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Omni-ID Offers New Product Family With BLE, LoRaWAN

The first two Sense active IoT products to be launched help users locate assets and inventory in large industrial settings—across wide areas such as an outdoor yard, an oil and gas site or a factory—while active sensor tags will be released later this year.
By Claire Swedberg

The new products will complement the company's existing product offerings for the industrial market, such as its UHF passive tags developed with semiconductor company Axzon. Continuing its Axzon partnership will allow Omni-ID to offer temperature-sensing capability in a passive RFID version of the next round of Sense products.

"We continue to see good growth in passive RFID, with new products being released this spring," Kington says. The new products, he adds, "represent a branching-out from passive UHF, which has been the core of our business. We see a correlation between the open standard in UHF and the need for a similar approach in IoT."

The Sense Locate Position system has been developed for customers that require outdoor, wide-area yard management. For instance, oil and gas companies with assets spread across large and remote locations can view where those assets are specific to a particular yard, construction site or zone. LoRa connectivity can be accomplished at a low infrastructure cost, Kington notes, since the long range enables just one or two gateways to cover an area measuring 4 to 8 miles.

Manufacturers, logistics providers and other companies could employ the Locate Kinetic BLE version to identify assets or inventory within a range of a few yards. The location granularity would depend on the number of beacon gateways deployed around a site. Both Locate devices could come with UHF and NFC functionality if a customer requested it. NFC, for example, could be used to configure the device with a smartphone. If a company's use cases required several different read distance functionalities, UHF could provide benefits as well.

"In the majority of cases," Kington says, "there is a spectrum of technologies being deployed, depending on where people are in the workflow." In some cases, barcode scans are sufficient, while other cases require short-range RFID data capture of conditions at a distance. In fact, he adds, Omni-ID's customers commonly take advantage of barcodes, passive RFID and active RFID to manage assets that move through a variety of locations or operations. "These technologies are, 90 percent of the time, complementary and rarely competitive."

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