IoT For Specialty Applications Breeds Growth for Identiv

Published: September 8, 2023

The company, once specializing in RFID tags, now offers full solutions across all IoT technologies as more companies seek support for digitizing their inventory and assets.

Technology company Identiv has been increasing its capacity to provide customers with end-to-end IoT solutions: A new facility in Thailand, a software platform known as for commissioning tags (as well as managing and analyzing data), and a team of engineers that design specialty solutions across the spectrum of IoT technologies.

Amir Khoshniyati, Identiv VP and General Manager, IoT Business

Over the past few years, the California-based company says, Identiv has been enjoying growth in key areas that include specialty retail and healthcare. Traditionally, Identiv has offered HF and UHF RFID tags for a wide variety of applications. As part of its growth strategy, however, the company has been expanding its portfolio to complete IoT solutions and products that include a variety of technologies and sensor-based tags, such as BLE tags using Wiliot’s passive sensor transmission. In fact, Identiv is in what it calls a hyper-growth mode as it transforms from an RFID tag provider to an IoT business offering digital identity solutions.

“RFID continues to be one of our core competencies,” says Amir Khoshniyati, Identiv VP and General Manager, IoT Business. But as more companies seek IoT solutions across specific verticals, from specialty retail to healthcare devices and drugs, Identiv has focused on its ability to specialize. In this effort, the company is not only expanding production capacity with its facility in Thailand, but also opening a lab for development and testing of new solutions in Germany.

“We separate ourselves from the traditional RFID market; we don’t focus on commodity [sales]. What we focus on is engineering excellence, and we build around that,” says Khoshniyati. for Tag Commissioning

Identiv released its platform in December 2022, which allows companies that purchase its specialty tags to also employ cloud-based software for commissioning them.

RFID tags come encoded with serialized unique IDs. These are known as the tag identifier (TID) for UHF tags or unique identifier (UID) for HF RFID. BLE tags also come with a unique identifier. In each case, when a tag is commissioned, the ID is encoded and then can be linked to the objects they will be attached to or the company that owns the tag. The printing and encoding process is usually performed by service bureaus or by the company that has purchased the tags. In the latter case, the end-user company receives a list or an Excel file of IDs.

Identiv, with, provides the tag data in the cloud where the tag recipients can access them for serialization of the products they purchased. “If they need to make any adjustments to tag data, they can do it within a portal versus manually extracting the details from an Excel sheet,” Khoshniyati says.

Beyond commissioning, bitse.IO also enables users to manage read data and set up analytics and reporting features, so that they have an end-to-end solution, he adds. Companies are piloting the bitse.IO solution now. None is willing to be named yet.

Boosting Production Capacity

Recent growth in IoT demand from customers served to fast-track Identiv’s acquisition of a second facility, which formally opened in July. In fact, the Bangkok, Thailand site began operations over the course of about three weeks. The 22,600-square-foot facility is capable of producing about 600 million RFID units per year. Combined with its current capacity in Singapore, Identiv says it expects to nearly triple its RFID unit production. The company currently has 30 employees based in Thailand and expects to more than double the headcount at the facility.

Launching the system so quickly, Khoshniyati adds, “we had our first million units already waiting on pallets when we held the grand opening [in July].”

Meanwhile, the Singapore facility will continue to provide tag production and service bureau features, while meeting compliance requirements to work with customers, such as healthcare companies.

The company is also expanding its research and development location in Sauerlach, Germany, with an “Excellence Center” to help customers and partners experiment with Identiv technology, says Nicole Blumenschein, Identiv’s Product Marketing Manager, IoT. The facility, which was initially dedicated only to research and development, now includes small-scale production capability. This enables companies – many of which are still testing and building their solution – to purchase limited runs of products, such as  100,000 to one million tags. The Excellence Center is planned to open this fall. “This brings our products to life for the customers,” says Blumenschein.

When it comes to Wiliot passive sensor tags, Identiv builds its own antenna and prints QR codes. Those tags can then be affixed to a product or space where they can capture sensor data and transmit the data without requiring a battery.

In fact, Wiliot and Identiv are providing the sensor technology to the largest retailer in the world. The retailer, which has asked to be unnamed, recently began testing the technology at a distribution center at a second site in Texas. The tags are intended to track the location of goods, as well as the conditions they were exposed to while in transit or storage.

In August, Identiv also announced its partnership with customer engagement technology firm CollectID to provide a digital experience for sports fans. CollectID provides a solution aimed at fan experience with Identiv NFC tags built into jerseys and software applications to manage data related to each jersey. The system can provide users with an individual experience by tapping their phone near the tag sewn into the jersey label. Sports teams or companies can then create digital experiences tailored to customers, such as displaying content about a player or team.

Identiv designed and built the embeddable NFC tags to withstand wash and dry cycles, while offering a flexible form factor so that they can be easily worn on clothing such as a jersey. In addition, the tags leverage NXP’s 424 DNA chip with AES-128 encryption for security.

Users will soon include some National Basketball Association (NBA) teams and German football clubs, which could offer jerseys or other apparel with built-in NFC functionality for secure authentication and a personalized experience for their fans.

Across all the growth strategies, says Khoshniyati, the common theme is specialty markets. He likens the company to a team of Navy Seals as opposed to soldiers. They tactically approach specific challenges. “We don’t have soldiers – all our folks have [application- and industry-specific] understanding of customer needs and have the technical background to push forward.”

Key Takeaways:

  • Identiv has expanded its presence around the world with a new production facility in Thailand and an Excellence Center and a small-scale production facility in Germany.
  • The company is seeing unprecedented growth across IoT solutions, with a focus on specialty markets from healthcare to retail.