RFID News Roundup

Feig Electronics intros UHF RFID reader for tracking people, assets ••• Teslonix, CISC Semiconductor partner on IoT and RFID reader and test solutions ••• Nordic Semiconductor validates LitePoint for over-the-air BLE device testing ••• Smartrac expands RFID operations ••• IntelliGuard announces contract to support Prodigy Health's onsite stocking program ••• Industrial Internet Consortium publishes 'Data Edition' of the Journal of Innovation.
Published: June 28, 2018

The following are news announcements made during the past week by the following organizations:
Feig Electronics;
Teslonix, CISC Semiconductor;
LitePoint, Nordic Semiconductor;
IntelliGuard, Prodigy Health; and
the Industrial Internet Consortium.

Feig Electronics Intros UHF RFID Reader for Tracking People, Assets

Feig Electronics, a supplier of RFID readers and antennas, has introduced its new UHF Directional Reader Solution (ID ISC.ANT.U500/270-DM), capable of identifying the location and direction of an RFID tag that is moving, even in congested situations. The new reader is suitable for use in health care, pharmaceuticals, event management, logistics and access control, the company reports.

Feig’s new solution reads UHF RFID EPC Gen 2 tags compliant with the ISO 18000-6C standard, and includes an RFID antenna and reader in one housing with 3-D detection. Equipped with service software, the reader’s modern design enables it to be mounted directly in ceilings or walls for a discreet appearance, without requiring a dedicated portal or extra protection hardware.

The UHF Directional Reader Solution can track individuals and assets in real time, the company reports. This, according to Feig, makes it useful for industrial settings in which logistical tracking is required.

“If the UHF Directional Reader Solution is mounted at a company’s dock doors, it can identify the direction in which a tagged box or pallet is moving,” said Klaus Schoeke, Feig’s VP of technical sales, in a prepared statement. “Our new UHF reader can even track the flow of patients in a crowded hospital as they move through a busy corridor, monitoring which patient is coming in or out of the surgery room.”

Teslonix, CISC Semiconductor Partner on IoT and RFID Reader and Test Solutions

Teslonix and CISC Semiconductor have announced a project joint-funded by intergovernmental funding network Eureka, aimed at developing Internet of Things (IoT) and RFID readers and test equipment.

“Teslonix’s unique capability of delivering more power to passive IoT sensors and RFID tags enables active device functionality with passive device economics in many applications,” said C. Paul Slaby, Teslonix’s CEO and founder, in a prepared statement. “We are delighted to be working with CISC to include robust testing capability for the next generation of IoT/RFID readers enabling full commercialization and market roll-out of this novel technology.”

“RFID testing is our passion for more than 15 years already, which makes us the global leader,” said Josef Preishuber-Pflügl, CISC Semiconductors’ CTO, in the prepared statement. “Working together with Teslonix gives us the opportunity to develop our world-leading UHF RFID reader test systems to the next level, thus ensuring we are ready to support the development of the next generation of IoT/RFID readers and systems.”

Nordic Semiconductor Validates LitePoint for Over-the-Air BLE Device Testing

LitePoint, a provider of wireless test solutions, has announced that Nordic Semiconductor has validated LitePoint’s IQxel-M Bluetooth Advanced wireless test system for over-the-air (OTA) testing of products that use Nordic’s Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) systems-on-chip (SoCs).

This will enable IoT device makers utilizing Nordic’s nRF51 and nRF52 Series SoCs in their products to quickly perform critical OTA performance and functionality testing of their products in order to verify their designs and ramp up manufacturing. OTA testing is a requirement for BLE devices that do not usually allow for traditional wired test methods because they are often fully encapsulated.

Products that include the nRF51 and nRF52 Series SoCs will not require special test firmware when utilizing the IQxel-M. Instead, they will utilize the system’s commercial firmware, ensuring that the measurement results correlate with how the device is used in the end application. A white paper published by Nordic niotes, “The IQxel-M with LitePoint Bluetooth Advanced measurement solution performs transmitter power, transmitter quality, and receiver sensitivity measurements, providing excellent coverage and confidence in the wireless performance of the device.”

Nordic’s nRF51 and nRF52 Series BLE SoCs are based on Arm‘s M0, M4 and M4F processors, and feature a range of devices with different features and Flash and RAM memory capacities for applications at all power consumption and cost levels. Nordic’s BLE solutions are compliant with versions of Bluetooth technology ranging from Bluetooth 4.0 to the latest release.

“Nordic offers sophisticated wireless connectivity products which power advanced IoT applications. However, because the complexity of the product is hidden from the designer behind easy-to-use development tools, time to market is compressed,” said Jon Gunnar Sponås, Nordic Semiconductor’s group manager for technical support, in a prepared statement. “Nordic’s collaboration with LitePoint and its innovative OTA technology extends this design simplicity to testing because it means end products can be checked fully assembled, which better simulates real world conditions.”

“IoT systems and sensor manufacturers must balance the need for high RF quality, which can make or break a product, with cost sensitivity,” said Adam Smith, LitePoint’s director of product marketing, in the prepared statement. “We’ve developed the IQxel-M as a simple-to-deploy, over-the-air test solution that meets the needs of encapsulated IoT devices. We’re pleased to work with Nordic Semiconductor to provide a proven system to its customers.”

The IQxel-M, a solution for wireless connectivity testing, supports a variety of wireless standards, including Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, ZigBee, LoRa and Sigfox. It also supports such navigation technologies as GPS, GLONASS and Beidou. The system can perform parallel testing of multiple devices (multi-DUT), while enabling the concurrent test of multiple technologies (Multicom).

Smartrac Expands RFID Operations

Columbus 2020, the economic development organization for Ohio’s eleven-county Columbus Region, has announced that Smartrac Technology Group, a provider of RFID products and IoT solutions, plans to expand its operations into that area. The company, headquartered in the Netherlands, will invest a substantial amount of money, resulting in 30 new jobs during the next three years. Hiring for program and portfolio management, research and innovation, and solutions development positions will begin immediately, the organization reports; specific location within the Columbus Region has not yet been determined.

Smartrac, which operates in the Americas, Europe and the Asia-Pacific region, plans to strengthen its capabilities and workforce, and to provide its business customers with Internet of Things (IoT) hardware and software solutions for product digitization, authentication, sensing, tracking and consumer engagement, with integration to enterprise systems such as ERP and CRM.

“The Columbus Region offers a vibrant tech community, a startup ecosystem and access to excellent academic and research institutions such as Battelle, The Ohio State University and the Columbus College of Art and Design. These characteristics provide the capabilities we’re looking for and create a talent pipeline that can fulfill our needs,” said Dinesh Dhamija, Smartrac’s chief technology officer, in a prepared statement. “We looked for a place with a strong startup culture, and the Columbus Region was a standout choice as the emerging smart city leader and home of innovative software entrepreneurs.”

Smartrac will primarily augment its software, solutions innovation and technology portfolio management functions in the Columbus Region, with support for other company operations. “Smartrac is well established in several U.S. locations, but it chose to build a new software development center here in the Columbus Region,” said Ted Griffith, JobsOhio’s managing director for information technology, in the prepared statement. “We and our partners at Columbus 2020 welcome the confidence in Ohio’s strong IoT economy that this investment demonstrates, as well as the 30 new IT jobs Smartrac is bringing to the Region.”

According to Columbus 2020, the Columbus Region has become an IoT and smart-city leader thanks to the D.O.T. Smart City Grant (which Columbus won in 2016), its IT ecosystem and the growth of local technology-based jobs. Columbus was ranked number one on SmartAsset’s “The Best American Cities to Work in Tech in 2017” list.

IntelliGuard Announces Contract to Support Prodigy Health’s Onsite Stocking Program

IntelliGuard, a developer of solutions for inventory management in health care, has announced a Purchase and License Contract to implement its Vendor Managed Inventory System as part of the Prodigy Connect Real Time RFID solution.

“We are excited to partner with Prodigy Health to deliver IntelliGuard’s Intelligent Inventory Solutions unparalleled real-time visibility for critical inventory management to hospitals,” said Gordon Krass, IntelliGuard’s CEO, in a prepared statement.

The Prodigy Connect Real Time RFID solution combines the Prodigy Vision Real Time Data Platform with the IntelliGuard Smart Cabinet Inventory System. “This partnership is driving the realization of Prodigy’s goal of providing all members of the hospital supply chain an easy to navigate, fully serialized, end to end automation solution for managing high value specialty pharmaceuticals,” said Jon Houssian, Prodigy Health’s CEO, in the prepared statement.

In a simple-to-navigate cloud-based solution, Prodigy Vision allows hospitals and hospital groups to manage inventory par levels and set up automated restocking on any product. Every time the Smart Cabinet Inventory System door is opened and closed, inventory levels automatically update and product restocks are sent for dispensed products.

Industrial Internet Consortium Publishes ‘Data Edition’ of the Journal of Innovation

The Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC), a global organization focused on transforming business and society by accelerating the adoption of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), has published the eighth edition of its Journal of Innovation, focused entirely on data. The issue shows why it is important for industrial organizations to leverage data analytics for better business decisions.

“Data is becoming a strategic business asset for many organizations, especially those involved in Industrial IoT,” said Edy Liongosari, a co-chair of the IIC Thought Leadership Task Group and Chief Research Scientist at Accenture Labs, in a prepared statement. “In this edition of the Journal of Innovation, IIC members show how data and analytics can drive innovation, reduce costs and transform businesses.”

The “Data Edition” of the Journal of Innovation includes articles contributed by experts in data analytics: “Causal Analytics in IIoT—AI That Knows What Causes What, and When,” by Dr. John Galloway, founder of Au Sable, Pieter van Schalkwyk, XMPro’s CEP, and guest co-author Dann Marian; “The Path from Data to Actionable Information as a Driver for the Industrial Ecosystem,” by Will Sobel, co-founder and chief strategy officer at VIMANA; and “There Are New Markets for Industrial IoT Data,” by Ken Figueredo, from more-with-mobile.com.

The Journal of Innovation highlights the innovative ideas, approaches, products and services emerging within the Industrial Internet, such as IoT and digital transformation, artificial intelligence, smart cities, the smart factory and edge computing. Full current and past editions can be downloaded at the organization’s website.