RFID News Roundup

Schreiner ProTech intros RFID label with moisture sensor; JADAK unveils RAIN RFID starter kit; ForgeRock announces open-source IoT edge solution; Synchronoss Technologies partners with Arrow Electronics, Microsoft on smart-building solutions; B.O.S. rebrands its RFID and Mobile Division; Event Genius, Afro Nation sign cashless payment agreement for Ghana.
Published: August 8, 2019

Presented here are news announcements made during the past week by the following organizations:
Schreiner ProTech;
Synchronoss Technologies, Arrow Electronics, Microsoft, Rackspace;
B.O.S. Better Online Solutions;
Event Genius, and the Afro Nation Festival.

Schreiner ProTech Intros RFID Label With Moisture Sensor

In automotive manufacturing, vehicles are often leak-tested during assembly processes, with water-ingress detection tests performed by hand. Schreiner ProTech has announced its ((rfid))-DistaFerr WetDetect sensor, which is designed as an alternative method.

In modern vehicles, model changes entail the installation of more electronics and sensors than in preceding models, the company explains. As a result, the number of holes in a vehicle’s bodywork, through which wire harnesses to connect sensors or electronics are inserted, keeps growing. Sealing these holes poses a challenge to automobile manufacturers. To ensure that vehicles are waterproof, new models pass through a high-pressure car wash and are leak-tested during assembly. Historically, such leak tests have been performed manually.

The ((rfid))-DistaFerr WetDetect label combines UHF RFID on-metal technology with a moisture sensor. During assembly, the label is applied to critical places prone to water ingress. The moisture sensor responds even to tiny amounts of liquid in real time and, due to the RFID label, the condition can be recorded immediately after the vehicle has passed through the washing cycle. Due to customized programming and allocation of the labels to a specific location on the vehicle, testing personnel can determine where liquid ingress has occurred.

The combination of RFID and sensors in a flat design, the company reports, enables the condition of an object to be acquired and read. This allows for improved process control in a range of industries, Schreiner ProTech reports.

JADAK Unveils RAIN RFID Starter Kit

JADAK has announced its ThingMagic RAIN Starter Kit, which the company developed in collaboration with Impinj and the RAIN RFID Alliance. The kit supports the RAIN Communication Interface (RCI) and is intended to increase exposure and access to RFID. The starter kit provides a platform for students and hobbyists to use when learning to apply this technology, while also promoting best practices for using RFID.

“It’s important for JADAK to support the adoption of [RFID] by increasing access to the technology for students and non-professional developers who will become the future innovators of the Internet of Things,” said Harinath Reddy, the senior director of research and development for ThingMagic RFID. The starter kit consists of a ThingMagic reader and sample tags from RAIN RFID Alliance members. The kit provides item connectivity utilizing Impinj’s Indy R500 RFID reader chip and sample tags enabled by Impinj’s Monza chips.

The kit offers functionality per RAIN RFID Alliance developer community guidelines and provides a solution for hobbyists and students looking to learn and experiment with RFID. It is slated to be made available for sale in September 2019 and will be distributed by Atlas RFID, a global distributor of RFID hardware.

ForgeRock Announces Open-Source IoT Edge Solution

ForgeRock, a platform provider of digital identity-management solutions, has announced the availability of its IoT Edge Controller, which provides consumer and industrial manufacturers with the ability to deliver trusted identity at the device level. In this way, “things” can have the same identity capabilities as traditional (customer or employee) identities.

The IoT Edge Controller runs on smart edge devices and is designed to provide the privacy, integrity and security required for devices to register as identities in the ForgeRock Identity Platform. An open-source edge controller allows businesses to include digital identities as part of products and accelerate time-to-market for new IoT solutions. ForgeRock provides the IoT Edge Controller as open source under the Apache 2.0 License. Open-source customers and partners can more easily build industry-specific solutions with additional functionality, the firm reports, and thus drive higher levels of interoperability.

“The number of IoT devices [is] growing at a phenomenal pace, so it only makes sense to treat them as first-class citizens with the same identity capabilities a user would have, allowing for efficient end-to-end business process digitization and automation,” said Gerhard Zehethofer, ForgeRock’s VP of IoT, in a prepared statement. “Only ForgeRock supports integrations with the major IoT platforms to deliver employee, customer and device identity management as well as the complex relationships between them. ForgeRock is thrilled to deliver the IoT Edge Controller, and to drive rapid adoption by releasing it as open source.”

The IoT Edge Controller creates trusted identities and ensures the ongoing authenticity and authorization of connected devices, as well as their transactions and data streams. Built using open standards, the IoT Edge Controller features contextual security, scales to meet IoT-level demands and enables customers to optimize the operating costs of IoT implementations. Other features include secure auto onboarding without the need for human intervention; the ability to deliver secure ecosystems at the edge and offline; self-authentication, as well as attached sensors and services that retrieve standard OAuth2/OIDC JWT tokens; authorization using OAuth 2 device flows for IoT; and an SDK to accelerate integration.

Synchronoss Technologies Partners With Arrow Electronics, Microsoft on Smart-Building Solutions

Synchronoss Technologies, a provider of cloud, messaging, digital and Internet of Things (IoT) products, has announced an agreement with Arrow Electronics to develop and bring to market a new IoT smart-building solution. Intended for use by telecom operators, service providers and systems integrators, the solution will allow users to remotely monitor and manage automated on-premise features and systems, including heating, ventilation and air conditioning; lighting; security; maintenance; and energy consumption.

The solution will incorporate Synchronosss Smart Buildings platform, which brings together data from disparate in-building systems and sensors into a single, unified dashboard. The platform aggregates and analyzes the data in real time to uncover new insights and provide recommendations to solve problems, improve operational performance and reduce running costs for buildings. This will provide a single, integrated package that telecom operators, systems integrators and other service providers can offer to large multinational companies and organizations to remotely manage their premises’ onsite automated features.

Synchronoss has also announced that it is partnering with Microsoft to offer a smart-building solution leveraging Microsoft Azure. The firm is joining Microsoft’s Azure IoT solutions accelerator program. The collaboration will deliver a live proof-of-concept to global technology services provider Rackspace, deploying smart-building services to monitor and control energy usage and reduce costs at Rackspace’s San Antonio headquarters, which spans more than one million square feet.

Rackspace collaborated with Synchronoss to architect, design and deploy its Azure IoT environment to ensure scalability and security. Synchronoss and Microsoft will combine their experience with cloud computing and IoT service enablement to collect and analyze data feeds from numerous sources within Rackspace’s headquarters. The combined platform covers everything from heating and air conditioning to lighting, maintenance and security.

Synchronoss’s Smart Buildings solution is powered by diagnostics and analytics capabilities. It can analyze a single building or link multiple buildings within the same company or a city to create an intelligent network of buildings. The platform includes predictive fault-detection capabilities and near-real-time alerts, which will automatically flag energy usage inefficiencies to Rackspace through persistent diagnostics. The resulting analysis and benchmark reporting of business energy patterns and performance are intended to drive cost savings of between 12 and 20 percent for Rackspace per building.

B.O.S. Rebrands Its RFID and Mobile Division

B.O.S. Better Online Solutions, a provider of intelligent systems and services for production and logistics, has announced that it has changed the name of its RFID and Mobile Division to the Intelligent Robotics and RFID Division. This division offers intelligent robotics and RFID systems for industrial and logistics processes, as well as for retail store management.

B.O.S.’s Supply Chain Division provides electronic components for aerospace, defense and other industries. Its services include the consolidation of components from a number of suppliers, as well as long-term scheduling and kitting.

“We believe that robotics will be a major growth engine for B.O.S. in the coming years,” said Yuval Viner, B.O.S.’s co-CEO, in a prepared statement. “The new name more accurately captures our long-term strategic direction as we invest significant resources into expanding our international sales platform. We’re excited to make the change and are energized about the opportunities we see in the marketplace for our enhanced technology.”

Event Genius, Afro Nation Sign Cashless Payment Agreement for Ghana

Event Genius has announced a new cashless payment deal with the Afro Nation Festival for the event’s first African outing in Ghana this December. The Ghanaian government seeks to have a cashless society by 2030.

Outside of the festival sphere, the number of mobile money accounts, managed via mobile phones, has grown from 3.8 million in 2012 to 32.6 million at the end of last year, exceeding the population of Ghana (30.1 million). Afro Nation Ghana will welcome 15,000 partygoers to Laboma Beach to celebrate a weekend of music. Having already partnered with various festivals and events throughout Europe and Asia, Event Genius will now take its Event Genius Pay technology to Africa. With RFID technology, fans will be able to pre-purchase credit to pay for food, drink and merchandise at the festival with a tap of a wristband.

Event Genius’s cashless technology shortens queues into the festival and at bars, while unspent credits can be claimed back after an event ends, and consumer analytics provide insights into customer spending habits and behaviors. Afro Nation Ghana will use a white label box-office, powered by Event Genius, and the Ticket Arena website to promote the event, drive ticket sales and allow festival goers to top up their wristbands in advance. Access control for the festival will be managed via the Entry Genius app.

“We’re delighted to partner with a ticketing and technology company capable of providing a true end-to-end event platform for the inception of Afro Nation,” said Obi Asika, Afro Nation’s CEO, in a prepared statement. “Through our partnership with Ticket Arena and Event Genius, fans are assured the best possible experience from buying tickets, to entering the festival safely and ultimately enjoying their time dancing on the beach under the sun, without the need to worry about money or queues for drinks.”