RFID News Roundup

By Rich Handley

Vizinex RFID adds tags for tracking containers, pallets; Semtech deploys LoRa IoT network for South Korean expressways; Swittons intros smart IoT devices for pharma lab digital transformation; Estone Technology offers waterproof tablet with RFID reader, barcode scanner; RestorePoint platform enables visibility, control for IoT data.

Presented here are recent news announcements regarding the following organizations: Vizinex RFID, Semtech, Korea Expressway Corp., Woojoo Telecom, SK Telesys, Estone Technology, and RestorePoint.

Vizinex RFID Adds Tags for Tracking Containers, Pallets

Vizinex RFID, a provider of RFID tags customized for specific applications, has introduced to its product line a pair of tags designed for non-metal containers. The 10325 Indoor Pallet and 10326 Outdoor Pallet are intended for tracking reusable wood and plastic containers and custom transport packaging, the company reports. The tags can help businesses manage containers and the material they contain, and are built for tracking assets in warehouses, yards and factories.

The 10325 Indoor Pallet tag has a read range of up to 18 feet and can be mounted via adhesive or screws. This durable tag is suitable for tracking materials in containers or on pallets in warehouses, stock rooms and other indoor environments. The 10326 Outdoor Pallet tag is waterproof and has a read range of up to 19.7 feet for non-metal containers exposed to indoor and outdoor conditions. This tag has a durable shell and a low profile, according to Vizinex, and can be mounted via adhesive or screws as well.

Both tags can be labeled with a barcode or human-readable information so assets can be identified if an RFID reader is not available. "Vizinex now offers a full line of products for tagging reusable containers and returnable transports items," said Ken Horton, the company's cofounder and CEO, in a prepared statement. "The Midrange II is for metal containers, the 10325 Indoor Pallet and 10326 Outdoor Pallet are for plastic and wood containers, and the XLR works on and off metal when exceptional read range is needed."

Semtech Deploys LoRa IoT Network for South Korean Expressways

Semtech, a supplier of analog and mixed-signal semiconductors and algorithms, has announced that Korea Expressway Corp. (KEC), a government-affiliated company that builds and manages expressways in South Korea, has built a network based on Semtech's LoRa devices and the LoRaWAN protocol. This constitutes the first stage in the country's four-year Internet of Things (IoT) deployment plan.

Last year, KEC began deploying 78 LoRa-based gateways across a span of 306 kilometers (190 miles) of expressway. Systems integrator Woojoo Telecom and SK Telesys, a LoRa-based gateway manufacturer and network server provider, were selected as operators for the project, then conducted communication tests on roads and in tunnels to establish the IoT network. The network enables such functions as monitoring parking spaces and trash bins at rest areas, as well as real-time condition tracking for shock-absorbing barriers and guardrails.

"Semtech's LoRa devices and LoRaWAN networks represent the ideal infrastructure on which to build Korea's next-generation IoT solutions," said Hyo-Hoon Kim, a manager at SK Telesys, in a prepared statement. "We want to continue to uphold Korea's leading technology culture and provide citizens the basic right to enjoy Internet infrastructure freely. One of our main goals is providing citizens and local businesses with the opportunity to innovate and create their own IoT applications. With LoRa, developers can quickly and effectively create solutions to enable a smarter, more efficient home for us all."

In the coming years, KEC plans to expand the LoRa network's applications to include landslip detectors, road-freezing sensors, electronic displays, tunnel fire extinguishers and expressway lights. By migrating applications from legacy 3G and LTE connectivity to LoRaWAN, the organization expects to reduce operating cost by up to $2 million annually.

"LoRa devices and LoRaWAN networks cover hundreds of uses cases essential to citywide and often countrywide infrastructure," added Marc Pegulu, the VP of IoT for Semtech's Wireless and Sensing Products Group, in the prepared statement. "The increasing implementation of large scale, flexible applications reflects the rising demand for massive IoT worldwide. These deployments increase efficiency and cost savings for those government entities providing public infrastructure such as nationwide expressways, and LoRa devices represent an ideal technology and connectivity backbone."

 Swittons Intros Smart IoT Devices for Pharma Lab Digital Transformation

Swittons has announced a line of Internet of Things (IoT)-enabled smart devices built specifically for pharmaceutical labs. The customizable devices align with Swittons' Lab of the Future (LoTF) initiatives and are intended to automate laboratory workflows between individuals and pharmaceutical digital lab equipment, systems and solutions.

"There are profound changes taking place in the area of life science research and development," said Anupam Nandwana, Swittons' CEO and founder, in a prepared statement. "Driven by technological advances and the development of precision medicines, these modernization initiatives are designed to propel laboratory efficiencies into the future, allowing scientists to spend more time on science. This has changed the very concept of what the lab is, and Swittons a key part of that evolution."

Swittons' software platform is designed to provide life sciences companies with a flexible user interface that can be integrated with various systems and IoT devices. This, the company explains, allows labs to create their own LoTF, configured to meet their specific use cases. The devices can be programmed so that end users are not forced into workflows that do not fit their job functions. The units are compatible with existing IT systems and can be integrated with lab-support platforms and services, such as LIMS, eDOC and ticketing.

Swittons offers a back-end portal and reporting system so administrators can view user clicks. The devices can trigger smartphone and video calls via a built-in integration with Microsoft Teams. Each device can be custom-branded and programmed for a range of laboratory scenarios. Functions can be automated for pharmaceutical use, such as triggering equipment maintenance, opening equipment service tickets, indicating equipment availability, notifying workers of temperature control deviations, indicating when spills or cleaning are needed, or monitoring equipment occupancy.

The system can also indicate open tickets in service software, such as ServiceNow, Saleforce Service Cloud or Microsoft Dynamics; reorder reagents; restock disposable supplies; report OOS or aberrant results; summon a lab runner; open SOP software; or issue alerts during emergencies. The units are built on Microsoft Azure, and each automatically connects via a Wi-Fi or GSM cellular connection.

Estone Technology Offers Waterproof Tablet with RFID Reader, Barcode Scanner

Estone Technology has announced its UA-80 waterproof Android-based tablet. The rugged 8-inch device comes with integrated HF and UHF RFID readers for data capture, as well as a barcode scanner, and is built for OEM or ODM design and manufacturing. According to the company, the tablet enables field workers to carry out tasks in the healthcare, construction, oil and gas, and logistics sectors, among others.

The UA-80 is powered via a Qualcomm Octa-core MSM8953 processor featuring 4 gigabytes of system memory (RAM) for demanding tasks, as well as fast processing speeds and the capability of running multiple programs simultaneously. IP65-rated, the unit has 4-foot drop and shock protection and is MIL-STD-810G-compliant. The device is built to withstand harsh environments, the company reports, and is resistant to drops, dust, water, falls and vibration.

The tablet comes with a sunlight-readable LCD with high resolution and brightness, as well as daylight screens with anti-reflection and an anti-glare coating. It can be read in different types of weather and sunlight, the company reports, and can be viewed in any kind of light from a range of angles. The device allows workers to read RFID tags and scan barcodes in the field for the purpose of accurate and efficient asset and inventory identification.

With wireless connectivity, including Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and 4G LTE, field workers can access or exchange data in real time, and GPS is built in for location-tracking purposes. Available accessory options include docking stations, a desktop cradle, a hand strip, a charging dock and a vehicle dock. The UA-80 is designed for retailers, field service providers, healthcare, transportation and logistics companies.

RestorePoint Platform Enables Visibility, Control for IoT Data

RestorePoint, a provider of data-management, integrated security and business-analytics solutions, has announced that it has launched its IoT Studio platform for Internet of Things (IoT) applications. The system is designed to enable businesses to combine data in a cloud-native data warehouse for visibility and control over IoT-generated events.

McKinsey reports that that IoT will have an $11.1 trillion global economic impact by 2025. Businesses can leverage RestorePoint's pre-built APIs with IoT Studio to correlate cellular device event logs and IoT business data. With an integrated ThoughtSpot platform, the company explains, IoT Studio's search engine interface, drill-down functionality and AI-driven analytics provides business users with instant insights, enabling them to improve their decision-making capabilities.

"There is a tremendous opportunity for businesses to analyze IoT data at cloud scale to make data-driven decisions," said Scott Danner, RestorePoint's chief customer officer, in a prepared statement. "RestorePoint's IoT Studio provides actionable insights improving time-to-value for enterprises looking to monetize new revenue streams and improve operations."

"As businesses grapple with the explosion of data from connected devices and the Internet of Things, it's critical organizations can tap into the value these new data sources present," added Toni Adams, ThoughtSpot's senior VP of global partners and alliances, in the prepared statement. "The launch of IoT Studio and the integration of ThoughtSpot's search and AI-driven analytics platforms means businesses can turn this data deluge into insights, unlocking new opportunities from IoT more easily than ever before."