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Drayson brings 3X more power to biometric smart cards with Freevolt reference designs

Freevolt advancements made with Innovate UK support
Categories Biometric R&D  |  Biometrics News  |  Trade Notes
Drayson brings 3X more power to biometric smart cards with Freevolt reference designs

Drayson Technologies has developed reference designs to provide ‘Plug-n-Play’ radio frequency energy harvesting for next-generation biometric smart cards, which the company says can deliver three times more power than technologies currently on the market.

The proprietary Freevolt RF system is recommended to power biometric cards for biometric access control, cryptocurrency, healthcare and finance applications. Like traditional smartcard power solutions, it draws energy from the card reader without changes to current infrastructure.

The backing of Innovate UK enabled Drayson’s team to use the Freevolt Generation 3 solution to develop standardized reference designs for integrators. This reduces both integration time and the amount of bespoke work necessary to for different applications. The project’s output has also enabled Drayson to begin development of an in-house biometric smart card design with Freevolt technology and a novel adaptive capacitor-bank-in-card storage element, which also came out of the Innovate UK project, along with a high-efficiency RF communications switching mechanism, according to the announcement. This development unlocks new potential applications for cryptocurrency and secure access, the company says.

The research and development work generated novel inventions leading to new patent applications by Drayson Technologies, in addition to the energy harvesting efficiency and system design improvements. Drayson already holds 21 granted patents relating to its Freevolt technology and biometric smart cards.

“We are very pleased with the results of our first Innovate UK project. The main goal was better standardisation of our biometric smart card energy harvesting technology, creating optimised, ready-to-use designs,” explains Drayson Technologies Chairman Lord Paul Drayson PhD FREng. “This makes it easier for biometric smart card integrators to adopt and use Freevolt RF energy harvesting. After 6 months of work, we have 2 new baseline designs ready to use and have also created a whole host of new IP, further enabling us to support the development of fully integrated biometric smart cards with advanced features. We are now seeing new commercial applications in cryptocurrency wallets, health passports and security access. We would like to thank Innovate UK and UKRI for their support throughout this project.”

The main benefit of the technology developed by Drayson over the past decade is to provide the additional energy needed for advanced processing and security capabilities, the company claims. Cards could also enable larger, more secure data stores.

Freevolt’s energy harvesting is included in CardLab biometric cards featuring sensors from Fingerprint Cards which were unveiled earlier this year.

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