RFID News Roundup

By Rich Handley

iDTRONIC intros tablet with optional RFID and bar-code reader ••• Afero offers IoT platform Web service for device management ••• Telensa, FarSite partner on wireless bin sensing for smart cities ••• Entrust Datacard, ADLINK team up to improve IIoT security ••• Bosch Sensortec unveils low-power accelerometer for IoT, wearables ••• Itron supports Wi-SUN Alliance FAN Certification Program for outdoor IIoT networks.

image_pdfimage_print

Presented here are news announcements made during the past week by the following organizations:
iDTRONIC;
Afero;
Telensa, FarSite;
Entrust Datacard, ADLINK;
Bosch Sensortec;
Itron, and the Wi-SUN Alliance.

iDTRONIC Intros Tablet With Optional RFID and Bar-Code Reader

iDTRONIC has announced its C4 Tablet L, the successor to its C4 Tablet model. The new unit is a mobile data-collection device for applications involving building site management and aviation management. The C4 Tablet L is suitable for Android 7.0, the company reports, and has an 8-inch touch screen. It works with the latest mobile standard for 4G LTE and Wi-Fi networking, according to iDTRONIC, and weighs 600 grams (21 ounces).

The anthracite housing of the C4 Tablet L consists of rubberized TPU/CP plastics. It is IP67-rated and provides protection against contact with dust and humidity. The device has an ergonomic housing that is slip-resistant and has reinforced edges. The display consists of Gorilla Glass and is suitable for harsh environments, the company indicates. The tablet can be upgraded with a 1D (bar code) or 2D (QR code) reader. This enables efficient and fast control of mobile data collection within operational applications, iDTRONIC explains.

The C4 Tablet L operates at various RFID frequencies: UHF (865 to 868 MHz or 920 to 925 MHz), HF/NFC (13.56 kHz) and LF (125 kHz or 134.2 kHz). The LF version supports transponders and tags compliant with the ISO 11784 and 11785 standards, while the HF/NFC version complies with ISO 14443A and 15693, and the UHF version complies with EPC C1 GEN2 und ISO 18000-6C.

The tablet runs with the Android 7.0 “Nougat” OS and is equipped with an A53 1.5 GHz Octa-Core processor. Its rechargeable battery operates at 8,000 mAh and can withstand an entire working day, the company reports. Due to its 3.8-volt power supply, the tablet is equipped with a quick-charge function. The internal memory can be provided with 2 GB of RAM and 16 GB of ROM or 3 GB of RAM and 32 GB of ROM. As such, the Micro SD is expandable up to a maximum of 128 GB.

A 13-megapixel camera comes with auto-focus and LED Flash, enabling it to function under a variety of lighting conditions. Documentation of work processes can be reproduced sharply with this high-resolution camera.

Afero Offers IoT Platform Web Service for Device Management

Afero, an Internet of Things (IoT) platform company, has announced the general availability of its Afero Console, a Web service that provides a dashboard allowing companies to monitor, visualize and obtain reports on all of their connected devices, in one place and in real time. Other features include device onboarding, over-the-air updating and data-flow APIs designed to simplify integration with artificial intelligence (AI) apps, such as voice-activated digital assistants.

“The Afero IoT Platform already provides the industry’s best solution for secure software-defined connectivity, reliable multi-cloud service, and amazingly simple onboarding,” said Joe Britt, Afero’s co-founder and CEO, in a prepared statement. “Today, we are upping the ante with the Afero Console, an enhanced device management capability that lets Afero customers manage their fleets with powerful visualization in real-time.”

The Afero Console provides users with live visibility for all connected devices in the field. This includes the ability to drill down into individual devices, enabling real-time insights on operation, location and service status. It is available now for customer and developer use.

Telensa, FarSite Partner on Wireless Bin Sensing for Smart Cities

Telensa, a provider of smart street lighting and smart-city applications, has announced that it is working with FarSite Communications to integrate its wireless bin monitoring into Telensa’s smart-city dashboard. By deploying FarSite wireless netBin sensors, local authorities and their contractor partners can obtain a snapshot of the performance of their waste operations, in order to improve efficiency and quality of service. Telensa is deploying netBin sensors as part of a trial of smart-city technologies in Essex and Hertfordshire, England, that also includes traffic, gully and environmental monitoring.

FarSite’s netBin is a wireless monitoring system for commercial and public bins. It consists of wireless monitors hidden inside each bin to measure fill level, tilt and temperature, connected to a central management system that issues alerts, creates a predictive fill model and optimizes collection routing.

Telensa PLANet is a wireless central management system (CMS) that enables centralized remote control of outdoor lighting. It consists of wireless nodes connecting individual lights, a wireless Internet of Things (IoT) network, and a central management application. Data collected from light pole and street-level sensors can be consolidated in the Telensa data hub, visualized by the dashboard and made available to other city apps by the the company’s API set. Telensa’s technology already controls 1.5 million streetlights worldwide, including one in ten of the United Kingdom’s lights.

“We are delighted to be working in partnership with FarSite for optimised waste collection, as we build out our smart-city solution ecosystem,” said Will Gibson, Telensa’s chief commercial officer and founder, in a prepared statement. “Expert mass-scale applications that encapsulate deep domain expertise are the foundation for true data-driven smart cities.”

“We are thrilled to be working in partnership with Telensa to bring another key component of an overarching smart-city solution,” said Steve Scott, FarSite’s sales and marketing director, in the prepared statement. “Telensa’s large international customer base can now benefit from optimized waste collection within a data-centric smart city.”

Entrust Datacard, ADLINK Team Up to Improve IIoT Security

Entrust Datacard, a provider of trusted-identity and secure-transaction solutions, and ADLINK Technology, a provider of edge-computing systems, have announced a partnership intended to address one of the largest barriers to the adoption of the Internet of Things (IoT): security. This collaboration, the companies report, will create an Industrial IoT (IIoT) security model, enabling secure communication for data streams throughout the entire IoT value chain—from manufacturing and applications to endpoints and edge devices.

The partnership will integrate Entrust Datacard’s ioTrust security system into ADLINK’s Vortex Edge offering. The joint solution can operationalize systems and items securely for every endpoint, application, container and data stream, according to the companies. The integration is intended to provide customers with established and secure trusted identities across their IoT ecosystems, from discovery to full rollout of their IoT deployments.

The joint solution will be included as part of ADLINK’s Digital Experiments as-a-Service (DXS), which has been designed to test and assess the effectiveness of an IoT solution’s design, strategy, organizational compatibility and financial return. Organizations looking to develop secure edge IoT projects can try a number of scenarios without large upfront costs, as DXS is typically offered as a three-month engagement, including access to a suite of Vortex Edge microservices, supported by an ecosystem of partners. This, according to the companies, eliminates the need for building bespoke complex systems.

“The IIOT is advancing rapidly, and customers are looking for effective ways to quickly move from testing to production. However, in survey after survey, security and complexity of integration remain the two primary deployment bottlenecks,” said Josh Jabs, Entrust Datacard’s general manager of IoT solutions, in a prepared statement. “By integrating ioTrust into the ADLINK solutions and aligning deployment options with the customer test and build processes, we’ve removed these barriers, thus enabling customers to securely bring turnkey data analytics and automation to the edge.”

“Our Digital Experiment as-a-Service offering is helping organizations test and assess one or multiple business hypotheses based on the impact of an IoT solution,” said Lawrence Ross, ADLINK’s general manager of software and solutions, in the prepared statement. “The integration of ioTrust’s unique security capabilities and technology-agnostic design with DXS means we’re able to provide our customers with an even more secure solution for their IoT-based endeavors, whilst also creating a process for turnkey data analytics at the edge. The integrated solution allows customers to complete use-case validation and quickly transition to a secure production environment.”

Bosch Sensortec Unveils Low-Power Accelerometer for IoT, Wearables

Bosch Sensortec has announced that its BMA400 ultra-low-power MEMS acceleration sensor, designed for the Internet of Things (IoT) and wearable applications, is now available worldwide through distributors.

With low current consumption, embedded plug-and-play step counting and activity-recognition features, the BMA400 is built to extend the battery lifetime of wearables such as smart watches and fitness trackers, according to the company. It can wake up automatically when it detects motion, then return to sleep mode once the movement has ended, thereby avoiding the need to awaken the main application processor. This feature reduces battery consumption to extend charging intervals.

For IoT applications like indoor climate systems and security systems in smart homes, the BMA400 offers continuous measurement capabilities and always-defined bandwidth. It can avoid false alarms by distinguishing between genuine alarms like broken glass and false signals coming from random vibrations. Its low power consumption means fewer battery replacements.

The BMA400 contains a built-in voltage regulator and can provide stable performance across a wide voltage range. It offers flexible device tuning for power consumption, noise and output data rate (ODR) parameters. The unit has a current consumption of 14 μA and a noise density of 180 μg/√Hz. This drops to 1 μA and below in the device’s ultra-low-power self-wake-up mode. Its small size (2 millimeters by 2 millimeters by 0.95 millimeter) and integrated plug-and-play step counter make the BMA400 suitable for designing into new types of wearables, such as watches and jewelry.

Itron Supports Wi-SUN Alliance FAN Certification Program for Outdoor IIoT Networks

Itron, a member of the Wi-SUN Alliance, has announced its support for the Wi-SUN Field Area Network (FAN) Certification Program launched today. The company helps utilities and cities manage their energy and water usage.

Wi-SUN (Wireless Smart Ubiquitous Networks) Alliance is a global ecosystem of member companies seeking to accelerate the implementation of an open standards-based FAN (a communications infrastructure for very-large scale networks) and the Internet of Things (IoT). In the same way the Internet is accessible to many different makes and models of smartphones and computers, the Wi-SUN FAN standard enables different industrial devices to interconnect onto common, secure, industrial-grade networks.

Through the FAN Certification Program, the Wi-SUN Alliance certifies products based on their compliance to a communications profile derived from applicable open standards and their ability to interoperate with other Wi-SUN certified products. Itron will use the Wi-SUN FAN standard as a foundation for its network platforms.

“As a Promoter Member of the Wi-SUN Alliance and a major contributor to the FAN certification program, Itron is pleased to be among the first to submit our product through the certification process,” said Sharelynn Moore, Itron’s senior VP of networked solutions, in a prepared statement. “Itron’s long-standing commitment to the development and evolution of this standard technology addresses our customers’ demands for an interoperable network ecosystem. With Wi-SUN FAN standard as the base of our network, Itron will continue to deliver one of the highest performing, most secure and resilient networks in the industry.”

“Certification ensures interoperability, which is key to the growth of IoT innovation,” said Phil Beecher, the Wi-SUN Alliance’s president and CEO, in the prepared statement. “We are pleased to officially launch the FAN Certification Program and are excited for the first wave of FAN certified products to be deployed into the market starting Q1 2019.”