RFID News Roundup, Part 1

By Rich Handley

Triax Technologies intros social-distancing and contact-tracing IoT solution; POSDATA Group, Sensormatic Solutions expand partnership for retail inventory; DEPS to supply Kerlink IoT LoRaWAN solutions in Ukraine; enVista offers complimentary consulting during COVID-19 pandemic; Arm offers IoT platform for smart metering and utilities, partners with Hexing.

Presented here are news announcements made during the past week by the following organizations: Triax Technologies, POSDATA Group, Sensormatic Solutions, DEPS, Kerlink, enVista, Arm and Hexing.

Triax Technologies Intros Social-Distancing and Contact-Tracing IoT Solution

In response to the need for greater worker protection during the COVID-19 pandemic, Triax Technologies, a provider of Internet of Things (IoT) worksite technologies, has announced a new IoT system known as Proximity Trace. The solution provides proximity-distancing alerts and contact-tracing via a wearable device for workers across multiple industries, including construction, heavy industrial, energy and manufacturing. According to the company, the solution offers protection for essential workers during the COVID-19 pandemic, helps businesses get workers back to work safely and fosters recommended social-distancing practices.

"In talking with our customers, we recognized a critical industry need to keep workers safe from COVID-19 exposure on the worksite, so we quickly got to work developing a solution," said Robert Costantini, Triax Technologies CEO, in a prepared statement. "We leveraged our experience in IoT technology and workforce safety monitoring to address companies' urgent needs for workers to maintain appropriate distances, to perform historical contact tracing for any employee testing positive for the virus, and to assist companies in getting their workforce back on the job as they implement new safety protocols. Our solution is designed to ease the burden on workers to maintain appropriate distances as part of new safety practices that very well could become the next normal."

The Proximity Trace devices, which can be affixed to a hard hat or worn on a person's body with a lanyard, emit a progressively louder alarm, thereby alerting workers if they are too close to each other. This enables them to focus on their work, the company explains, rather than having to worry about their proximity to other workers or potential exposure to the virus. The alarm can serve to change behaviors by reminding personnel to practice safe social distancing. In the event of a confirmed case of COVID-19, an employer can conduct contact-tracing using historical data captured passively by each worker's device, in order to identify who may have been exposed to the disease.

Traditional methods of contact-tracing rely on workers' memories and on whether they can identify by name any coworkers with whom they were in contact during a given span of time. With more reliable information, companies can decide who needs to be in mandatory or precautionary quarantine, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)'s guidelines, as well as whether the site can continue to operate safely without the need to shut down operations.

"Worker safety is our top priority, so we were thrilled to hear that our technology partner Triax developed a solution to address the social-distancing and contact-tracing problems the industry is facing during COVID-19," said Jason Pelkey, Gilbane Building Co.'s senior VP and chief information officer, in the prepared statement. "We're rolling this out at our active sites and we're excited about the role it could play in keeping workers safer at those sites as well as non-essential sites as we begin returning those to full operational status in the months to come."

Proximity Trace was designed to support social-distancing guidelines as outlined by government agencies. It can be used alongside an organization's internal policies on social distancing and other safety guidelines. Proximity Trace does not use Triax's proprietary mesh network, but rather communicates separately to a cloud dashboard specifically designed for contact-tracing. The product is currently undergoing field testing, and key feedback from early customers will be incorporated into production for commercial availability.

POSDATA Group, Sensormatic Solutions Expand Partnership for Retail Inventory

POSDATA Group, a North American value-added reseller and integrator of automatic-identification systems, has expanded its strategic partnership agreement with Johnson Controls' Sensormatic Solutions. This includes the company's TrueVUE Cloud Inventory Intelligence solutions, which provide insights to help companies improve retail inventory accuracy and visibility. POSDATA will utilize its sales and customer-support capabilities to market TrueVUE Inventory Intelligence throughout the United States.

"We are impressed with TrueVUE's mobile RFID application for inventory counting and re-stocking," said Jeffrey Creighton, POSDATA Group's CEO, in a prepared statement. "Along with intuitive dashboards and reports, TrueVUE's Inventory Intelligence provides valuable analytics to maximize on-floor product availability like never before."

TrueVUE Cloud provides a secure global infrastructure capable of supporting massive scale, the company reports. It is designed to increase customer engagement by capturing real-time inventory information across all touchpoints and events along the customer purchase journey.

"The partnership with POSDATA will accelerate the expansion of TrueVUE Inventory Intelligence in the North American market," said David I. Green, Sensormatic Solutions' global channels and unified commerce leader, in the prepared statement. "With the technical expertise and customer service excellence of POSDATA, we are confident that they are well-positioned to deploy and support our solutions in the reseller channel."

DEPS to Supply Kerlink IoT LoRaWAN Solutions in Ukraine

Kerlink, a provider of solutions dedicated to the Internet of Things (IoT), and DEPS, one of Ukraine's largest integrators and distributors of telecommunication equipment, have announced that DEPS will supply Kerlink's IoT equipment and software to local Ukrainian IoT providers, as well as major verticals such as smart cities, smart buildings, smart agriculture, logistics, asset tracking and the Industrial Internet of Things.

"This distribution agreement with DEPS, a major system integrator and distributor in Ukraine, gives Kerlink access to a large client portfolio, opens new distribution channels and expands our presence in the Eastern European market," said Vincent Blanchard, Kerlink's key account manager, in a prepared statement. "DEPS is well positioned to promote, deliver and service LoRaWAN networks for our joint partners."

Kerlink supplies solutions for designing, launching and operating public and private LoRaWAN IoT networks. It offers a portfolio of industrial-grade network equipment, as well as network-core, operations and management software. To date, the company has carried out more than 120,000 installations throughout 69 countries.

DEPS, established in 1991, designs, implements and maintains integrated communication solutions for companies across multiple industries. The firm represents global manufacturers of telecommunication equipment throughout Ukraine.

enVista Offers Complimentary Consulting During COVID-19 Pandemic

enVista has announced that it is offering a complimentary listening and consulting session to help retail, distribution, manufacturing and non-profit organizations respond to the current rapidly changing environment. enVista's consulting expertise includes supply chain, transportation, omnichannel retail, IT and Microsoft business applications.

"We are keenly aware that our clients run the supply chain, commerce and healthcare operations critical to the health and well-being of our global population and economy," said Jim Barnes, enVista's CEO, in a prepared statement. "During this time of crisis, we are helping organizations overcome new and escalated challenges brought about by COVID-19."

Barnes continued: "Our consultants are passionate about helping business leaders and extending our expertise during this time of turbulence. We are offering a complimentary consulting session to help leaders quickly respond to complex business challenges in the midst of COVID-19. Many companies are leveraging our expertise and guidance to identify ways to immediately preserve cash, build resilience, foster agility, mitigate risk, optimize operations and rapidly respond and deliver against evolving omni-channel demand. This pro bono consulting session comes with no cost or strings attached. We are all in this together and we know we can make a real difference for leaders trying to do more with less right now."

enVista has nearly 20 years of experience developing strategies, process improvements and technologies to address unique business requirements. To schedule a complimentary consulting session, email info@envistacorp.com or visit the company's website.

Arm Offers IoT Platform for Smart Metering and Utilities, Partners With Hexing

According to the 2020 Economist IoT Business Index study, nearly one-third of external Internet of Things (IoT) projects remain at the early implementation stage. To address this, Arm has announced that it is focusing its efforts on providing underlying IoT connectivity and management technologies to enable its partners to make the leap from proof-of-concepts to global-scale deployments. The firm has unveiled a strategic partnership with Hexing involving Arm's Pelion IoT platform, which is designed to help companies create full-stack IoT solutions for customers and expand into new markets.

The Pelion IoT platform is intended to enable smart-metering vendors and utilities to deploy, connect, secure and manage advanced metering infrastructure (AMI). Hexing is leveraging the Pelion Device Management system and standard-based Wi-SUN-compliant connectivity. According to Arm, this will enable Hexing to reach new and emerging markets, such as in South East Asia, India, South America and Europe, with its smart meters and AMI solutions.

Wi-SUN allows for lower operating costs for large-scale device deployments critical for these markets, Arm explains, by offering a mesh-network architecture that minimizes direct cellular connections for devices without compromising on bandwidth, throughput or security. Pelion Device Management allows smart meters to be maintained and updated over-the-air throughout their multi-year lifecycles.

"Single-network, multi-application deployments adhering to Wi-SUN standards ensure utilities can be confident that their technology is on the most reliable, economical, and extensible secure network available today," said Liangzhang Zhou, Hexing's chairman, in a prepared statement. "Integrating Arm's market-leading Pelion IoT platform into Hexing's smart metering products and Orca application offerings delivers proven device management and meter control to operate and maintain the in-life assets, as well as the cost-effective solution for utilities."