Flexible printed battery drives $2 Bluetooth IoT tag

Flexible printed battery drives $2 Bluetooth IoT tag

Technology News |
By Nick Flaherty

Israeli IoT startup Wiliot has launched a low cost Bluetooth wireless tag for the Internet of Things powered by a printed battery.

The 1.3mm thick Battery-Assisted IoT Pixel tag was developed with smart tag manufacturer Identiv with a price under $2 (€2)

The tag uses the same low energy ARM Cortex M0+ microcontroller as the Battery-Free IoT Pixel, but clocking at 1MHz and adds a thin printed battery with a lifetime of 4 years. The tags are smaller than a business card and broadcast the same standard Bluetooth beacon signal but without the need for a bridge to provide the RF power. The 

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This allows developers to start using the Wiliot Cloud to deploy solutions more easily to new places that may not have been accessible before for tracking of medium value to higher value assets such as temporary promotional signage, certain returnable transport items, IT assets, and retail assets.

The flexible tags can be can easily attach to products on a production line at speed and in volume using a label applicator. The first Battery-Assisted IoT Pixel will be mass-produced by leading smart tag manufacturer Identiv, which is known for focusing on more sophisticated and specialist tag designs.

“Wiliot was founded on the mission to transform industries by embedding everything with cloud intelligence using our IoT pixel tagging technology,” said Roee Zeiler, Wiliot’s CFO. “We began by tackling this challenge with battery-free technology, which significantly reduced barriers to IoT adoption and will scale the IoT from billions to trillions.”

“We’ve always understood that certain applications are best addressed with battery-assisted technology – which is why this launch is a milestone for Wiliot, Identiv, and the industry. Now, with a portfolio that includes battery-free and battery-assisted pixels, we’re one step closer to achieving our goal of creating an Internet of Trillions of Things (IoT2).”

Unlike the energy harvesting version which will be made by Avery Dennison,, the Battery-Assisted IoT Pixel doesn’t require bridges or any other source of radio waves to harvest energy from. All they require is a device with a Bluetooth radio to read their transmission – any phone, Bluetooth gateway, or Wi-Fi access point. As such, since any BLE reader can be configured to read a Battery-Assisted IoT Pixel, and no additional infrastructure is required.

Limited availability of the Battery-Assisted IoT Pixels will begin next month, while larger quantities will be ready for roll-out by the end of year.

“Identiv always strives to innovate, and our contribution to this new era of Bluetooth-based IoT is an outcome of the scalable manufacturing standards, unique processes, and expertise we have mastered in the NFC and RFID ecosystem. Bluetooth is pervasive, and this new product offers the advantages of providing infrastructure-free temperature sensing, tracking, and traceability. We are proud to collaborate with Wiliot and scale solutions into many Internet of Things deployments,” said Amir Khoshniyati, VP and GM Transponders, Identiv.

“Teaming up with Wiliot allows us to provide a first-of-its-kind BAP product with less dependency on infrastructure. This dramatically reduces the complexity of tagging items. Due to recent investments in our operational capabilities, Identiv can offer a highly appealing price point between $1 to 2 dollars,” he said.

The Wiliot Battery-Assisted IoT Pixel tag will be available directly from Identiv to qualified customers  and will use the same Wiliot cloud services to manage scale, privacy and sensing, that brings intelligence to products and packaging that were previously offline.;

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