Article originally published via Printed Electronics.
The new Battery-Assisted IoT Pixel tag leverages the same ultra-power-efficient cloud and chip technology as its battery-free counterpart.
Wiliot, the Internet of Things pioneer whose IoT platform is enabling trillions of everyday “things” to gain intelligence and harness the power of the cloud, announced a milestone expansion of its product portfolio with the introduction of a Battery-Assisted IoT Pixel, developed in partnership with leading smart tag manufacturer Identiv.
The new Battery-Assisted IoT Pixel joins the company’s flagship Battery-Free IoT Pixel to address specific IoT applications that are best served by battery power. It is a step forward for the company as it scales its vision for a future of the IoT, where all products are connected to the internet and embedded with cloud intelligence.
This introduction marks a rapid innovation cycle for Wiliot, following the company’s March 2022 launch of its Version 2 Battery-Free IoT Pixel – a stamp-sized computer that costs pennies and powers itself by harvesting and recycling energy from radio waves. This solution, recently recognized by the SXSW 2022 Innovation Awards, is currently being adopted by many of the world’s leading retail, food, beverage, and pharmaceutical brands.
The Wiliot Battery-Assisted IoT Pixel uses the same exceptionally-efficient chip as the Battery-Free IoT Pixel, but it augments it with a tiny printed battery. The tags are smaller than a business card and broadcast the same standard Bluetooth beacon as the company’s Battery-Free IoT Pixel.
“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.”
This new battery-assisted tag reduces the cost of bringing Bluetooth standards-based continuous connectivity and intelligence to things by 10X, whereas the battery-free product cuts the cost of Bluetooth standard integration by 100X.
“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,” added Zeiler, “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 battery-free version, 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.
The product promises to bridge between the worlds of battery-free and battery powered tags, allowing solution providers to start using the Wiliot Cloud to deploy solutions more easily to new places that may not have been accessible before.
While Battery-Free IoT Pixels address the tracking of low-priced products – clothing, food, medicine, and more – this launch enables tracking of medium value to higher value assets such as temporary promotional signage, certain returnable transport items, IT assets, and retail assets – which benefit from the boosted connectivity yet can also better absorb the battery-assisted pixel’s higher price-point.
Compared with conventional Bluetooth tags, Wiliot’s Battery-Assisted IoT Pixel is thinner (1.3mm at its thickest), lower cost, and more physically flexible – so they 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 Identiv, which is known for focusing on more sophisticated and specialist tag designs. 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.
The Wiliot Battery-Assisted IoT Pixel tag will be available directly from Identiv 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.