RFID News Roundup

Ubisense, Quuppa partner on industrial location-awareness solutions ••• RFID and NFC company Resource Label Group acquires wine-industry firm Paragon Label ••• FreeWave Technologies announces programmable app server network appliance for Industrial Internet of Things ••• Foundries.io launches platforms for secure IoT ••• Industrial Internet Consortium presents intelligent manufacturing solutions forum in Chicago ••• InnerSpace unveils indoor location intelligence platform for business operators ••• Canvass Analytics raises funding for artificial intelligence-based analytics for Industrial Internet of Things.
Published: August 23, 2018

The following are news announcements made during the past week by the following organizations:
Ubisense, Quuppa;
Resource Label Group, Paragon Label;
FreeWave Technologies;
the Industrial Internet Consortium;
InnerSpace; and
Canvass Analytics.

Ubisense, Quuppa Partner on Industrial Location-Awareness Solutions

Ubisense Group, a provider of enterprise location intelligence solutions, has announced a partnership with Quuppa to integrate location and identification technologies with its open and sensor-agnostic SmartSpace software platform. This, according to the company, enables customers to create an enterprise-wide digital twin along the value chain of critical manufacturing activities.

The SmartSpace system creates a real-time, operational digital twin and uses it to change factory behavior based on the locations of tools, individuals and work-in-progress. SmartSpace allows customers to integrate a range of sensing capabilities to address different use cases and a wide range of ROIs, the company reports, and to leverage existing location technology they may already be using. By working with Quuppa to support applications with Quuppa’s Intelligent Locating System, Ubisense expects to extend the reach of SmartSpace further into the logistics, construction and health-care markets.

Quuppa utilizes a combination of Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) and angle-of-arrival methodology, as well as location algorithms, to calculate real-time indoor positioning, even in demanding environments. The low-power system is customizable, scalable and cost-efficient for providing an accurate “dot on the map,” the company reports. The Quuppa solution complements the sensors integrated with SmartSpace, including Ubisense’s UWB location systems (Dimension 4 and AngleID), other third party location sensors, third-party passive RFID tag readers, and bar-code systems.

“One of the key benefits of our SmartSpace platform is the ability to integrate a wide range of data sources to facilitate building sensor-rich, industrial-scale systems, allowing us to propose the right location sensor technology for each application,” said Andy Ward, Ubisense’s CTO, in a prepared statement. “We’re looking forward to seeing powerful additional use cases develop as customers explore our joint capabilities with Quuppa.”

“The Quuppa Ecosystem—now 90 partners strong—continues to flourish, bringing the power of highly accurate, reliable and scalable location services to a growing number of companies across a variety of industries through our commitment to BLE technology,” said Thomas Hasselman, Quuppa’s chief marketing officer, in the prepared statement. “In partnering with Ubisense, we are delivering new opportunities to SmartSpace customers that are using location as a business driver.”

RFID and NFC Company Resource Label Group Acquires Wine-Industry Firm Paragon Label

Resource Label Group, a full-service provider of pressure-sensitive labels, shrink sleeves and RFID and NFC technologies for the packaging industry, has announced that it has acquired Paragon Label, a supplier of labeling solutions for the premium wine segment. The terms of the transaction have not been disclosed. Resource Label is a portfolio company of First Atlantic Capital, a New York-based private investment firm, and TPG Growth, the middle market and growth equity investment platform of TPG.

Located in Petaluma, Calif., Paragon primarily services premium wine customers in Sonoma and Napa Counties, and offers a range of flexographic and digital printing capabilities. Paragon is also equipped with proprietary finishing technology that enhances the shelf appeal of its customers’ products.

“I am proud to welcome Jason Grossman and his employees to our team,” said Bob Simko, Resource Label’s president and CEO, in a prepared statement. “We will continue to support the business that Jason has successfully built over the last twenty years for the benefit of current and new customers in this dynamic region of the country.”

“Continued leadership in the wine segment of the label industry is an important focus for Resource Label,” said Roberto Buaron, First Atlantic Capital’s chairman and CEO, in the prepared statement, “and we are confident that the acquisition of Paragon will help us meet that objective.”

FreeWave Technologies Announces Programmable App Server Network Appliance for Industrial Internet of Things

FreeWave Technologies, a provider of industrial, secure machine-to-machine (M2M) and Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) networking solutions, has announced the availability of its ZumIQ App Server—programmable hardware designed to inject ruggedized edge intelligence into IIoT networks and sensor ecosystems. This programmable network appliance provides a secure home for applications relying on sensor or device data to deliver industrial process intelligence, the company reports. Utilizing the same ZumIQ Application Environment as FreeWave’s ZumLink 900 Mhz Industrial Radios, the product works with either custom or third-party applications and can execute multiple applications simultaneously.

“Industrial users want to harness the power of edge intelligence by deploying applications in their wired and wireless networks,” said Scott Allen, FreeWave Technologies’ chief marketing officers, in the prepared statement. “Our customers tell us they are developing software applications on developer platforms and require a rugged C1D2 device, like the ZumIQ App Server, for application deployment.”

Features of the ZumIQ App Server include app development and deployment utilizing any Linux-compatible language; app deployment to wired or wireless networks in combination with FreeWave’s ZumLink 900 MHz industrial radios or other wired or wireless devices; edge intelligence in harsh outdoor conditions with a rugged C1D2 designed to withstand extreme weather conditions and last for years in the field; low power consumption for remote deployments requiring batteries, fuel cells, solar, wind turbines or DC non-grid power sources; and enclosed and board-level versions that provide enclosure and deployment flexibility.

Foundries.io Launches Platforms for Secure Internet of Things

Foundries.io has announced commercially available, continuously updated Linux and Zephyr microPlatform distributions for the embedded, Internet of Things (IoT), edge and automotive markets. Supported by a newly announced partner program, these microPlatforms enable devices ranging from light bulbs to connected cars to be secure and updated to the latest available firmware, operating system and applications.

The microPlatforms are designed to mitigate and reverse fragmentation across the Internet of Things, leading to a secure, interconnected global network. According to Gartner, roughly $235 billion was spent on the Internet of Things in 2016, with 6.4 billion devices in the field. By 2020, the firm forecasts that there will be nearly 21 billion devices deployed in a wide array of industries, ranging from agriculture to utilities. Without the ability to update to the most current software, these networked devices face the risk of failures and cyberattacks.

According to the company, microPlatforms are minimal, secure, over-the-air updatable software platforms, including firmware, kernel, services and applications, delivered continuously from initial product design to end-of-life. Features include faster time-to-market for products across a range of IoT connected devices, built-in support for software and hardware security solutions, updates for security fixes and new features, and lower product development and lifetime support costs.

“Over the past two years we have used open source software to build a unifying, open, secure, continuously updated product platform for the fragmented IoT and embedded markets,” said George Grey, Foundries.io’s CEO, in a prepared statement. “We started Foundries.io to fundamentally change the industry. Today’s connected devices require modern software and secure update techniques. Rather than legacy software builds being maintained for product lifetimes that can reach 10 years or more, the microPlatforms are built from the ground up to enable product manufacturers to always and immediately deploy the latest security updates, bug fixes and new features to their customers, ensuring the safety of the Internet of Things and the security of data throughout the network.”

Foundries.io’s microPlatforms are designed to ensure consistent product quality for connected devices in markets including smart sensors, industrial, consumer and automotive products. Product lifetime maintenance for security updates, bug fixes and other features are built into the microPlatform products, meaning device makers need not create and support a custom software build for every product. The Foundries.io business model is subscription-based and does not include per-unit fees.

The Linux microPlatform includes updatable firmware, kernel and a minimal distribution built using Open Embedded/Yocto, running customer-specific services and applications, either natively or in containers. This enables the remote management of product software from private or public cloud device-management platforms on edge devices, using standard enterprise tools such as Ansible and Kubernetes.

The Zephyr microPlatform is the first downstream distribution for the Zephyr Project, and uses the Zephyr RTOS, MCUboot software, services and reference applications to provide a continuously tested, secure, updatable, cross-architecture solution for microcontroller-based products. Applications include upgradable smart devices for industry and home, gateways and edge-computing devices reconfigurable over-the-air for newly attached hardware and/or services, and securely updatable software platforms for the automotive, robot and drone industries.

Industrial Internet Consortium Presents Intelligent Manufacturing Solutions Forum in Chicago

The Industrial Internet Consortium, an organization that transforms business and society by accelerating the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), has announced that it will run an Intelligent Manufacturing Solutions Forum within Hannover Messe USA, co-located with the International Manufacturing Technology Show. The forum will be held on Sept. 14 in the Hannover Messe USA Solutions Theater, at McCormick Place in Chicago.

The Intelligent Manufacturing Solutions Forum will feature presentations, use cases and a panel discussion titled “Advanced Manufacturing Technologies, Innovations & Testbeds.” This will be followed by a networking reception at the B&R Automation booth, in which the IIC TSN Testbed will also be on display. Manufacturing industry speakers will discuss the IIoT, cybersecurity, automation, time-sensitive networking and artificial intelligence.

“Manufacturing innovations such as predictive maintenance, artificial intelligence and advanced security are only a few of the ways that intelligent manufacturing solutions are changing the IIoT,” said Richard Soley, IIC’s executive director, in a prepared statement. “This forum gives the public an opportunity to hear, first-hand, from industry experts, the insights they have gained by testing and implementing intelligent manufacturing solutions, some through their own practical experiences with IIC testbeds, where they’ve tested the solutions to determine their viability before bringing them to the market.”

The Intelligent Manufacturing Solutions Forum is complimentary and open to all attendees at Hannover Messe USA or IMTS.

InnerSpace Unveils Indoor Location Intelligence Platform for Business Operators

InnerSpace, an Internet of Things (IoT) indoor location intelligence provider, has announced the release of its inFINITY platform and suite of integrated analytics and workflow solutions. The platform provides operators with the indoor location data needed to validate decision-making, optimize workflows and create new digital services, to reduce operating expenses and increase revenue.

“Food services and facilities management operators face astronomical labor costs and fixed price long-term contracts,” said James Wu, InnerSpace’s CEO, in a prepared statement. “Our platform is the fastest way for operators to incorporate location intelligence into their business and start uncovering the hidden opportunities to reduce costs and improve revenue overall.”

“Massive business transformation requires disrupting the status quo,” said Jason Gamblen, InnerSpace’s chief revenue officer, in the prepared statement. “Our scalable platform empowers clients to deploy faster, test theories quickly, and do so without multiple vendors and professional services to manage. We are driving better business outcomes by reducing labor costs, improving customer experiences, and supporting Smart Building initiatives that maximize real estate utilization and decrease utility expenses.”

Using the proprietary InnerSpace IoT sensor, inFINITY captures, processes, stores and visualizes complex indoor location data. The platform automatically generates 3D models of indoor spaces and converts them to 2D maps. With integrated location and positioning provided by monitoring electromagnetic signals from smartphones and other electronic devices, inFINITY can determine how individuals and things behave within a building.

“Indoor location delivers massive returns to organizations by finding hidden value in the two biggest operating costs—labor and real estate,” Wu added in the statement. “With InnerSpace you can optimize the way you use your real estate, deploy your labor force more efficiently, and uncover ways to improve your services to drive new revenue.”

Canvass Analytics Raises Funding for Artificial Intelligence-based Analytics for Industrial Internet of Things

Canvass Analytics, a provider of artificial intelligence (AI)-enabled predictive analytics for the Industrial Internet of Things, has announced that it has closed a $5 million investment round, led by Google’s AI-focused venture fund, Gradient Ventures. Additional participation came from Bedrock Industries, Viaduct Ventures and existing investors Real Ventures and Barney Pell.

Canvass Analytics’ use of AI technology to accelerate the time-to-value in Industrial AI and IoT implementations attracted Gradient Ventures to make its first lead investment outside of the United States, the company reports. “Autonomous operation is the holy grail of manufacturing and AI is the game-changer that is making it a reality across the industrial landscape,” said Ankit Jain, a founding partner at Gradient Ventures, in a prepared statement. “We’re backing Canvass Analytics because of its unique approach to implementing AI and predictive analytics quickly and in an automated manner, without the need for lengthy and often cost-prohibitive consulting engagements.”

Founded in 2016, Canvass Analytics provides an automated AI-powered analytics platform that, according to the company, can proactively and continuously identify operational improvements. Canvass has worked with manufacturers to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by tens of millions of pounds, and to generate millions of dollars in incremental revenue through quality improvements, production optimization and asset utilization.

“In an industry that is data rich but information poor, we are helping our customers to harness AI to dive deeper into their operations and accelerate their decision making,” said Humera Malik, Canvass Analytics’ CEO, in the prepared statement. “Our disruptive AI analytics platform is enabling Fortune 500 industrial companies to slash costs, increase production and improve quality within days versus months.” The new investment round will fund Canvass Analytics’ growth strategy as the company sets out to increase its footprint in Fortune 500 companies worldwide.