Wiliot boosts its IoT pixel performance

Wiliot boosts its IoT pixel performance

Technology News |
By Nick Flaherty

Israeli IoT tag developer Wiliot has launched its second generation technology, boosting the speed and range of the RF powered devices.

The Version 2 Platform includes the company’s second-generation IoT Pixels and an enhanced Wiliot Cloud.

The second generation Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) IoT Pixels have twice the wireless range and five times the speed of the first-generation devise. This higher speed comes from the enhanced energy harvesting, where the chip harvests RF energy to provide the power to generate a Bluetooth packet at 2.4GHz. The pixels have dual band capability, harvesting energy at 2.4GHz and sub-GHz, powering an asynchronous ARM Cortex M0+ core.

The more energy available, the faster the packets can be broadcast, and Wiliot has developed signal and dual band bridge units. These produce the RF energy for the pixels and capture the Bluetooth packets to relay to wider networks.

The low cost chip and antennas on a sticker can be attached to products during the manufacturing process or “manufactured in” during production. The pixels use the same low cost manufacturing technology as RFID tags and work best on cardboard or paper substrates.

Wiliot is backed by Japanese giant Softbank, and has raised a total of $269m so far from investors including Qualcomm and Merck. It works with retailers to add the pixels to products to provide tracking and runs a cloud platform that gives more visibility of the supply chain in near real time, whether products are in distribution or in a store.

The enhanced Wiliot Cloud includes new features that upgrade the capabilities of tags that are already in the field with better sensing, support for managing assets such as environmentally-friendly Returnable Transport Items, support for larger numbers of bigger venues, as well as the increase in the number of customers.

Wiliot is also releasing the alpha version of its Universal Automation Platform, which automates the analysis of the data from the pixels and triggers critical supply chain processes without manual intervention.

This will allow retailers to automatically send replenishment alerts to store associates when product displays run low, ensuring that shelves always remain stocked; hospitals can auto-alert their pharmacists when vaccine temperatures rise above a certain threshold, and grocers can monitor their cold chain from farm-to-store.

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