected temperature when the temperature-sensitive member is electrically non-conductive.

    [0012] Yet additional aspects include a device as above wherein the temperature-sensitive member comprises a temperature-sensitive catalyst positioned between two contact points of the antenna, with the temperature-sensitive catalyst being configured to be electrically conductive below (or above) a selected temperature to electrically couple the two contact points, but rendered electrically non-conductive above (or below) the selected temperature to render the antenna at least partially inoperative above (or below) the selected temperature.

    [0013] Further aspects according to the present disclosure include a device as above wherein the temperature-sensitive member of the device is configured to be in a first condition below a selected temperature and in a second condition above the selected temperature to signify that the RFID device has been exposed to a temperature above the selected temperature, as well as a method for modifying the media to alert a manufacturer, logistic handler, and/or consumer to the status of a desired or required condition of those items, for example items requiring maintenance at a temperature within a given range or above or below a given threshold temperature.

    [0014] Additional aspects include a device as above wherein the temperature-sensitive member comprises two contact points formed of a shape memory alloy, with the contact points being configured to be spaced apart above (or below) a selected temperature to render the antenna at least partially inoperative, and the contact points being configured to move into contact with each other below (or above) the selected temperature to render the antenna operative.

    [0015] Yet additional aspects include a device as above wherein the temperature-sensitive member is electrically conductive below (or above) a selected temperature to render the antenna operative, is electrically non-conductive above (or below) the selected temperature to render the antenna at least partially inoperative, and is capable or incapable of reversibly alternating between the first and second conditions.

    [0016] In addition, aspects include a device as above wherein a temperature-sensitive member is of a fuse-type and configured to break above (or below) a selected temperature to render the antenna or antenna component inoperative.

    [0017] Further aspects include a device as above comprising a second temperature-sensitive member that is configured to exhibit a first color below (or above) a selected temperature and a second, different color above (or below) the selected temperature. The second temperature-sensitive member is optionally incapable of changing color once a color change is effected, and also optionally includes another different temperature for a label design to exhibit the capability of changing several color states. When desired, the second temperature-sensitive member can include adjacent first and second layers, with the second layer being configured to catalyze a chemical change of the first layer to change from the first to the second color when the temperature increases (or decreases) with respect to a critical temperature.

    [0018] Added aspects include a device as above comprising at least one frangible member and a freezer grade adhesive securing the device to a surface, with the frangible member or members being configured to break upon removal of the device from the surface, thereby preventing intact removal of the device from the surface.

    Brief Description of the Drawings



    [0019] 

    Fig. 1 is a top plan view of an RFID device configured not according to the claimed invention;

    Fig. 2 is a cross-sectional somewhat schematic side view of the RFID device of Fig. 1, secured to a surface of a food item or other temperature-sensitive item

    Fig. 3 is a top plan view of an embodiment of an RFID device according to aspects of the present disclosure;

    Fig. 4 is a top plan view of yet another embodiment of an RFID device according to aspects of the present disclosure;

    Fig. 5 is a top plan view of another embodiment of an RFID device according to aspects of the present disclosure, with a temperature-sensitive member of the RFID device in an electrically non-conductive condition;

    Fig. 6 is a top plan view of the RFID device of Fig. 5, with the temperature-sensitive member in an electrically conductive condition; and

    Fig. 7 is a cross-sectional somewhat schematic side view of another embodiment of an RFID device according to aspects of the present disclosure.


    Description of the Illustrated Embodiments



    [0020] As required, detailed embodiments of the present invention are disclosed herein; however, it is to be understood that the disclosed embodiments are merely exemplary of the invention, which may be embodied in various forms. Therefore, specific details disclosed herein are not to be interpreted as limiting, but merely as a basis for the claims and as a representative basis for teaching one skilled in the art to variously employ the present invention in virtually any appropriate manner.

    [0021] Fig. 1 illustrates an RFID device 10 not according to the claimed invention. The RFID device 10 includes an RFID inlay 12 with an RFID chip 14 and at least one associated antenna 16 for transmitting information to and/or receiving information from an RFID reader (not illustrated), as generally known in the art such as, but not limited to an RFID enabled handheld or RFID fixed reader tied to at least one external antenna. The RFID chip 14 may be directly attached to the at least one antenna 16 or a strap. The utilization of contact extensions or contact "bumps" for attachment purposes of the chip to the antenna may be used. For example, the RFID chip 14 includes an integrated circuit for controlling RF communication and other functions of the RFID device 10. Use of unique encoding of data within the RFID chip 14 provides a layer of tamper-proof technology, as the alphanumeric sequence programmed into the RFID chip 14 may not be easily duplicated once it exits the control of the manufacturer that originated it.

    [0022] The antenna 16 is configured for wide-field RF communication to allow remote tracking of the item to which the RFID device 10 is secured. For a wide field range the reader is at a distance greater than near contact. In a near field antenna design the RFID reader may be touching or nearly touching in order to communicate with the chip of the inlay. The antenna configuration of Fig. 1 is merely exemplary, and other antenna configurations known in the art may also be employed without departing from the scope of the present disclosure, such as but not limited to, a dipole as will be described in greater detail herein.

    [0023] Fig. 2 is a cross-sectional view of the RFID device 10 of Fig. 1, secured to a surface 18 of an item. As shown in Fig. 2, the RFID device 10 includes a substrate 20; the present invention is not limited to any particular types of substrate (e.g., a paper, plastic, or fabric material,) upon which the RFID inlay 12 is mounted. A layer of adhesive 22 is positioned on the opposite surface of the substrate 20 to fixedly secure the RFID device 10 to the surface 18 of the item. The layer of adhesive 22 may be curtain or pattern coated. In one aspect, the layer of adhesive 22 is a freezer grade adhesive. RFID devices according to the present disclosure are typically secured or otherwise incorporated into the package of a food item, rather than being directly secured to the food item itself. However, an RFID device according to the present disclosure may also be directly secured to the food item itself. In the case of other temperature-sensitive items, RFID devices according to the present disclosure may be directly secured to the item itself or, alternatively, secured or otherwise incorporated into the package of the item. Thus, it should be understood that RFID devices according to the present disclosure are not limited to use with any particular items (e.g., food items) and are not limited to joinder to a particular item (or a package thereof) in any particular manner and/or in any particular location.

    [0024] As used herein, the term "package" should be understood to refer broadly to either a package for an individual item or a package for a plurality of individual items, such as a carton or pallet. Indeed, the methodology described herein may be used at various packaging levels from pallet to carton or even applied to the item itself to provide the granularity necessary as determined by the manufacture and/or government entity or simply may be required to be in compliance with some regulation or quality guidelines.

    [0025] The RFID device 10 may include one or more layers positioned above the RFID inlay layer 12, with Fig. 2 illustrating two layers 24 and 26. Such upper layers 24 and 26 may be variously configured without departing from the scope of the present disclosure. For example, as will be described in greater detail herein, one of the upper layers may be configured to display printed media, with another one of the upper layers being used to provide a temperature-monitoring function for ranges such as but not limited to 40°F degrees refrig) and lower (freeze/deep freeze). Various layers are illustrated in Fig. 2 by cross-hatching, and the specific cross-hatching protocols used are not intended to be limiting as to the material, whether metallic, polymeric, cellulosic, or other materials. In one embodiment, these layers 24, 26 are adhered to one another via two separate layers of adhesive, and a layer of adhesive is applied to the top face of the RFID inlay layer 12.

    [0026] Turning back now to the antenna 16, a temperature-sensitive fuse focused on in or out of spec temperature requirements or thermal cutoff 28 is incorporated therein. The fuse 28 may be configured to be in a first condition below a selected temperature and a second condition above the selected temperature. The particular temperature may vary, but is preferably the temperature below which the food item or other temperature-sensitive item associated with the RFID device 10 is to be maintained. Below the selected temperature, the fuse 28 is in an intact, electrically conductive condition, which allows for the antenna 16 to be operative. Above the selected temperature, the fuse 28 breaks, placing it into an electrically non-conductive condition and rendering the antenna 16 inoperative by opening the circuit defined by the antenna 16. By breaking above the selected temperature, the fuse 28 prevents the RFID device 10 from communicating with an RFID reader, resulting in an incomplete quantity count and effectively communicating that the food item or other temperature-sensitive item has been exposed to an elevated temperature, which may have compromised the freshness and/or quality of the item. Further, decreasing the temperature below the selected temperature does not restore functionality to the antenna 16, as the fuse 28 has irreversibly transitioned from a conductive condition to a non-conductive condition, which may be preferred to an approach that is capable only of signifying the current temperature of the item without regard to previous temperature cycling.

    [0027] Causing the fuse 28 to break above the selected temperature may be achieved, for example, by selecting a material having a suitable coefficient of thermal expansion, with the preferred material varying based on the selected temperature. The preferred material may also depend upon the nature of the substrate 20, as the coefficient of thermal expansion of the substrate 20 and its tendency to expand or contract upon an increase in temperature may affect the temperature at which the fuse 28 breaks. The substrate, which is illustrated as being metallic in Fig. 2, can be of any material having the desired thermal expansion properties, including non-metallic materials. Other approaches to causing the fuse 28 to break above the selected temperature may also be employed without departing from the scope of the present disclosure such as, but not limited to bending and/or folding the fuse.

    [0028] Fig. 3 illustrates a variation of the RFID device 10 of Fig. 1 in accordance with the present invention. In the RFID device 50 of Fig. 3, the RFID chip 14 and fuse 28 are configured as in Fig. 1, with a differently configured antenna 52. The antenna 52 of Fig. 3 is a combination of a near-field sub-antenna 54 electrically coupled to the RFID chip 14, with a wide-field sub-antenna 56 electrically coupled to the near-field sub-antenna 54. The fuse 28 is incorporated into the wide-field sub-antenna 56 and configured such that a broken fuse will only render the wide-field sub-antenna 56 inoperative, while the near-field sub-antenna 54 remains operative both below and above the selected temperature. Thus, breaking the fuse 28 renders the antenna 52 only partially inoperative, rather than completely inoperative, as in Fig. 1. This allows the RFID device 50 to retain some functionality after exposure to an elevated temperature, such as being able to communicate with a nearby or local RF reader while becoming non-communicative with a distant or far-field RF reader.

    [0029] Fig. 4 illustrates a variation of the RFID device 50 of Fig. 3. In the RFID device 100 of Fig. 4, the RFID chip 14 and the antenna 52 are as configured in Fig. 3, with a temperature-sensitive member 102 replacing the fuse 28.

    [0030] The member 102 of Fig. 4 comprises a temperature sensitive catalys 104 positioned between two contact points 106 and 108 of the wide-field sub-antenna 56. The catalyst 104 is configured to be electrically conductive below the selected temperature to electrically couple the contact points 106 and 108 (rendering the wide-field sub-antenna 56 operative), while being electrically non-conductive (e.g., by breaking) above the selected temperature to decouple the contact points 106 and 108 (rendering the wide-field sub-antenna 56 inoperative).

    [0031] The RFID device 100 may be manufactured above the selected temperature (e.g., at room temperature), with the catalyst 104 activating when the temperature decreases below the selected temperature. This is in contrast to the fuse 28 of Fig. 1 and 3, as the RFID device 10, 50 into which the fuse 28 is incorporated must be manufactured below the selected temperature to ensure that the fuse 28 remains intact.

    [0032] Figs. 5 and 6 illustrate yet another embodiment of an RFID device 150 having a temperature-sensitive member 152 incorporated into its antenna 52.

    [0033] In the embodiment of Figs. 5 and 6, the temperature-sensitive member 152 comprises two contact points 154 and 156 formed of a shape memory alloy. Above the selected temperature, the two contact points 154 and 156 are spaced apart (as shown in Fig. 5), with the two contact points 154 and 156 being in contact with each other below the selected temperature (as shown in Fig. 6). With the contact points 154 and 156 spaced apart, the temperature-sensitive member 152 becomes electrically non-conductive, rendering the wide-field sub-antenna 56 inoperative above the selected temperature. With the contact points 154 and 156 in contact with each other, the temperature-sensitive member 152 become electrically conductive, rendering the wide-field sub-antenna 56 operative below the selected temperature.

    [0034] In one embodiment, the contact points 154 and 156 are in their initial form above the selected temperature (as in Fig. 5), deform to contact each other upon a decrease in temperature (as in Fig. 6), before returning to their initial form when the temperature again rises. In another embodiment, the contact points 154 and 156 are in their initial form below the selected temperature (as in Fig. 6), deform to be spaced apart upon an increase in temperature (as in Fig. 5), before returning to their initial form when the temperature again decreases.

    [0035] In contrast to the other embodiments described herein, the temperature-sensitive member 152 of Figs. 5 and 6 is free to move between its two conditions, rather than irreversibly changing from a lowtemperature state to a high-temperature state. This may be advantageous to the extent that it provides more detailed information regarding the temperature cycling experienced by the RFID device 150 and associated temperature-sensitive item than the other embodiments. For example, the RFID device 150 of Figs. 5 and 6 may communicate the number of times that it has been exposed to elevated temperatures and for how long each time, whereas the other RFID devices described herein are capable of only signifying exposure to an elevated temperature, without additional information. The embodiment preferred by a manufacturer may depend upon a number of factors, such as the cost of a particular RFID device and the detail of temperature-related information required.

    [0036] While the foregoing embodiments employ an approach whereby the antenna of an RFID device is only fully functional below the selected temperature, it is also within the scope of the present disclosure for the antenna to instead be fully functional only above the selected temperature. In this case, at an elevated temperature, the antenna (or a wide-field sub-antenna thereof) would communicate to an RFID reader that the RFID device and associated temperature-sensitive item have been exposed to the elevated temperature. However, for lot-tracking purposes, it may be preferred for the antenna to be fully functional below the selected temperature and at least partially inoperative above the selected temperature.

    [0037] In addition to a temperature-sensitive member capable of at least partially incapacitating the antenna of an RFID device, an RFID device according to the present disclosure may include a temperature-sensitive member configured to change appearance to signify exposure to an elevated temperature. For example, the temperature-sensitive member may be a portion of the RFID device that is a first color (e.g., blue) below the selected temperature and a second color (e.g., white) above the selected temperature, so that it can be seen whether the RFID device and the item associated with it are below or above the selected temperature. The color change may be reversible (i.e., allowing the temperature-sensitive member to freely alternate between the two colors) to indicate the current temperature of the RFID device and associated item. In another embodiment, the temperature-sensitive member is not capable of returning to the first color once it has exhibited the second color, thereby signifying that the RFID device and associated item have been exposed to an elevated temperature, even if they are currently exposed to a temperature below the selected temperature.

    [0038] This may be achieved, for example, by providing the RFID device with a thermo-chemically reactive layer, which may preferably be an upper or top layer of the RFID device for improved visibility. In one embodiment, a top print-conducive portion or layer 24 of an RFID device 10 (Fig. 2) may be a coated thermally reactive media, similar to those used in pressure-sensitive media for thermal direct uses, or may be a non-coated media allowing use of ink jet or thermal transfer printing techniques (e.g., if it would be advantageous to apply human-readable symbols, such as letters and numbers, and/or computer-readable symbols, such as a barcode, to the RFID device 10). The layer 26 below the top layer 24 may be a color-activation layer, which may be positioned directly above the RFID inlay 12.

    [0039] According to one approach, a chemical catalyst activates and reacts with the media's adjacent layers when the temperature is brought below the selected temperature, causing the color-activation layer 26 to exhibit its first color (e.g., blue). This allows the color-activation layer 26 to exhibit its first color only if the temperature is maintained below the selected temperature. Once the temperature has increased above the selected temperature, the color-activation layer 26 will change to its second color (e.g., white) and remain in that alert color for the remainder of its lifetime. By such a configuration, an observer can tell if the food item or other temperature-sensitive item has been allowed to exceed the proper storage temperature and, as necessary, take appropriate actions to prevent the item from being made available for purchase or use. Another color or colors can be included; for example, a color other than blue and white of the example can be used. In essence, the label design can be able to carry the capability to change several color states.

    [0040] In cases where printable characters or barcodes need not be present, an alternative approach may be to employ a translucent top layer 200 combined with a catalyzing adjacent layer 202 (Fig. 7). Once the catalyst fires off as a reaction to exposure to a temperature below the selected temperature, a chemical change occurs to the translucent layer 200, altering its color. When the RFID device 204 is exposed to a temperature above the selected temperature, it will permanently change to its second color. Various layers are illustrated in Fig. 7 by cross-hatching, and the specific cross-hatching protocols used are not intended to be limiting as to the material, whether metallic, polymeric, cellulosic, or other materials.

    [0041] Other technology may also be incorporated into RFID devices according to the present disclosure. For instance, an RFID device of the type described herein may employ at least one frangible member that is configured to break upon removal of the RFID device from an associated item. In one exemplary embodiment, a top layer 24 of the RFID device 10 may be provided with what are commonly referred to as "security slits" 250 (Fig. 2). If an attempt is made to remove the RFID device 10 from an associated item 18, the adhesive 22 holds the RFID device 10 to the item 18, while the frangible members 250 break, causing the RFID device 10 to come apart in small pieces, rather than being removed intact. The combination of the residue of the RFID device 10 and the potential for the adhesive 22 to mar the item 18 make it clear to an observer that the RFID device 10 has been tampered with.

    [0042] It will be understood that the embodiments described above are illustrative of some of the applications of the principles of the present subject matter. Numerous modifications may be made by those skilled in the art without departing from the scope of the claimed subject matter. For these reasons, the scope hereof is not limited to the above description but is as set forth in the following claims.


    Claims

    1. An RFID device (50,100,150) comprising:

    an RFID chip (14);

    an antenna (52) coupled to the RFID chip (14); and

    a member (28, 102, 152) configured to be in a first condition and in a second condition

    to signify that the RFID device (50,100,150) has been exposed to an event,

    wherein the member (28, 102, 152) is temperature sensitive and the first condition is below a selected temperature and the second condition is above a selected temperature, wherein the antenna (52) includes a near-field sub-antenna (54) electrically coupled to the RFID chip, characterized in that the antenna further comprises a wide-field sub-antenna (56) electrically coupled to the near-field sub-antenna (54), and wherein the temperature-sensitive member (28, 102, 152) is incorporated into the wide-field sub-antenna (56), and the wide-field sub-antenna (56) is designed to communicate with a far-field RF reader.
     
    2. The RFID device of claim 1, wherein
    the temperature-sensitive member (28, 102, 152) is electrically conductive below the selected temperature, and electrically non-conductive above the selected temperature, such that the wide-field sub-antenna (56) is operative below the selected temperature when the temperature-sensitive member (28, 102, 152) is electrically conductive and inoperative above the selected temperature when the temperature-sensitive member (28, 102, 152) is electrically non-conductive.
     
    3. The RFID device of claim 2, wherein the near-field sub-antenna (54) is operative below the selected temperature and above the selected temperature.
     
    4. The RFID device of claim 1, wherein the temperature-sensitive member (102) comprises a temperature-sensitive catalyst (104) positioned between two contact points (106, 108) of the antenna (52), the temperature-sensitive catalyst (104) is configured to be electrically conductive below the selected temperature to electrically couple the two contact points (106, 108), and the temperature-sensitive catalyst (104) is configured to be rendered electrically non-conductive above the selected temperature to render the antenna (52) at least partially inoperative above the selected temperature.
     
    5. The RFID device of claim 4, wherein the temperature-sensitive catalyst (104) is configured to irreversibly break above the selected temperature.
     
    6. The RFID device of claim 1, wherein

    the temperature-sensitive member (152) comprises two contact points (154, 156) formed of a shape memory alloy,

    the contact points (154, 156) are configured to be spaced apart above the selected temperature to render the antenna (52) at least partially inoperative, and

    the contact points (154, 156) are configured to move into contact with each other below the selected temperature to render the antenna (52) operative.


     
    7. The RFID device of claim 1, wherein the temperature-sensitive member ( 102, 152) is

    electrically conductive below the selected temperature to render the antenna (52) operative,

    electrically non-conductive above the selected temperature to render the antenna (52) at least partially inoperative, and

    capable of reversibly alternating between the first and second conditions.


     
    8. The RFID device of claim 1, wherein the temperature-sensitive member (28) comprises a fuse (28) configured to break above the selected temperature to render the antenna (52) inoperative.
     
    9. The RFID device of claim 1, comprising a second temperature-sensitive member (26) configured to exhibit a first color below the selected temperature and a second color above the selected temperature.
     
    10. The RFID device of claim 9, wherein the second temperature-sensitive member (26) comprises a thermo-chemically reactive top coat layer of the RFID device.
     
    11. The RFID device of claim 9, wherein the second temperature-sensitive member (26) includes adjacent first (200) and second layers (202), and
    the second layer (202) is configured to catalyze a chemical change of the first layer (200) so as to cause at least a portion of the first layer (200) to change from the first color to the second color when a temperature of the second temperature-sensitive member (26) increases from below the critical temperature to above the critical temperature.
     
    12. The RFID device of claim 1, further comprising a print-conductive portion (24) configured to be printed upon with human- and/or computer-readable symbols.
     
    13. The RFID device of claim 1, further comprising

    at least one frangible member (250), and

    a freezer grade adhesive (22) configured to secure the RFID device to a surface (18), wherein the at least one frangible member (250) is configured to break upon removal of the RFID device from the surface to prevent intact removal of the RFID device from the surface (18).


     


    Ansprüche

    1. RFID-Vorrichtung (50, 100, 150), umfassend:

    einen RFID-Chip (14);

    eine Antenne (52), die mit dem RFID-Chip (14) gekoppelt ist; und

    ein Element (28, 102, 152), das konfiguriert ist, um sich in einem ersten Zustand und in einem zweiten Zustand zu befinden, um anzuzeigen, dass die RFID-Vorrichtung (50, 100, 150) einem Ereignis ausgesetzt war,

    wobei das Element (28, 102, 152) temperaturempfindlich ist und der erste Zustand unter einer ausgewählten Temperatur liegt und der zweite Zustand über einer ausgewählten Temperatur liegt, wobei die Antenne (52) eine Nahfeld-Teilantenne (54) enthält, die elektrisch mit dem RFID-Chip gekoppelt ist, dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass die Antenne ferner eine Weitfeld-Teilantenne (56) umfasst, die elektrisch mit der Nahfeld-Teilantenne (54) gekoppelt ist, und wobei das temperaturempfindliche Element (28, 102, 152) in die Weitfeld-Teilantenne (56) eingebaut ist, und die Weitfeld-Teilantenne (56) ausgelegt ist, um mit einem Fernfeld-HF-Lesegerät zu kommunizieren.


     
    2. RFID-Vorrichtung nach Anspruch 1, wobei
    das temperaturempfindliche Element (28, 102, 152) unterhalb der ausgewählten Temperatur elektrisch leitend ist und oberhalb der ausgewählten Temperatur elektrisch nicht leitend ist, so dass die Weitfeld-Teilantenne (56) unterhalb der ausgewählten Temperatur funktionsfähig ist, wenn das temperaturempfindliche Element (28, 102, 152) elektrisch leitend ist, und oberhalb der ausgewählten Temperatur funktionsunfähig ist, wenn das temperaturempfindliche Element (28, 102, 152) elektrisch nicht leitend ist.
     
    3. RFID-Vorrichtung nach Anspruch 2, wobei die Nahfeld-Teilantenne (54) unterhalb der ausgewählten Temperatur und oberhalb der ausgewählten Temperatur funktionsfähig ist.
     
    4. RFID-Vorrichtung nach Anspruch 1, wobei
    das temperaturempfindliche Element (102) einen temperaturempfindlichen Katalysator (104) umfasst, der zwischen zwei Kontaktpunkten (106, 108) der Antenne (52) positioniert ist, wobei der temperaturempfindliche Katalysator (104) konfiguriert ist, um unterhalb der ausgewählten Temperatur elektrisch leitend zu sein, um die zwei Kontaktpunkte (106, 108) elektrisch zu koppeln, und der temperaturempfindliche Katalysator (104) konfiguriert ist, um oberhalb der ausgewählten Temperatur elektrisch nicht leitend gemacht zu werden, um die Antenne (52) oberhalb der ausgewählten Temperatur zumindest teilweise funktionsunfähig zu machen.
     
    5. RFID-Vorrichtung nach Anspruch 4, wobei der temperaturempfindliche Katalysator (104) konfiguriert ist, um oberhalb der ausgewählten Temperatur irreversibel zu brechen.
     
    6. RFID-Vorrichtung nach Anspruch 1, wobei

    das temperaturempfindliche Element (152) zwei Kontaktpunkte (154, 156) umfasst, die aus einer Formgedächtnislegierung gebildet sind,

    die Kontaktpunkte (154, 156) konfiguriert sind, um oberhalb der ausgewählten Temperatur beabstandet zu sein, um die Antenne (52) zumindest teilweise funktionsunfähig zu machen, und die Kontaktpunkte (154, 156) konfiguriert sind, um sich unterhalb der ausgewählten Temperatur in Kontakt miteinander zu bewegen, um die Antenne (52) funktionsfähig zu machen.


     
    7. RFID-Vorrichtung nach Anspruch 1, wobei das temperaturempfindliche Element (102, 152) unterhalb der ausgewählten Temperatur elektrisch leitend ist, um die Antenne (52) funktionsfähig zu machen zu machen, oberhalb der ausgewählten Temperatur elektrisch nicht leitend ist, um die Antenne (52) zumindest teilweise funktionsunfähig zu machen, und in der Lage ist, reversibel zwischen dem ersten und dem zweiten Zustand zu wechseln.
     
    8. RFID-Vorrichtung nach Anspruch 1, wobei das temperaturempfindliche Element (28) eine Sicherung (28) umfasst, die konfiguriert ist, um oberhalb der ausgewählten Temperatur zu brechen, um die Antenne (52) funktionsunfähig zu machen.
     
    9. RFID-Vorrichtung nach Anspruch 1, umfassend ein zweites temperaturempfindliches Element (26), das konfiguriert ist, um unterhalb der ausgewählten Temperatur eine erste Farbe und oberhalb der ausgewählten Temperatur eine zweite Farbe aufzuweisen.
     
    10. RFID-Vorrichtung nach Anspruch 9, wobei das zweite temperaturempfindliche Element (26) eine thermochemisch reaktive Deckschicht der RFID-Vorrichtung umfasst.
     
    11. RFID-Vorrichtung nach Anspruch 9, wobei das zweite temperaturempfindliche Element (26) benachbarte erste (200) und zweite Schichten (202) enthält, und
    die zweite Schicht (202) konfiguriert ist, um eine chemische Veränderung der ersten Schicht (200) zu katalysieren, um zu bewirken, dass zumindest ein Abschnitt der ersten Schicht (200) von der ersten Farbe in die zweite Farbe wechselt, wenn eine Temperatur des zweiten temperaturempfindlichen Elements (26) von unterhalb der kritischen Temperatur auf oberhalb der kritischen Temperatur ansteigt.
     
    12. RFID-Vorrichtung nach Anspruch 1, ferner umfassend einen druckleitfähigen Abschnitt (24), der konfiguriert ist, um mit menschen- und/oder computerlesbaren Symbolen bedruckt zu werden.
     
    13. RFID-Vorrichtung nach Anspruch 1, ferner umfassend mindestens ein zerbrechliches Element (250), und
    einen gefrierbeständigen Kleber (22), der konfiguriert ist, um die RFID-Vorrichtung an einer Oberfläche (18) zu befestigen, wobei das mindestens eine zerbrechliche Element (250) konfiguriert ist, um beim Entfernen der RFID-Vorrichtung von der Oberfläche zu brechen, um ein intaktes Entfernen der RFID-Vorrichtung von der Oberfläche (18) zu verhindern.
     


    Revendications

    1. Dispositif RFID (50, 100, 150) comprenant :

    une puce RFID (14) ;

    une antenne (52) couplée à la puce RFID (14) ; et

    un élément (28, 102, 152) configuré pour être dans un premier état et dans un second état pour signifier que le dispositif RFID (50, 100 150) a été exposé à un événement,

    ledit élément (28, 102, 152) étant sensible à la température et ledit premier état étant inférieur à une température sélectionnée et ledit second état étant supérieur à une température sélectionnée, ladite antenne (52) comprenant une sous-antenne à champ proche (54) électriquement couplée à la puce RFID, caractérisé en ce que l'antenne comprend en outre une sous-antenne à champ large (56) couplée électriquement à la sous-antenne à champ proche (54), et ledit élément sensible à la température (28, 102, 152) étant incorporée dans la sous-antenne à champ large (56), et ladite sous-antenne à champ large (56) étant conçue pour communiquer avec un lecteur RF à champ lointain.


     
    2. Dispositif RFID selon la revendication 1,
    ledit élément sensible à la température (28, 102, 152) étant électriquement conducteur en dessous de la température sélectionnée, et électriquement non conducteur au-dessus de la température sélectionnée, de sorte que la sous-antenne à champ large (56) soit fonctionnelle en dessous de la température sélectionnée lorsque le l'élément sensible à la température (28, 102, 152) est électriquement conducteur et non fonctionnelle au-dessus de la température sélectionnée lorsque l'élément sensible à la température (28, 102, 152) est électriquement non conducteur.
     
    3. Dispositif RFID selon la revendication 2, ladite sous-antenne à champ proche (54) étant fonctionnelle en dessous de la température sélectionnée et au-dessus de la température sélectionnée.
     
    4. Dispositif RFID selon la revendication 1,
    ledit élément sensible à la température (102) comprenant un catalyseur sensible à la température (104) positionné entre deux points de contact (106, 108) de l'antenne (52), ledit catalyseur sensible à la température (104) étant configuré pour être électriquement conducteur en dessous de la température sélectionnée pour coupler électriquement les deux points de contact (106, 108), et ledit catalyseur sensible à la température (104) étant configuré pour être rendu électriquement non conducteur au-dessus de la température sélectionnée pour rendre l'antenne (52) au moins partiellement non fonctionnelle au-dessus de la température sélectionnée.
     
    5. Dispositif RFID selon la revendication 4, ledit catalyseur sensible à la température (104) étant configuré pour se casser de manière irréversible au-dessus de la température sélectionnée.
     
    6. Dispositif RFID selon la revendication 1,

    ledit élément sensible à la température (152) comprenant deux points de contact (154, 156) formés d'un alliage à mémoire de forme,

    lesdits points de contact (154, 156) étant configurés pour être espacés au-dessus de la température sélectionnée pour rendre l'antenne (52) au moins partiellement non fonctionnelle, et lesdits points de contact (154, 156) étant configurés pour entrer en contact l'un avec l'autre en dessous de la température sélectionnée pour rendre l'antenne (52) fonctionnelle.


     
    7. Dispositif RFID selon la revendication 1, ledit élément sensible à la température (102, 152) étant électriquement conducteur en dessous de la température sélectionnée pour rendre l'antenne (52) fonctionnelle, électriquement non conducteur au-dessus de la température sélectionnée pour rendre l'antenne (52) au moins partiellement non fonctionnelle, et capable d'alterner de manière réversible entre les premier et second états.
     
    8. Dispositif RFID selon la revendication 1, ledit élément sensible à la température (28) comprenant un fusible (28) configuré pour casser au-dessus de la température sélectionnée pour rendre l'antenne (52) non fonctionnelle.
     
    9. Dispositif RFID selon la revendication 1, comprenant un second élément sensible à la température (26) configuré pour présenter une première couleur en dessous de la température sélectionnée et une seconde couleur au-dessus de la température sélectionnée.
     
    10. Dispositif RFID selon la revendication 9, ledit second élément sensible à la température (26) comprenant une couche de revêtement thermochimiquement réactive du dispositif RFID.
     
    11. Dispositif RFID selon la revendication 9, ledit second élément sensible à la température (26) comprenant des première (200) et seconde couches (202) adjacentes, et
    ladite seconde couche (202) étant configurée pour catalyser un changement chimique de la première couche (200) de façon à amener au moins une partie de la première couche (200) à passer de la première couleur à la seconde couleur lorsqu'une température du second élément sensible à la température (26) augmente d'une température inférieure à la température critique à une température supérieure à la température critique.
     
    12. Dispositif RFID selon la revendication 1, comprenant en outre une partie conductrice d'impression (24) configurée pour être imprimée avec des symboles lisibles par l'homme et/ou par ordinateur.
     
    13. Dispositif RFID selon la revendication 1, comprenant en outre au moins un élément fragile (250), et
    un adhésif de catégorie congélation (22) configuré pour fixer le dispositif RFID à une surface (18), ledit au moins un élément fragile (250) étant configuré pour se rompre lors du retrait du dispositif RFID de la surface afin d'empêcher un retrait intact du dispositif RFID de la surface (18).
     




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    Cited references

    REFERENCES CITED IN THE DESCRIPTION



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    Patent documents cited in the description