Partnering to create low cost IoT tags

Two leading AIPIA members, EVRYTHNG  and Wiliot, have announced a new partnership to create low cost IoT tags. Wiliot’s battery-free Bluetooth chip harvests ambient energy in place of batteries. The technology recycles the radio waves around us to power sticker-size sensors that allow consumers to interact with products. Together with their partners, Wiliot is using printed electronics techniques to bundle this chip and sensors into secure, intelligent, low-cost tags or inlays.

Because IoT devices and sensor nodes are in reality tiny computers, they need a steady source of power to function and communicate with the Internet. This, unfortunately, means that a lot of use cases are impractical in the real world, explains, Dominique Guinard, co-founder of EVRYTHNG.

As Wiliot’s tags recycle the radio waves around us (specifically bands that WiFi and mobile phones use), this energy is enough to not only power the chip and sensors but also to communicate with any piece of infrastructure that supports Bluetooth, allowing consumers to interact with products.

Energy harvesting is not totally new to the IoT. But Wiliot’s low cost to entry and small form factor, making it closer to a tag than to a full-on IoT device. While UHF RFID tags (such as RAIN RFID) are also low cost and have a small form factor, there is one key difference, they claim. UHF RFID requires significant investment in dedicated readers wherever coverage is needed. But Wiliot tags leverage the existing infrastructure to harvest power and communicate and share data back to the cloud.

The EVRYTHNG Product Cloud allows consumer product brands to digitize products at a global scale and apply data intelligence throughout the end-to-end product lifecycle, so enabling Wiliot to scale the IoT. It is truly a powerful combination, says the companies.

EVRYTHNG helps Wiliot turn its tags into standard GS1 Digital Link identities allowing them to become standard Web identities that mobile phones and other devices (e.g., POS) can directly understand. This makes product digitization accessible to brands across industries and around the globe. Brands can relay rich sensing and location data collected by the Wiliot tags to the EVRYTHNG Product Cloud. So brands receive powerful dashboards and analytics.

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