RFID News Roundup

iDTRONIC intros new desktop RFID reader ••• Alien Technology to join panel on logistics labeling and tracking technologies ••• New Boundary Technologies, IJACK Technologies partner on remote monitoring system for oil and gas producers ••• Soracom leads multi-million-dollar investment round in Sigfox provider Unabiz ••• Industrial Internet Consortium publishes white paper on industrial networking for IIoT system designers ••• Qorvo, Leedarson launch multi-standard smart-lighting solutions for IoT.
Published: September 6, 2018

The following are news announcements made during the past week by the following organizations:
Alien Technology;
New Boundary Technologies, IJACK Technologies;
Soracom, Sigfox, Unabiz;
the Industrial Internet Consortium;
Qorvo, and Leedarson.

iDTRONIC Intros New Desktop RFID Reader

iDTRONIC has announced its new EVO Desktop Reader HF 2.0, the successor to its compact EVO Desktop Reader HF model. This reader is a read-write device for use within industry and IT environments. This new version includes a dual-interface USB 3.0 device, which allows manual configuration and a choice of two modes: Human Interface Design (HID) and Virtual COM Port (VCP) .

With the HID mode, users may retrieve data from transponders as keyboard emulation. The output may be set to various formats. The reader can read out serial numbers, along with information from user memory, in either HEX or ASCII output format. The configuration may be done via a configuration tool that is compatible with the Microsoft Windows operating system. The HID mode is suited for Web applications in heterogeneous IT cloud environments.

The VC mode offers read-write access to all supported transponder types, the company reports. The device can be operated via demo software, sample source codes and a USB driver on the Windows OS. Other operating systems are supported via a serial command protocol and a virtual COM Port interface based on a SiliconLabs chipset. It is designed for Industry 4.0 applications and may be integrated into any operating system, according to the company.

The 13.56 MHz high-frequency version supports transponders and tags of ISO 14443A, ISO 15693 as of ISO 18000-3, including NXP’s MIFARE Ultralight, MIFARE Classic 1K, MIFARE Classic 4K, I-Code SLI, TI Tag-it HF-I and more. A software developers kit (SDK) and configuration tool for Windows operating systems is provided, as well as an operating-system-independent command protocol. A signal-controlled LED illuminated frame and an acoustic signal show successful tag communication.

Alien Technology to Join Panel on Logistics Labeling and Tracking Technologies

Alien Technology, a provider of radio frequency identification solutions, has announced that Mike Hetrick, the company’s VP of global sales, will participate in an expert panel discussion titled “Implementing Innovative Logistics Labeling and Tracking Technologies.” The panel will take place on Sept. 25 at the Labelexpo Americas 2018 event, to be held in Rosemont, Ill.

During the session, Hetrick will share best-known methods for full suite e-commerce warehouse logistics. Hetrick will highlight specific technologies and solutions designed to address logistics labeling and tracking in supply chain, e-commerce, commercial and other key applications.

Alien will also showcase its RFID integrated circuits, inlays and readers for inventory labeling and tracking during the conference. In addition, several Alien partners will exhibit that have integrated Alien’s RFID technology into a variety of system- and label-based application solutions.

New Boundary Technologies, IJACK Technologies Partner on Remote Monitoring System for Oil and Gas Producers

New Boundary Technologies, a provider of Internet of Things (IoT) and machine-to-machine (M2M) applications, has announced its partnership with Canadian-based oil and gas technology company IJACK Technologies. Through this partnership, IJACK has integrated New Boundary Technologies’ RemoteAware IoT application service into its IJACK RCOM remote monitoring system to improve operations in the oilfield for its customers.

The RemoteAware IoT application service provides monitoring and control of remote sensors and equipment using a “single pane-of-glass” Web dashboard. RemoteAware powers IJACK RCOM to provide a hardware and software solution to manage remote pumpjack systems from any location. IJACK offers precise, comprehensive operating data to users in real time, to ensure that all aspects of a pumpjack system are working properly and efficiently.

The RCOM dashboard provides a 360-overview of all IJACK units and locations on a single screen, from rod load to casing gas pressure. Customers can remotely monitor more than 100 parameters securely from any mobile device. RCOM users can access comprehensive performance data at a glance; customize alarms and monitoring for any pumpjack parts with on/off indicators; tailor dashboard views by map, navigation, detail and surface card; retain history records for 365 days (compared to the industry standard of 30 days); and categorize pumpjack equipment by serial number for easier reporting, repair and maintenance.

RCOM’s 24-7 monitoring eliminates unnecessary onsite visits to check the status of remote oilfield equipment, the company reports. When equipment requires attention, RCOM notifies personnel immediately and provides the critical information needed to dispatch the appropriate resources. RCOM provides producers with the key information necessary to improve performance, eliminate downtime and boost profitability.

“We’ve fine-tuned our M2M and IoT applications expertise over the last 30 years,” said Kim Pearson, New Boundary Technologies’ CEO, in a prepared statement. “We’ve perfected providing intuitive solutions with quick time-to-market. We’re thrilled to provide IJACK with a powerful, cost-effective remote monitoring solution for their oil and gas customers that can be implemented within a matter of days.”

“This partnership will allow us to provide our customers with up-to-the-minute and comprehensive data for their IJACK products,” said Dan McCarthy, IJACK’s president, in the prepared statement. “With RemoteAware capabilities, RCOM truly drives our mission forward to providing responsive service and support from any mobile device.”

Soracom Leads Multi-Million-Dollar Investment Round in Sigfox Provider Unabiz

Soracom, which offers a cloud-native connectivity-as-a-service platform for the Internet of Things (IoT), has announced its participation as the lead investor in a $10 million Series A funding of UnaBiz Pte Ltd. UnaBiz is the exclusive provider of Sigfox connectivity in Singapore and Taiwan, operating a low-power wide-area network (LPWAN) that reaches nearly 100 percent of the population in the two regions.

The investment is the second made by the Soracom IoT Fund program, which was launched earlier this year by Soracom’s parent company, KDDI Corp. Soracom acts as a driver of the fund’s investment decisions and is actively working to accelerate the development of a global IoT ecosystem through funding and collaboration.

“The investment in UnaBiz reflects our strategy to build a global IoT infrastructure by partnering with leaders in technology development and implementation,” said Daichi Funato, the co-founder and COO of Soracom and a leader of the fund program, in a prepared statement. “UnaBiz has built a strong partner network across its markets and is recognized as the most promising IoT Networking Platform in the region. We have collaborated with them since they first brought the Sigfox network into Singapore and Taiwan and look forward to building on this success.”

“The closing of this round is a step towards our common vision of global scale IoT transformation,” said Philippe Chiu, UnaBiz’s co-founder and CTO, in the prepared statement. “The combined expertise of Soracom in platform and cloud services and of UnaBiz in energy efficient IoT solutions will drive development of new offers, catalyzing IoT adoption in our respective territories.”

Expanded collaboration between UnaBiz and Soracom will include device development to enrich the capabilities and ease-of-use of UnaBiz connectivity and sensor modules in IoT systems, and to simplify the integration of solutions into global IoT communications networks. The companies will work to extend end-to-end solutions addressing such areas as facilities management, operations and maintenance, and energy management in aerospace, smart cities and other vertical markets.

Industrial Internet Consortium Publishes White Paper on Industrial Networking for IIoT System Designers

The Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC), an organization focused on accelerating the adoption of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), has announced its latest white paper, titled “IIC Industrial Networking Enabling IIoT Communication.” The document serves as an introductory guide on industrial networking for IIoT system designers and network engineers, and offers practical solutions based on key usage scenarios.

“Industrial networking is the foundation of IIoT,” said David Zhe Lou, Huawei Technologies’ chief researcher, in a prepared statement. “There are many choices of networking technologies depending on the application, the industrial network, deployment situation and conditions, but there is no universal or preferred industrial networking solution.”

Industrial networking infrastructure and technologies reside at the IP layer and below, and enable industrial assets, such as machines, sites and environments, to connect to the business professionals supporting applications across a range of industry sectors. Industrial networking technologies provide the foundation for applications that enable manufacturing productivity and profitability.

“IIoT applications have different needs depending on the industrial application and therefore demand robust, flexible and secure networks,” said Cliff Whitehead, Rockwell Automation’s business-development manager, in the prepared statement. “This white paper will help IIoT system designers and network engineers understand the tradeoffs they can consider when designing an industrial network architecture that will be a strong foundation for current and future IIoT scenarios.”

Industrial networking is different from networking for the enterprise or networking for consumers, the company reports. For example, IIoT system designers and network engineers need to make decisions about using wired or wireless communications. They have to figure out how to support mobility applications, such as vehicles, equipment, robots and workers. They must also consider the lifecycle of deployments, physical conditions, such as those found in mining and agriculture, and technical requirements, which can vary from relaxed to highly demanding.

“Networking technologies range from industry-specific to universal, such as the emerging 5G, which meets diverse industrial needs,” said Jan Höller, a research fellow at Ericsson, in the prepared statement. “Industrial developers need guidance when devising solutions to select the right networking technologies, and this white paper is the first step to providing the missing methods and tools.”

The white paper sets the stage for the Industrial Internet Network Framework (IINF), which will complement the Industrial Internet Connectivity Framework (IICF) by detailing requirements and available technologies for the lower three layers of the Industrial Internet communication stack. The white paper and a list of IIC members that contributed can be found at the organization’s website.

Qorvo, Leedarson Launch Multi-Standard Smart-Lighting Solutions for IoT

Qorvo, a provider of RF solutions, and Leedarson, a lighting and Internet of Things (IoT) solutions company, have partnered to create smart-home lighting products that operate concurrently with the ZigBee 3.0 and Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) 5.0 protocols, offering compatibility with the most popular IoT standards. The first of these solutions is a new Leedarson smart light bulb and light switch that integrates Qorvo’s QPG6095 system-on-chip (SoC), a multi-protocol/multi-channel smart-home communications controller for ultra-low-power wireless applications.

This smart bulb was demonstrated this week at Leedarson’s booth during the IFA Consumer Electronics Unlimited show in Berlin, and will be also be shown in the Qorvo booth at IBC 2018, to be held in Amsterdam on Sept. 14-18. According to IDC, the market for smart-home lighting products is expected to grow from $1 billion in 2017 to $3.5 billion in 2022, a compound annual growth rate of 26 percent.

The Qorvo QPG6095 SoC advances the state of smart-home networking by supporting different connectivity standards, including IEEE 802.15.4, ZigBee 3.0, Thread and BLE 5.0, for sensors and actuators throughout the home. This enables the integration of multi-protocol use cases in IoT smart-home devices, supporting simultaneous interactions with a BLE-enabled smartphone and the ZigBee network. The QPG6095 is BLE 5.0 and ZigBee 3.0 platform- and product-certified, and ZigBee-certified for Touchlink for lighting applications. It provides Green Power energy efficiency, extended range and battery life, and interference mitigation.

“Qorvo’s QPG6095 allows us to develop solutions that support multiple IoT protocols, enabling new use cases and applications in the lighting market,” said Luke Lin, Leedarson’s president of IoT, in a prepared statement. “Its Green Power feature enables coin cell battery operation, offering a longer battery life of 10 years for light switches and smart home sensors. This greatly reduces cost and time spent by users replacing batteries.”

“The QPG6095 is the only SoC to feature dynamic, multi-protocol support in an OS-independent, hardware-accelerated environment,” said Cees Links, the general manager of Qorvo’s Wireless Connectivity business unit, in the prepared statement. “It is a ready-to-use solution that helps OEMs reduce costs and development time, and enhance the speed at which they can respond to the changing needs of their customers. We are very pleased to be working with lighting and IoT innovator Leedarson to create new products for this fast-growing market.”