RFID News Roundup

By Rich Handley

RFID Journal webinar helps retailers, suppliers improve revenues ••• Nedap, MishiPay partner on RFID mobile self-checkout system ••• BluEpyc intros BLE beacon with optional accelerometer, temperature-humidity sensor ••• Hazelcast unveils streaming engine for IoT, edge, cloud environments ••• Dodge Data & Analytics, Triax Technologies study IoT tech for construction risk management ••• New Boundary Technologies, Radio Bridge add IoT applications to long-range wireless sensors.

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Presented here are news announcements made during the past week by the following organizations:
RFID Journal;
Nedap, MishiPay;
BluEpyc;
Hazelcast;
Dodge Data & Analytics, Triax Technologies;
New Boundary Technologies, and Radio Bridge.

RFID Journal Webinar Helps Retailers, Suppliers Improve Revenues

On Apr. 22, 2019, RFID Journal presented a webinar titled “RFID Technology: New Revenue Opportunities for Industry Suppliers and Their Customers.” Mark Roberti, RFID Journal’s founder and editor, explained why many retailers are turning to radio frequency identification technologies to improve in-store inventory accuracy and enable “buy online, pick up in store” (BOPIS), ship-from-store and other unified commerce strategies. An hour-long video of the webinar is now available online.

As RFID adoption increases, store designers will need to incorporate the technology into their infrastructure. Fixture manufacturers, mannequin companies and other businesses may also need to incorporate RFID into their products. This helps to create new revenue opportunities. In this video, Roberti outlines how RFID is being used in the retail sector, as well as the impact the technology might have on store design and fixture providers.

A PDF of the slides used in the presentation has been created for your convenience. You can view Roberti’s presentation here and watch the video of the webinar here. Please note that you need to be a Registered User or Premium Member of RFID Journal, as you will be prompted to enter your e-mail address and password before viewing the recording. Registration is free.

Nedap, MishiPay Partner on RFID Mobile Self-Checkout System

Nedap, a provider of RFID-based retail solutions, has teamed up with MishiPay on a mobile self-checkout integration solution. Integration with !D Cloud, Nedap’s cloud-based RFID platform, allows for reduced shrinkage and increased stock visibility.

“Merging RFID and our mobile self-checkout technology sets the pace for a new, frictionless shopping experience which benefits both retailers and brick-and-mortar shoppers,” said Mustafa Khanwala, MishiPay’s founder and CEO, in a prepared statement. “Our integration with Nedap will facilitate significant improvements in the in-store customer experience.”

“When using traditional EAS systems, it is not possible to implement mobile payment solutions and at the same time secure products,” said Daniël Doorman, Nedap Retail’s product manager, in the prepared statement. “Our cloud-based RFID platform makes it possible to secure products when using mobile self- checkout solutions like MishiPay. Instantly after payment is completed, items will no longer alarm at the exit. With the recently completed integration between Nedap’s !D Cloud and MishiPay, the combined solution now works out-of-the-box.”

BluEpyc Intros BLE Beacon With Optional Accelerometer, Temperature-Humidity Sensor

BluEpyc, a business unit of Softworks Group focused on wireless technologies, including Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), has announced its BLE Disk Beacon. Optionally available with an accelerometer and/or a temperature and humidity sensor, the BLE Disk Beacon provides a reading distance of up to 200 meters (656 feet) and is equipped with a button that switches the device on and off.

Designed with a modular perspective in its functions, the beacon (which complies with the IEEE 802.15.1 standard) can interact with any standard BLE device or smartphone, and can be supplied with a visible sticker showing the beacon ID number, QR code and device name. The beacon is housed in a plastic, waterproof box that can be customized with such printing options as a logo, a bar code, a QR code and serial numbers.

The BLE Disk Beacon’s parameters, such as broadcast interval, Tx power, friendly name, Major, Minor and UUID and other available services, can be set by using a dedicated app, which is available in different versions (both for Android and iOS), or by on-the-air software. The transmission power, on which the reading distance and/or the localization accuracy depends, can be set at four levels, and the time interval between one data transmission and another can also be set.

The beacon’s battery, projected for a one-year life with a broadcasting rate of one second, can be quickly replaced via a press-fit system. BluEpyc offers the beacon with various accessories (wristband, key fob, wall mount, protection case and suction cup), and it is IP67-rated for outdoor and industrial scenarios.

Hazelcast Unveils Streaming Engine for IoT, Edge, Cloud Environments

Hazelcast, an in-memory computing platform company, has announced the general availability of Hazelcast Jet, a streaming engine with no external system dependencies. The stream-processing engine is designed to simplify implementation in small- or large-scale deployments. Whether deployed in constrained environments—such as those involving Internet of Things (IoT) sensors—or for cloud-scale applications, Hazelcast Jet is built to ingest, categorize and process vast amounts of data with ultra-low latency, the company reports, in order to support continuous intelligence practices.

“SigmaStream specializes in high-frequency data and works with some of the world’s largest companies that operate in the most constrained environments. By integrating Hazelcast Jet’s high-performance streaming engine with our Hummingbird visualization and processing platform, we process high-frequency data from dozens of channels and address inefficiencies in real-time,” said Hari Koduru, SigmaStream’s CEO, in a prepared statement. “The performance and optimization at such a fine level enable SigmaStream’s customers to shrink the time spent on a project, ultimately saving them millions of dollars.”

Hazelcast Jet, according to the company, is a single, lightweight system intended to address a complex set of architectural requirements. Its single-system design enables rapid time-to-value, reduces costs and complexity associated with multi-component architectures, and decreases the need for multiple skill sets.

“Hazelcast has once again delivered a powerful leap forward for the industry, this time by radically simplifying how stream event processing is implemented,” said Kelly Herrell, Hazelcast’s CEO, in the prepared statement. “Time is money, and the ability to process data at the moment it is generated—wherever it is generated—produces measurable business benefits whether at a financial trading desk or edge-based sensors. When time matters, companies choose Hazelcast and now they have a compelling and flexible streaming solution for fast data processing in Hazelcast Jet.”

Hazelcast Jet delivers low-latency performance regardless of scale, the company reports, whether running at the IoT edge in small-format hardware or as a massive cluster in data centers and clouds. Hazelcast Jet’s architecture is lightweight and highly scalable. Its small file size and architecture provide numerous deployment options, including in Kubernetes microservices environments, private data centers or public clouds, or embedded in applications.

Hazelcast Jet clusters can be taken offline without losing data, the firm indicates, and jobs can be upgraded without interrupting processing, which provides a benefit for continuous streaming applications. In the event of an outage, in-memory data replication offers fault tolerance with hot restart for fast recovery. The in-memory data can be continuously persisted to disk for maintenance shutdowns or lights-out events.

Whereas most streaming engines use batch processing to manage data, Hazelcast Jet can process an event upon ingestion. With real-time processing, the system can serve machine-learning models requiring current information to inform decisions. Hazelcast Jet can be integrated with TensorFlow to run real-time classification and prediction workloads at scale. Customers can choose whether they wish to use the embedded, in-process Java runner or a remote TensorFlow Serving option.

Dodge Data & Analytics, Triax Technologies Study IoT Tech for Construction Risk Management

A new study released by Dodge Data & Analytics, in partnership with Triax Technologies, a provider of technology for the connected jobsite, indicates that while contractors continue to struggle with construction site risks, they recognize the benefits of using the Internet of Things (IoT) to mitigate them. According to the report, titled “Using Technology to Improve Risk Management in Construction SmartMarket Insight,” nearly three-quarters of respondents believe the IoT will help them to control occupational risks, while about half expect it to reduce risks to the public, as well as financial risks and those related to property damage and construction defects.

The study found that the top motivator for adopting IoT technologies is the possibility of lowering insurance premiums (67 percent), followed by recovering lost time due to incidents and winning more work because of a strong safety record. “These findings are encouraging and confirm what we’ve suspected: that contractors and insurers alike see the value in leveraging IoT technologies to help collect, analyze and act on risk management data,” said Pete Schermerhorn, Triax Technologies’ president and CEO, in a prepared statement.

“Contractors are often a skeptical audience, keeping a close eye on the bottom line,” said Steve Jones, Dodge Data & Analytics’ senior director of industry insights research, in the prepared statement. “But when they see something that will improve their projects and their profitability, they embrace it. Their enthusiasm for IoT technologies suggests that we may see the project jobsite become much smarter in the next few years.”

Respondents reported that they are actively collecting key data and using the insights gained to further their safety and risk practices. More than half of the participants reported that they digitally gather (54 percent) or analyze data (59 percent), while 77 percent said they act upon key safety and risk insights. However, the study also revealed budgetary challenges to technology adoption. Only 10 percent of contractors reported a dedicated innovation budget, and when it comes to funding new risk-reducing technologies, most contractors said they plan to either absorb the costs in anticipation of long-term gains (44 percent) or pass on those costs (32 percent).

“These findings highlight an important opportunity to shift the industry towards reliance on objective, empirical data,” Schermerhorn said. “The ability to measure risk is fundamental to managing it, especially in the fast-moving construction environment. It’s essential that contractors dedicate budget and resources to unlock actionable safety and risk insights that can drive improvement in these areas.”

As part of the study, interviews were conducted with insurers, who indicated that real-time site monitoring can have a high level of potential for reducing risk onsite, but that reductions to contractors’ premiums based on technology adoption are unlikely until there is enough actuarial data regarding the impact of those technologies. Nonetheless, instituting a cost-sharing program with clients for specific technologies was raised as a possibility, along with the potential savings that contractors could realize from reduced deductible costs and fewer claims.

New Boundary Technologies, Radio Bridge Add IoT Applications to Long-range Wireless Sensors

New Boundary Technologies, a provider of Internet of Things (IoT) and machine-to-machine (M2M) applications, and Radio Bridge, a designer and manufacturer of long-range wireless sensors, have announced a partnership to offer IoT application services for long-range wireless sensors.

Radio Bridge designs and manufactures a portfolio of wireless LoRa and Sigfox sensors to monitor temperature, humidity, motion, button presses, proximity, water leaks and more. Radio Bridge’s sensors are used in smart-building, smart-city, smart-farming and industrial-automation applications. The company’s wireless sensors feature a multi-year battery life and are designed to eliminate wiring installation costs.

New Boundary’s RemoteAware IoT application service provides equipment OEMs, distributors and solution providers with private-label-branded Web dashboards for their customers. RemoteAware can be integrated with Radio Bridge’s cloud and supports the firm’s entire product line. Applications are typically available within a day, without the need for programmers or Web developers.

The partnership is intended to provide IoT solution providers with end-to-end branded solutions immediately. “Our partnership with Radio Bridge solidifies our commitment to work with industry leaders to simplify IoT applications and make the technology more accessible to companies across a variety of industries,” said Kim Pearson, New Boundary Technologies’ CEO, in the prepared statement. “They have an exciting and growing portfolio of sensors based on the latest industry standard wireless technologies. Together we bring turnkey IoT solutions to market quickly.”

“We chose to work with New Boundary Technologies because of their decades of expertise providing reliable, secure and scalable IoT applications,” said Steve Kilts, Radio Bridge’s CEO, in the prepared statement. “This partnership lets our customers deliver total end-to-end solutions quickly. As we continue to expand our sensor catalog, all current and future Radio Bridge products are compatible out of the box with the RemoteAware IoT Application Service.”