RFID News Roundup

Honeywell launches online store to streamline access to business-critical software ••• Smart Packaging Solutions intros prelaminate to simplify payment card manufacturing ••• ADLINK partners with Google Cloud to offer IoT-ready solutions ••• Packet launches automated IoT service with Microsoft Azure ••• C3 releases development environment for enterprise AI.
Published: March 14, 2019

Presented here are news announcements made during the past week by the following organizations:
Smart Packaging Solutions;
ADLINK Technology, Google Cloud;
Packet, Microsoft; and

Honeywell Launches Online Store to Streamline Access to Business-Critical Software

Honeywell has announced the launch of its Honeywell Marketplace, an online hub for enterprises to purchase software solutions, technologies and services to improve productivity and efficiency. The Honeywell Marketplace is an app store where independent software vendors can manage applications and solutions in one centralized location, enabling customers and partners to download solutions to meet their needs.

According to the company, several software apps from third-party developers take advantage of data captured from radio frequency identification, including asset-tracking software from CDO Technologies. RFID is a specific subcategory that users can search to locate compatible software or apps that take advantage of, or work with, this specific technology.

The Honeywell Marketplace enables customers to discover, evaluate and download business-critical software for a range of industries, the company explains, including distribution centers, health care, manufacturing, retail, transportation and logistics. The site features solutions from Honeywell, as well as dozens of third-party software vendors. Software currently available includes asset tracking, point-of-sale (for retailers), push-to-talk communications, medical tracking (for hospitals) and password management (for mobile devices).

“In the past, IT managers would spend countless hours researching and evaluating specific enterprise software solutions to solve their business challenges,” said Peter Howes, the president of Honeywell’s Productivity Products business, in a prepared statement. “Today, we have streamlined that entire process—from searching to purchasing and deployment. Our customers want the same easy-to-use shopping and downloading options that they experience with consumer-focused mobile app stores.”

Users can search for software by industry, application vendor, operating system or other key attributes, then download demos and browse screenshots of the available software. “A retailer, for example, may need different solutions for enabling customer checkout, tracking mobile devices, managing inventory, routing returned merchandise and communicating with store associates,” Howes said in the prepared statement. “We’re providing a single source, optimized for mobile devices, to find and purchase these solutions and more.”

Available apps include Honeywell’s Guided Work Solutions for voice-directed activities in distribution centers and the GoalPost labor-management system, which offers detailed analytics on worker performance. The Honeywell Marketplace also provides software vendors with a flexible approach to building applications and connecting with customers. Software vendors can conduct transactions directly through the online store to simplify ordering and deployment processes.

Smart Packaging Solutions Intros Prelaminate to Simplify Payment Card Manufacturing

Smart Packaging Solutions (SPS) has announced a new generation of its eBoost PAY inductive coupling technology with SPS’s 150µm SLam G2. With this thinner prelaminate, payment card vendors can simplify their production process, the company reports, as they can now manufacture all cards with a single body structure.

For instance, if card manufacturers are under pressure from customers to support various assembly technologies and deal with multiple suppliers for each subpart, they can have their logistics dramatically simplified. As all prelaminates have the same thickness (150µm), the company explains, card vendors can be certain they will make standard-compliant cards with a single supply of PVC card bodies. In this way, they have only one type of PVC inventory to manage, leading to reductions in logistics and supply chain costs.

Since the S-Lam G2 prelaminates are 150µm in thickness, this leaves more space in the 0.76-mm card’s total thickness to have a thicker PVC printed core, according to the company. Silk-screen printing is thus made easier and delivers a better quality on thicker card bodies, the firm notes, with no risk of warp or shrinkage. The thinner 150µm S-Lam G2 prelaminates mean less material to transport between SPS’s factories and the card manufacturer; this reduces transportation costs, according to SPS, while decreasing the ecological footprint of the entire card manufacturing process.

Jean-Baptiste Leos, SPS’s banking product marketing director, said in a prepared statement: “At SPS, we care about the industrial process of our customers. With S-Lam G2, card manufacturers will get an ever-improving industrial process that simplifies their logistics, makes printing easier and reduces their transport costs.”

The S-Lam G2 offers the same features as the original eBoost PAY technology, based on electromagnetic coupling between the antenna and the module (with no physical connection between the chip and the antenna), the company reports, and allows for an increase in total manufacturing capacity. The eBoost PAY system helps to ensure that cards are reliable and durable, the firm explains.

ADLINK Partners With Google Cloud to Offer IoT-Ready Solutions

ADLINK Technology, a global provider of edge-computing solutions, has partnered with Google Cloud to integrate ADLINK’s hardware and software solutions with Google Cloud IoT offerings, making it easier for customers to harness and analyze critical operational data.

“Companies are seeking hardware solutions that are pre-integrated with Google Cloud IoT,” said Mario Finocchiaro, Google Cloud’s head of GTM, in a prepared statement. “Partnering with ADLINK gives our customers and partners options for IoT devices and data sources ready to use out of the box.”

Google Cloud is a suite of cloud-computing services that runs on the same infrastructure that Google uses internally for its end-user products. Customers can use insight from GCP analytics tools, including advanced analytics, AI and machine learning, to make informed decisions to optimize operations, enable predictive maintenance, minimize downtime, improve quality and enable the development of new business models and revenue streams.

ADLINK’s contribution of integrated hardware and software also includes ADLINK Edge services to channel operational data and enable intelligent decision-making by streaming to Google Cloud. With no programming necessary, ADLINK Edge quickly connects previously unconnected operational equipment and sensors. By tapping into native communication protocols, users can capture and stream data at the edge and securely between devices and databases, enabling analysis and visualization to inform business decisions and optimize operations.

“Because our area of expertise is at the edge, it’s important for us to work with cloud computing experts, such as Google Cloud, to provide the best end-to-end IoT solutions in the industry,” said Lawrence Ross, the ADLINK’s GM of software and solutions, in the prepared statement. “We’re also excited to bring GCP’s scale and best-in-class security to our Digital Experiment offering, which is essentially a starting point for a customer’s IoT journey.”

Packet Launches Automated IoT Service With Microsoft Azure

Packet, a bare metal automation platform for developers, has announced Packet Connect, a new service that provides private, automated interconnect for cloud and Internet of Things (IoT) applications. The service launched with Microsoft Azure and will be expanded to include other clouds; it is available at Packet’s New York, Silicon Valley, Dallas and Amsterdam data centers, as well as at all edge locations.

According to the company, Packet Connect makes it easy for developers to manage diverse hybrid cloud infrastructure by providing reliable interconnection on an hourly and per-GB basis. The service is automated via native APIs and supports virtual connections at speeds ranging from 100M to 10G.

“We built Packet Connect to be both easy to consume and very powerful, which is consistent with our relentless focus on empowering developers across the entire infrastructure stack,” said Ihab Tarazi, Packet’s CTO, in a prepared statement. “With Packet Connect, interconnection becomes simply another application that works seamlessly from the edge to the cloud, allowing developers to implement hybrid cloud and IoT solutions in minutes, with full devops deployment model.”

The new service builds upon other networking features that developers can leverage with automation in Packet’s bare metal cloud. These include local and global BGP, the ability to announce and control private IP space, and a flexible Layer 2 / VXLAN capability.

“Organizations around the globe are looking to embrace digital transformation, which is increasingly requiring the transformation of their networks and their cloud strategies,” said Rohit Mehra, IDC’s VP of network infrastructure research, in the prepared statement. “Packet’s release of an automated infrastructure offering that includes bare metal and interconnection comes at a time when enterprises are actively evaluating highly-connected IT platforms to support hybrid and multi-cloud connections.”

C3 Releases Development Environment for Enterprise AI

C3, an enterprise AI software provider, has introduced its C3 Integrated Development Studio (IDS), a low-code/no-code environment for developing, deploying and operating enterprise AI applications. IDS provides data ingestion, data modeling, machine learning feature engineering, and model lifecycle management, as well as a metadata-driven UI development tool. The hybrid, multi-cloud distributed architecture of C3 IDS enables secure, highly available, and rapidly scalable application development, according to the company.

C3 IDS allows developers and data scientists to focus on solving business problems by providing a single integrated environment that abstracts routine and complex application development tasks, through four environments:

• C3 Data Studio: Ingest data of any kind and size through a browser-based interface; process, query, and plug the data into applications; connect to existing databases; define transformations; and develop or extend application objects (e.g., data model, analytics, algorithms, UI). Developers can also extend prebuilt industry and functional application packages to accelerate development.

• C3 App Studio: Develop analytics through a visual interface and a metadata-driven UI Designer to develop an application front end.

• C3 ML Studio: Manage prebuilt machine learning pipelines, machine learning model development and hyper-parameter tuning. Integrate all popular machine learning libraries, including TensorFlow, Keras and Scikit-Learn, in composable AI/machine learning pipelines.

• C3 DevOps Studio: Access all essential DevOps functions, including source control, continuous integration/continuous deployment as a fully managed service, resource monitoring, queue management and task scheduling.

C3 IDS abstracts the complexities of hundreds of cloud platform services (such as AWS RDS, Amazon S3, AWS Kinesis, Azure Event Hubs, Amazon DynamoDB, Azure IoT Hub, Google BigQuery and Google Cloud ML Engine) and thousands of developer tools (for instance, Jenkins, Apache Maven, Puppet and GitHub) to allow developers and data scientists to focus on the business problem they are solving. C3 IDS is fully integrated with the C3 AI Suite, allowing users to collaborate with others who prefer writing code.

“C3 has invested $500 million over the past nine years in building the C3 AI Suite, simplifying the ability to develop AI-based applications and reducing the underlying complexities,” said Ed Abbo, C3’s president and chief technology officer, in a prepared statement. “Using the C3 AI Suite, a small team of developers and data scientists can build complex AI applications and roll out large-scale systems with efficiency and accuracy in just months. With C3 IDS, we have taken another step to speed the delivery and economic value of enterprise AI.”