RFID News Roundup

Atlas RFID Solutions offers new track-and-trace software; Smartrac NFC products certified by NFC Forum, DEKRA Lab; Senet, Radio Bridge partner to accelerate IoT solution development; Yokogawa Electric Corp. deploys Multi-Tech Systems' IIoT gateway; MarketsandMarkets releases forecasts for narrowband IoT, 5G IoT markets.
Published: July 4, 2019

Presented here are news announcements made during the past week by the following organizations:
Atlas RFID Solutions;
Smartrac Technology Group, the NFC Forum, DEKRA Lab;
Senet, Radio Bridge;
Yokogawa Electric Corp., Multi-Tech Systems; and

Atlas RFID Offers New Track-and-Trace Software

Atlas RFID Solutions, a provider of material-readiness systems for the construction industry, has announced its latest track-and-trace software, slated for release in the third quarter of this year. The new platform, called Jovix 3.0, features upgrades including configurable workflows, user and role management, and no-limit mapping.

Jovix provides automatic identification via barcodes and RFID to offer material visibility throughout supply chains. According to the company, Jovix 3.0 Track and Trace will focus on supporting users and providing flexible features for each project and will offer multi-language options at the user level. The platform’s design will enable users to move from desktop to tablet to mobile. In addition, the platform will allow configurability; “Installation Work Package,” for instance, could be renamed “Work Order” to match a project’s nomenclature.

No-limit mapping utilizes satellite imagery to remove the restrictions of yards. Future releases, the company reports, will expand this to drone images, CAD, EarthCam and more. In addition, materials will be heat-mapped and clustered, expanding as a user zooms in. Automation features, including auto-identifiers and automation rules, will boost productivity by removing manual steps such as changing a material status based on the change of a location.

“We have collaborated with our customers, some of the largest owners and EPCs in the world, and we are proud to bring them a product that will make their jobs even easier,” said Robert Fuqua, the company’s CEO, in a prepared statement. “The market was once reluctant to digital change, and we are seeing a whole-hearted embrace of technologies including Jovix which are crucial to building the future for the industry.”

Smartrac NFC Products Certified By NFC Forum, DEKRA Lab

Smartrac Technology Group has announced that it has earned NFC Forum and DEKRA Lab certifications for its suite of Circus NFC inlays based on NXP Semiconductors‘ NTAG ICs. The subjects of certification are Smartrac’s circular NFC Circus inlays and tags, including the Circus Tamper Loop tamper-detection inlay, based on NXP’s NTAG210 Micro, NTAG213, NTAG213 TT and NTAG216 ICs.

The NFC Forum supports the adoption of Near Field Communication (NFC) technology around the world. DEKRA Lab, meanwhile, is a certification body for the European Union, the United States and Canada, covering electrical, electronic, ISM and radio equipment.

“NFC Forum certification demonstrates to a manufacturer’s customers, consumers and partners that a company values product quality and improving the customer experience,” said Koichi Tagawa, the chairman of the NFC Forum, in a prepared statement. Alejandro Torrecilla, DEKRA Lab’s telecom laboratory director, added in the statement, “Quality, reliability and adherence to latest, applicable standards—as confirmed by our certification—are of key importance for everyone who is looking to get all the benefits that NFC offers.”

These certifications indicate that Circus inlays and tags perform reliably in compliance with the NFC Forum’s NFC Tag Device Type 2 Tag standard. The tags can be used for a variety of NFC-based smart and connected products for many applications, such as consumer engagement, brand loyalty, product authentication and instant ordering. These certified NFC inlays and tags offer improved performance, form factors and designs, the company claims, even in demanding physical environments.

“These latest NFC Forum and DEKRA Lab certifications for our Circus products are much more than just another endorsement signifying that Smartrac stands for quality and reliability when it comes to RFID and NFC,” said Amir Mobayen, the president of Smartrac’s transponder division and the company’s chief revenue officer, in the prepared statement. “Indeed, they are a further milestone and motivator for us. In other words, these certifications fuel our hunger for NFC market success and our pursuit of customer satisfaction.”

Senet, Radio Bridge Partner to Accelerate IoT Solution Development

Senet, a provider of cloud-based software and service platforms to enable global connectivity and network build-out for the Internet of Things (IoT), has announced a partnership with Radio Bridge, a designer and manufacturer of low-cost, long-range LoRa-based wireless sensors. Under the partnership, the two companies will work to accelerate the development and delivery of secure and scalable enterprise-class IoT applications.

Radio Bridge will offer its customers the option of purchasing Senet’s LoRaWAN network connectivity directly through its device-management console, a free Web-based service for the automatic provisioning, monitoring and configuration of its wireless sensors. This integration provides Radio Bridge’s customers with access to the largest LoRaWAN network in North America and Senet’s Low Power Wide Area Virtual Network.

“Senet is a long-standing leader in the IoT market and is unique in the sense that they are truly creating global LoRaWAN network coverage through innovative connectivity and business models,” said Steve Kilts, Radio Bridge’s CEO, in a prepared statement. “Our collaboration allows system and solution developers, as well as integrators across many vertical markets, to build applications using our broad range of sensors and device management console, which are now compatible and integrated with the Senet network.”

Collectively, the companies report, the partnership is intended to provide solution developers with the tools required to test devices and bring IoT applications to market. Senet’s Developer Portal offers free access to the Senet network for onboarding and testing Radio Bridge’s portfolio of wireless LoRaWAN sensors. The Radio Bridge device-management console can be used to provision, monitor and configure sensors and build end-user applications through a RESTful application programming interface for uplink sensor messages and downlink configuration.

“We look forward to continuing our work with Radio Bridge to enable solution providers with seamless sensor provisioning, configuration, and instant low-power wide-area connectivity when deploying a multitude of IoT devices,” said Bruce Chatterley, Senet’s CEO, in the prepared statement. “Our partnership will speed the product-development process and provide go-to-market capabilities for developers across a wide range of rapidly advancing IoT applications.”

Yokogawa Electric Corp. Deploys Multi-Tech Systems’ IIoT Gateway

Multi-Tech Systems, a global manufacturer of M2M and IoT communication devices, has announced that Yokogawa Electric Corp. has selected its MultiConnect Conduit IP67 Base Station, a LoRaWAN ruggedized IoT gateway, for its Sushi Sensor solution, which was recently launched in Europe.

Yokogawa’s LoRaWAN-compliant solution was developed for deployment within industrial plants. It covers vast areas, has environmental resistance features to support heavy-duty use and works in combination with advanced analytics such as artificial intelligence and machine learning in a cloud environment. MultiTech’s LoRaWAN gateway solution captures and manages the information detected from sensors within the solution.

“We are honored that Yokogawa selected our IoT gateway to be used within their new Sushi Sensor,” said Stefan Lindvall, MultiTech’s CEO, in a prepared statement. “Yokogawa is successfully leveraging cutting-edge IoT technologies to open up new opportunities for its customers to apply revolutionary new communications solutions to remote access monitoring.”

Sushi Sensor is an OpreX asset-management and -integrity wireless solution for the Industrial IoT. The first such product, the XS770A, originally launched in Japan in 2018. It can measure vibration and surface temperatures to monitor machine or equipment conditions for industrial use. Since it complies with LoRaWAN, a low-power wide-area network for long-distance communication, the company reports, the XS770A can be deployed anywhere within a plant and cover a vast area. It has environmental resistance features to support heavy-duty use (IP66/67 and explosion-proof).

“Our decision to work with MultiTech was based on its compatibility with LoRaWAN and its flexibility to support both cloud-based and on-premise network architectures,” said Shuichi Takai, a senior manager at Yokogawa, in the prepared statement. “The Conduit IP67 gateway is durable enough for the harsh environments we encounter within production sites, and we found the Conduit IP67 to be technically advanced and stable.”

The MultiConnect Conduit IP67 Base Station is designed for outdoor LoRa public or private network deployments, according to the company. The scalable and certified gateway is capable of resisting harsh environmental factors, including moisture, dust, wind, rain, snow and extreme heat. The device supports LoRaWAN applications in virtually any environment. Leveraging the MultiConnect Conduit, it can support thousands of LoRaWAN-certified end nodes, including the MultiConnect mDot and xDot.

MarketsandMarkets Releases Forecasts for Narrowband IoT, 5G IoT Markets

The narrowband-Internet of Things (NB-IoT) chipset market is expected to grow to $2 billion by 2024, at a compound annual growth rate of 49.1 percent, according to a recent report from MarketsandMarkets. Widening applications of the technology and the increasing participation of industry players in its development are among the factors fueling the growth of the NB-IoT chipset market.

The growing market for wearable devices across health care, entertainment, sports, fitness and other applications is driving the demand for low-power and highly secure cellular networks such as NB-IoT in wearable devices, the report indicates. The rising demand for personal care diagnostics and a growing aging population in developed countries, such as Japan, the United Kingdom, Germany and the United States, drives the demand for wearable devices.

The implementation of NB-IoT technology is expected to help the energy sector to achieve business objectives. In the coming years, the company reports, the technology can be deployed for overall plant automation, process optimization, supply chain optimization, increased safety and integrated business processes, while fulfilling corporate social responsibility. Currently, smart metering is the major application of NB-IoT technology in energy and utilities.

The growing adoption of NB-IoT technology in multiple applications, such as smart meters, smart parking, smart streetlights and health care, is the key factor driving the growth of the NB-IoT chipset market in APAC, according to the report. China is currently dominating the market in APAC. Favorable government policies and a strong presence of chipsets, modules and infrastructure providers in China are the prime factors fueling the growth of the market in China.

MarketsandMarkets has also forecast that the global 5G IoT market size will grow to $6.3 billion by 2025 at a CAGR of 55.4 percent during the forecast period. The IoT has been radically changing consumer and business landscapes during the past few decades. The number of connected devices is expected to reach around 22 to 25 billion by 2025, ranging from consumer wearable devices and industrial devices to connected cars. These connected devices require low power, faster connectivity and higher security.

Several connectivity technologies are available in the market, such as non-cellular, non-carrier, cellular IoT and satellite network. Bluetooth, Zigbee, LoRa, Sigfox, LPWAN, RFID, BLE, WLAN and LTE (Category M1 [Cat-M1] and Narrowband-IoT [NB-IoT]) are among the key options available for IoT connectivity, according to the report. Enterprises are leveraging these communication techniques per the demand and requirement of the IoT network, the company explains.

The short-range IoT devices segment is estimated to show the highest market share in 2020, the report indicates, and is expected to witness strong growth characteristics in the coming years. With emerging new application areas, short-range IoT devices need another type of connectivity solution that can fulfill the growing need for data speed. For instance, in-building connectivity devices in the manufacturing, health-care, energy, utilities and retail sectors demand low latency and high power, which are fulfilled by 5G networks.