RFID News Roundup

BehrTech updates MYTHINGS IoT platform; iDTRONIC offers healthcare RFID white paper; ASSA ABLOY joins Zigbee Alliance Board of Directors; Seebo helps manufacturers optimize production via AI; Cherry Cricket, Wynkoop Brewing use SpeedPro's touchless menus, signage; IoP Journal becomes AIPIA media partner for smart packaging.
Published: July 16, 2020

Presented here are news announcements made during the past week regarding the following organizations: BehrTech, iDTRONIC, ASSA ABLOY, the Zigbee Alliance, Seebo, Cherry Cricket, Wynkoop Brewing, SpeedPro and IoP Journal.

BehrTech Updates MYTHINGS IoT Platform
BehrTech, a disruptive enabler of wireless Internet of Things (IoT) connectivity solutions, has announced the launch of MYTHINGS Central 3.0, the latest version of its network and device management software for low-power wide area networks leveraging its MIOTY platform. With a plug-in system and an API-driven design, this update includes back-end integration with such cloud solutions as Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services and Cumulocity, as well as other third-party applications and IoT platforms, including Ericsson IoT Accelerator.

According to the company, MYTHINGS Central enables customers to connect, configure and manage thousands of sensors for such IoT applications as infrastructure and facility management, as well as asset monitoring, environmental monitoring and predictive maintenance. It can be deployed in any environment, whether on a base station, on a customer’s premises or in the cloud, and its microservices-based architecture provides built-in security and scalability.

“MYTHINGS Central is a holistic network-management tool designed to give our customers the most flexibility and control over their IoT network architecture from end to end,” said Wolfgang Thieme, BehrTech’s chief technology officer and cofounder, in a prepared statement. “Its modular and vendor-independent design provides the ease and global interoperability customers need to build, operate and scale a secure IoT workflow from any endpoint to the network.”

Users can integrate the solution with external systems, third-party applications and IoT platforms, BehrTech reports. According to the company, the MYTHINGS Central components are built using industry-standard Docker containers to give customers the flexibility to build, test and deploy their IoT networks in their specific environments and pertaining to their own network needs.

iDTRONIC Offers Healthcare RFID White Paper
iDTRONIC has released a new white paper titled “RFID Technology Healthcare Areas: Identification of Patient Data.” Doctor visits and consultation hours at hospitals or clinics are daily tasks, and paper-based clipboards are typically used to record patient information. This manual method of providing relevant patient data can be error-prone and confusing, however, and the resultant volume of paper can carry storage costs.

In the context of digitizing IoT applications, paperless applications are becoming increasingly common so that data can be kept up-to-date and available. Patient data, including diagnosis and findings from several sources, must be validly summarized. Mobile applications can collate this information and provide a doctor with a clear overview, with data viewable on an RFID tablet, in order to facilitate and optimize a physician’s daily workflow.

With that in mind, this white paper discusses iDTRONIC’s C9 RFID tablet, which can be linked to existing applications and systems. RFID technology provides a valid and personal protected identification, according to the company. Patients receive an RFID wristband upon admission to a hospital, which ensures reliable identification during a visit or a stay. Thanks to the wristband’s chip, a doctor can identify each patient and receive an overview of all data and findings for that individual.

The C9 tablet comes with an Arm Cortex A73 2.0 GHz Octa-Core processor for patient-authentication applications. It features 2 gigabytes of working space and 16 gigabytes of storage capacity, plus an optional 4 gigabytes of ROM and 64 gigabytes of RAM. Integrated 4G LTE technology supports communication via WLAN, WWAN, WPAN, GPS and Bluetooth, allowing data to be transferred to medical or other mobile devices.

The handheld unit can withstand falls from heights of up to 1.2 meters (4 feet), features an 8-inch screen and is rated IP67, signifying protection against the penetration of dust and water. As doctors wander throughout a hospital’s corridors and departments, the C9 tablet can fit into their coat pockets. The system provides a pictorial representation of diseases, the company reports, with an integrated 13-megapixel rear camera to document findings in high-resolution images.

ASSA ABLOY Joins Zigbee Alliance Board of Directors
The Zigbee Alliance, an organization that creates and maintains open, global standards for the Internet of Things (IoT), has announced that ASSA ABLOY, a provider of access solutions, has joined its Board of Directors. The hardware company, an active member in the Alliance’s Connected Home Over IP Project, contributes experts to develop the new, royalty-free connectivity standard for increased compatibility among IoT devices. ASSA ABLOY offers products and services related to access control, such as locks, doors and entrance-automation solutions, for use in home and work environments.

“As a major manufacturer of residential and commercial access solutions, our product lines depend on efficient, reliable, and secure communications to operate effectively,” said Martin Huddart, ASSA ABLOY’s head of smart residential, in a prepared statement. “Connectivity based on open, global standards is what’s going to drive this next generation of smart home and building products, so it’s important we’re involved in initiatives like Project CHIP and that we collaborate with other domain experts as part of the Zigbee Alliance Board of Directors.”

Founded in 1994, ASSA ABLOY initially offered mechanical locks and hardware but has since expanded to a variety of solutions for managing access to residential homes and commercial and institutional buildings. In 2000, it acquired Yale, which provides solutions for the residential market.

“The brand power of ASSA ABLOY and Yale, as well as their market experience, enables a more open world fueled by physical and digital connections, in solid alignment with the values embraced by our member-driven organization,” added Tobin Richardson, the Zigbee Alliance’s president and CEO, in the prepared statement. “Having this trusted company join our Promoter ranks will strengthen the quality and reach of the important work being done by Alliance members, especially in the critical categories involving security, safety, and openness.”

Seebo Helps Manufacturers Optimize Production via AI
Seebo, a company that provides a predictive quality and yield solution for manufacturers, has announced the completion of a $9 million funding round led by Ofek Ventures, with the participation of Vertex Ventures, Viola Ventures and TPY Capital. Since its founding, Seebo has raised $31 million.

Due to inefficiencies in production processes, large manufacturers suffer tens to hundreds of millions of dollars in quality, yield and waste losses annually, according to Seebo. With that in mind, the company plans to use the funding to expand its global reach and enhance its process-based artificial intelligence (AI) solution, which enables manufacturers to predict and prevent production losses and master complex production processes. Seebo says its funding comes amid a growing demand for its solution, as manufacturers seek new ways to prevent losses and optimize processes. Current Seebo customers include Nestle, Barilla, Mondelez, Allnex and Volkswagen.

“We’re really excited to be investing in Seebo,” said Itay Rand, a partner at Ofek Ventures partner, in a prepared statement. “Over the past few years Seebo has cemented itself as a leader in the fields of Predictive Quality and Industrial Artificial Intelligence, with a growing roster of tier-1 manufacturers. Manufacturers today understand that in order to compete successfully they must adopt effective process optimization capabilities, and there is a clear recognition that industrial artificial intelligence and a data-driven approach is fundamental to achieving that goal.”

“Manufacturers today realize that in order to prevent losses and continuously master complex production processes, they need a technological solution that truly understands the unique complexity of their production lines and is both easy for production teams to use and scalable across various manufacturing lines,” added Lior Akavia, Seebo’s CEO and cofounder, in the prepared statement.

The COVID-19 crisis has changed the manufacturing world, as companies have had to adapt to shifting customer demand, forcing supply chain disruptions, new regulations for employees and a move toward optimizing remote processes. “The coronavirus pandemic has spurred a search for more efficient, effective ways to identify and prevent process inefficiencies overall—which lies at the heart of what Seebo does,” Akavia said in the prepared statement. “Data-driven decision-making is critical in our new reality, as manufacturers must adapt quickly and implement changes effectively. Those who meet this challenge today will gain a competitive edge in tomorrow’s marketplace.”

Cherry Cricket, Wynkoop Brewing Use SpeedPro’s Touchless Menus, Signage
As restaurants reopen in accordance with public health guidelines, many are working to create an atmosphere of normalcy despite workers and patrons wearing face masks, 50 percent occupancy and tables maintaining 6-foot distances. After three weeks of installing touchless menus and signage, Denver-based restaurants Cherry Cricket and Wynkoop Brewing report that they are seeing customer behavior adapt in favor of using smartphones instead of handheld menus. Signage technology provider SpeedPro provided the system, which can be viewed in this video.

“Signage is playing a bigger and more critical role in our restaurants than it ever has before,” said Alex Bunn, Breckenridge-Wynkoop Group’s director of marketing, in a prepared statement. “It’s involved in almost every aspect of the new guest experience and is helping to guide our teams and guests on how to navigate this new normal, fundamentally shaping how we interact with each other when we dine out. Touchless menus create safer dining out experiences for us all.”

SpeedPro, in partnership with Breckenridge-Wynkoop Restaurant Group, launched the smart signage technology to help companies maintain social distancing for customers with touchless menus as Colorado restaurants continue reopening. The solution comes with NFC and QR codes and can be strategically positioned at a restaurant’s high-interaction customer touchpoints, such as at host stands and on dining tables. A customer can hold a phone up to a sign or decal, which will then open the menu via the Web browser on his or her mobile device.

“We knew this touchless technology would change the customer experience,” said Larry Oberly, SpeedPro’s CEO, in the prepared statement. “We were in the process of developing it prior to the pandemic and have expedited launch in order to aid businesses in social distancing efforts to provide a solution to a critical need restaurants and many other businesses face today.” Touchless menus offer the ability to provide more than what can be printed on the display, the company reports, as customers can be directed to website links, video files, audio files and other types of communication.

The smart signage is available to businesses outside the restaurant industry as well. “Imagine walking into a museum, retail store, hospital—anywhere information is shared—and simply holding up your phone to access instructions, exhibit information, a discount or wayfinding information,” Oberly explained in the prepared statement. “While we’re in the early stages of launching more smart signage tech, we’re excited to see how creative every industry can apply smart signage.”

IoP Journal Becomes AIPIA Media Partner for Smart Packaging
IoP Journal, based in Brazil, and the Active & Intelligent Packaging Industry Association (AIPIA), located in the Netherlands, have signed a media partnership agreement aimed at providing visibility to AIPIA events and content produced by both parties related to smart packaging for selected markets. According to Edson Perin, IoP Journal’s founder and editor, this will keep the online publication’s readers informed regarding what is happening with Internet of Packaging (IoP) technologies.

Aimed at the smart packaging industry, IoP Journal (which cross-posts articles with RFID Journal) will cover all AIPIA events, with content published in Portuguese, English and other languages. The content will be focused on the Brazilian market, but will also cater to North America, Latin America and other areas. AIPIA will publish content from IoP Journal on its website, while IoP Journal will offer a dedicated AIPIA section. The content produced by IoP Journal for AIPIA events will offer different formats, including text and videos, with a focus on educational subjects, in order to help companies understand how the smart packaging market is growing and transforming.

According to Perin, there are many needs that can be addressed via IoP technologies, including authentication, anticounterfeiting, market diversion, food waste reduction and improved shelf life, as well as customer engagement. Companies can become more sustainable by deploying IoP technologies such as RFID, he added, since such solutions make it easier to reprocess and recycle packaging.

IoP Journal’s weekly newsletters will feature AIPIA communications and banners linked to articles, which will help professionals and companies find what they need, both at IoP Journal’s website and at AIPIA’s site. “We are delighted to form this partnership with IoP Journal,” said Eef de Ferrante, AIPIA’s managing director, in a prepared statement. “It enables us to extend our reach and messages to a new audience and in a highly professional way, through this highly regarded journal. We look forward to increasing the smart packaging sector’s development through this agreement.”

According to Perin, IoP Journal’s agreement with AIPIA will target the development of the smart packaging industry. “It is a great step for us to have this partnership with AIPIA,” he said in the prepared statement. “It is not just a media partnership, but the construction of a tool that will help the market to move faster into the high-technology packaging industry.”