Nanotron, headquartered in Berlin, Germany, has established itself over the past two decades as a leading provider of innovative IoT products for real-time location systems (RTLS) and indoor and outdoor positioning.
The company, previously a division of Australian MEMS sensor developer Sensera, uses both industry-standard technologies, such as ultra-wideband (UWB), and patented proprietary wireless communication technologies, such as Chirp Spread Spectrum (CSS). Nanotron was named by MarketsandMarkets as one of the vendors dominating in the global UWB market along with Apple, Samsung, Decawave, NXP and others.
Inpixon believes this acquisition is transformational for the company due to several factors, including, that it will strengthen and expand Inpixon’s product portfolio and capabilities for UWB, RTLS, and 2.4 GHz CSS, increasing precision and decreasing latency to locate assets and people in real-time. The acquisition will also expand Inpixon’s intellectual property portfolio, including patents covering its symmetrical double-sided two-way ranging (SDS-TWR) licensed by Decawave, and expand the user base.
Nanotron says it has more than 500 deployments to date, including several large-scale deployments monitoring tens of thousands of anchors and tags, and Inpixon expects the deal to increase revenues by over $5 million on an annual basis and to be accretive.
On the commercial side the acquisition will deepen Inpixon’s geographic presence in regions outside of North America including Europe, Asia, Africa, South America and the Middle East. It will also expand partner relationships with marquee distribution and technology partners, such as Arrow Electronics, DigiKey and Decawave.
The acquisition will also enhance the ability to design proprietary sensor systems, including chips and multifunctional sensor systems for various industries. Lastly it will broaden industry coverage with construction, manufacturing, mining, autonomous vehicles, and livestock, plus expand use cases including live positioning, asset tracking, collision avoidance, man-down and worker safety.
Nadir Ali, CEO of Inpixon, commented, “Nanotron’s first-in-class products, patents, and other assets significantly enhance our overall Indoor Intelligence platform. Through this acquisition, we are adding one of the foremost engineering teams in the industry — a pioneer in the development of location-based technologies. Through the integration of technologies, we look forward to providing seamless integration across both indoor and outdoor positioning applications.”
Soumya Das, Chief Operating Officer of Inpixon, added, “Nanotron’s Chirp technologies are unique and give Inpixon a formidable offering for tag tracking in the 2.4 GHz ISM band, with accuracy to the one-meter level and up to five hundred meter in range. The 30-centimeter accuracy offered by UWB is essential to helping our large enterprise and government customers address some particularly tough challenges. Additionally, Nanotron’s tag-to-tag communication methodologies can be incorporated into Inpixon’s Workplace Readiness solutions for advanced social distancing and contact tracing capabilities to help businesses reopen safely. We intend to leverage nanotron’s established global customer base, as well as their extensive system integrator and reseller relationships, in order to expand our customer reach, as well as to provide significant cross-selling and up-selling opportunities.”
Nanotron’s IoT sensors, tags, tag modules and software incorporate the following technologies and positioning methodologies:
- Chirp Spread Spectrum: used in radar applications for precise target locating based on time of arrival (ToA) estimation;
- Symmetrical double-sided two-way ranging: a patented messaging platform that allows ranging between simple, low-cost transceiver devices;
- Time of flight (ToF) ranging: physical distancing measurements for accurate zoning, secure access and virtual safety zone applications;
- Time difference of arrival (TDoA) real-time locating systems (RTLS): generating precise locations and providing highly scalable deployment options.
Third-party market research firm MarketsandMarkets projects the location based services (LBS) and real-time location systems (RTLS) market will grow from USD $17.8 billion in 2020 to USD $39.2 billion by 2025, at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 17.1%. Specific to UWB, MarketsandMarkets estimates the global UWB market will grow from USD $1.1 billion in 2020 to USD $2.7 billion by 2025, at a CAGR of 19.6%.
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