RFID News Roundup

Insight SiP intros BLE module based on Nordic Semiconductor system-on-chip ••• ThoughtWire, Mappedin partner on IoT mapping for built environments ••• CenTrak acquires Elpas Solutions to bolster IoT security offerings ••• DigiCert, Gemalto, ISARA team up to develop digital certificates for IoT-connected devices ••• Invengo releases latest version of its RFID-based linen inventory-management platform.
Published: September 27, 2018

The following are news announcements made during the past week by the following organizations:
Insight SiP, Nordic Semiconductor;
ThoughtWire, Mappedin;
CenTrak, Elpas Solutions;
DigiCert, Gemalto, ISARA; and

Insight SiP Intros BLE Module Based on Nordic Semiconductor System-on-Chip

Insight SiP, a provider of miniature RF modules, has launched its ISP1507-AL module, which features Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) technology. Based on Nordic Semiconductor‘s nRF52 system-on-chip, this module offers wireless connectivity with an embedded antenna, an integrated DC-DC converter, and both radio and synchronization crystals.

The new module is suitable for mesh-relay nodes, the Internet of Things (IoT), wearables, industrial sensors and home network applications, the company reports. This Bluetooth 5.0-ready module uses the nRF52 series chipset from Nordic Semiconductor, along with system-in-package and antenna-in-package technology. The module measures 8 millimeters by 8 millimeters, with a thickness of less than 1 millimeter.

The ISP1507-AL module integrates the WLCSP nRF52810-CAAA chip from Nordic Semiconductor, which offers a 32-bit ARM Cortex M4 CPU with a floating point processor, 192 kilobytes of flash memory, 24 kilobytes of RAM, a set of 13 IOs, analog and digital peripherals, SPI, I2C and GPIO. Combined with its integrated 32 MHz / 32 KHz crystals, RF antenna and matching circuit and DC-DC convertor, this module forms a standalone BLE node, the company reports. Module certification for the global market is currently pending. The ISP1507-AL is available now, and all modules in the ISP1507 product range are pin-to-pin-compatible.

According to Insight SiP, the module can act as an application hub, replacing additional microcontrollers required in previous generations of BLE products. Despite its computing power, power consumption is lower than previous generations, with performance typically at 5.8 mA for transmission and reception, 0.8 µA for standby mode and 0.3 µA for deep sleep mode. Power management enables battery lifetimes of up to several years on a single coin-cell battery. Transmission output power reaches +4 dBm and reception sensitivity is at -96 dBm.

The module runs Nordic’s Bluetooth soft device, which now supports a Bluetooth V4.2 stack and is Bluetooth 5.0-ready. To support product developers, Insight SIP offers a development kit with sample software.

ThoughtWire, Mappedin Partner on IoT Mapping for Built Environments

ThoughtWire, a provider of operations performance management (OPM) systems for built environments, has announced a partnership with Mappedin to change how building-management teams and patrons experience indoor spaces. The system is intended to improve how managers and operators of commercial properties manage their environments, in order to boost operational efficiencies, improve tenant and employee satisfaction, and increase property value.

“Large properties have multiple employees from multiple departments contributing to the upkeep and maintenance of their maps. Naturally, this causes inefficiencies and inaccuracies across departments. To fix this, there needs to be a single place where employees can collaborate with one source of truth for their property maps,” said Hongwei Liu, Mappedin’s CEO and co-founder, in a prepared statement. “With our robust mapping technology integrated into ThoughtWire’s OPM applications, property managers can easily maintain their ever-evolving spaces in the same place that they manage other core property functions.”

Mappedin’s mapping and wayfinding technology has been integrated into ThoughtWire’s people-centered and process-driven commercial IoT applications. ThoughtWire will embed Mappedin’s technology initially with its Smart Building Suite, which is intended to improve spatial awareness and intelligence of indoor spaces within built environments, accelerate data collection, overlay IoT devices on intuitive maps and make insights actionable.

With these new capabilities, operators will have greater oversight of properties so they can see, for example, where connected devices—such as HVAC, lighting, meters, and sensors—are located. They can also provide vendors, such as Internet service providers coming to install fiber optics, with detailed floor plans and directions to clarify the specific floors on which they should work. In office buildings, operators can create zones on specific floors to adjust energy-usage patterns for different tenants, based on their personal preferences.

In the health-care setting, hospital personnel can move around a facility more seamlessly and help guide patients and workers without having to go down inefficient routes. Patients can more easily find parking, the firm reports, helping them to arrive at appointments on time and without added hassle. On the back end, facilities managers can oversee various projects requiring multiple team members to ensure they are collaborating in the most efficient and effective way possible, using intuitive floorplans.

“People owning, operating and managing buildings now have the opportunity to correlate spatial information for more actionable insights – driving down costs and providing a better experience for all – from tenants to patients and hospital staff,” said Michael Monteith, ThoughtWire’s CEO, in the prepared statement. “This collaboration with Mappedin is the next natural progression as we continue to drive game-changing innovation in the commercial Internet of Things marketplace and address the growing demand for operations performance management.”

CenTrak Acquires Elpas Solutions to Bolster IoT Security Offerings

CenTrak has announced its acquisition of select assets of Elpas Solutions, an indirect safety and security subsidiary of Johnson Controls International. The transaction is intended to strengthen CenTrak’s IoT location, security and sensing offerings. The Elpas team has more than 20 years of technology experience related to security solutions, including more than 25 patents, and its technology has been installed at hundreds of health-care, manufacturing and correctional facilities throughout the Americas and Europe.

Current Elpas customers can continue to receive support, install new systems and expansions from the Elpas Partner Network, the company reports. Johnson Controls International will provide support until June 14, 2019. During the coming months, CenTrak will begin incorporating patented enhancements into the next version of CenTrak’s platform, which will further differentiate CenTrak’s infant-protection, wireless-call, staff-duress, man-down and wander-management capabilities. The company hopes that its platform, once enhanced with Elpas’ technologies, will expand the breadth of its IoT use cases and open doors to new markets.

“We anticipate the Elpas acquisition will raise the bar for Location, Security and Sensory services,” said Ari Naim, CenTrak’s president and CEO, in a prepared statement. “The transaction brings together an exceptional team and technology, which we will incorporate into CenTrak’s market leading offering.”

DigiCert, Gemalto, ISARA Team Up to Develop Digital Certificates for IoT-Connected Devices

DigiCert, a provider of scalable PKI solutions for identity and encryption, Gemalto, a provider of digital security systems, and ISARA Corp., a provider of quantum-safe security solutions, have announced a partnership to develop quantum-safe digital certificates and secure key management for connected devices in the Internet of Things.

“DigiCert, Gemalto and ISARA are collaborating today to solve tomorrow’s problem of defending connected devices and their networks against the new security threats that the implementation of quantum computers will unleash,” said Deepika Chauhan, DigiCert’s executive VP of emerging markets, in a prepared statement. “The work we’re doing now will ensure that the connected systems that serve as the brains of automobiles, industrial control systems, medical devices, nuclear power plants and other critical infrastructure are safe from those threats in five, 10 and 20 years.”

The partnership provides advantages for enterprise security teams looking to secure connected devices with lengthy product lifetimes to avoid expensive security retrofitting as quantum computing becomes more prevalent. Organizations can deploy these solutions at any scale, since DigiCert is already capable of issuing and hosting billions of digital certificates for public trust and private PKI systems. The team-up, the companies report, will enable quantum-resistant certificates with the capability of hosted, on-premise and hybrid deployment options.

DigiCert works with many companies and consortiums using PKI to authenticate, encrypt and provide integrity for their connected devices. Gemalto offers secure key storage and management via its SafeNet hardware security modules that integrate with DigiCert APIs to enable large-scale, automated credential issuing for connected devices via an internet-enabled gateway to distribute identity via the cloud. Certificates obtained through this partnership will be enabled with quantum-safe cryptography.

“Experts estimate that the dawn of large-scale quantum computing will arrive in the next eight to 10 years, bringing with it the moment when all current public key cryptography can no longer be trusted,” said Scott Totzke, ISARA’s CEO and co-founder, in the prepared statement. “The work we’re doing today ensures that a fundamental element of the security stack, root certificates, is secure by embedding quantum-safe cryptography. This means that IoT manufacturers and other large organizations will have the solutions and tools they need to prepare for the quantum threat well in advance of that date, keeping confidential information and high-value assets safe.”

“Gemalto’s SafeNet Hardware Security Modules act as the root of trust to secure the most sensitive data and applications and protect billions of the digital transactions every day around the world,” added Todd Moore, Gemalto’s senior VP for encryption products, in the prepared statement. “This partnership with DigiCert and ISARA will help organizations build secure and future-proof cryptographic operations that can guard against the potential security threats of quantum computing and ensure a more secure world for connected automobiles, devices, machines, smart cities and mission-critical infrastructure.”

Currently, many IoT devices rely on RSA and ECC cryptography to protect the confidentiality, integrity and authenticity of electronic communications. However, NIST and others in the security community predict that within a decade, large-scale quantum computing will break RSA and ECC public key cryptography. Thus, the partners report, they believe crypto-agility is paramount for manufacturers of connected devices that will be in use a decade or more from now.

To advance the use of quantum-proof certificates, DigiCert, Gemalto and ISARA are collaborating with industry standards bodies that are also pursuing the advancement of post-quantum cryptography, such as the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF). Efforts to address quantum computing security now will support connected device manufacturers and users into the future, according to the companies.

Invengo Releases Latest Version of Its RFID-based Linen Inventory-Management Platform

Invengo has announced new upgrades to its ACUITY digital platform, intended to help laundry groups, hotels and health-care facilities have better control of their linen inventories. This new release of the ACUITY platform for linen inventory management offers automatic real-time linen stock visibility, enabling stock level optimization and availability through cloud-based reporting, dashboards and data analysis.

This latest version of ACUITY provides a cloud-based, software-as-a-service (SaaS) offering for companies seeking a plug-and-play solution, thereby reducing total cost of ownership, technical complexity and setup time, the company reports. It provides users with instant access to the linen-management platform via a Web browser on any device, and eliminates the hassle of hosting and maintaining their own server and dealing with software updates. The upgraded platform features a new set of UHF RFID smart stations, including a u-Door Lite cabin, an e-Way 500 portal and a TTS500 tabletop unit. The system offers direct upload of secured RFID data to the cloud, as well as remote configuration, monitoring and upgrades.

“The enhanced platform follows a series of technological advancements we’re undertaking at Invengo and highlights our dedication to meeting our client’s challenging needs in terms of data reliability and accessibility anywhere and at any time,” said Richard Bailly, Invengo’s general manager, in a prepared statement. “Our textile services customers have the ability to benefit from our offer on-demand without having to pay outright, but only for the exact amount they use.”

This latest version of Invengo’s linen-visibility platform provides reporting and business-intelligence capabilities that aid customers in the laundry, hospitality and health-care industries in future-proofing their business through real-time visibility into linen data from multiple sources. This, according to Invengo, can help businesses to improve their decision-making process.