RTLS Providers InnerWireless, PanGo Networks Merge

By Admin

Motivated by a shared vision of providing complete asset tracking solutions that can support a variety of RFID, RTLS, and other wireless technologies, InnerWireless and PanGo Networks merged in a deal that was announced this week.

This article was originally published by RFID Update.

March 23, 2007—Collaborating on a system designed to help a customer see where its assets were going helped InnerWireless and PanGo Networks see where the RFID asset tracking market is going. The result was a merger the two companies announced this week.

"We were collaborating on an asset tracking project for a large hospital system in the Kansas City area. The hospital chose InnerWireless' Spot tags, and wanted to use our middleware and interfaces to its medical enterprise software," PanGo co-founder Michael Campbell told RFID Update. Campbell is now a senior vice president at the merged company. "We initially had discussions about carrying each other's products on an OEM basis, but we realized that to truly serve our customers' problems, we needed to put our products together into a complete, integrated system."

The merged company will operate under the InnerWireless name, but the PanGo brand will probably continue to be used for some products, according to Campbell. He said the companies are highly complementary and that no additional product development work needs to be done before the companies can offer completely integrated solutions, since development work had begun prior to merger discussions.

InnerWireless has developed a wireless infrastructure system and real-time location system (RTLS) tags for tracking assets within a facility. PanGo also offers RTLS tags, as well as a software platform to manage data from a variety of tag types. The integrated systems of the combined company can support multiple frequencies of passive RFID, active WiFi tags, plus IEEE 802.15.4, ultra wideband (UWB), infrared, and other technologies, which can be used in combination at a single installation.

"In many cases our customers are asking us to be a one-stop shop. They want a single-point solution, rather than having to deal with different vendors for each part of their system," said Campbell. "We've come together so we can provide customers a complete solution, whether they need to track things to sub-meter locations, or to within wide zones covered by WiFi."

Each company markets extensively to hospitals. The merged company will continue to target healthcare, plus industrial and other markets. Existing partnerships and distribution agreements are not affected by the merger, according to Campbell.

This deal is another example of the ongoing collaboration and consolidation in the RTLS industry. Earlier this year, RTLS provider AeroScout announced it was partnering with Cisco Systems to pursue opportunities in the healthcare, automotive, mining, and semiconductor industries (see Cisco, AeroScout Team to Market WiFi RFID), and Zebra paid $126 million in cash to acquire WhereNet (see Zebra Acquires Active RFID Provider WhereNet). Last year, WhereNet's rival Savi Technology was purchased by Lockheed Martin for a reported $400 million (see Lockheed Martin to Buy Active RFID Leader Savi).