Last week we had the opportunity to be back at MIT, where ThingMagic first was started, to display our latest suite of innovations alongside a number of our partners at the 5th annual Auto ID & Sensing Solutions Expo. Given the size of the show, we didn’t expect any groundbreaking announcements that would shake up the auto ID and wireless industry. But it but was a good opportunity to connect with partners and other vendors and OEMs leading the RFID industry. It was also good to see MIT students (and perhaps the next generation of RFID professionals) roaming the expo floor as well. Among the roughly 50 exhibitors at the show, a few ThingMagic partners had interesting deployments to demo for the attendees.
A leader in cloud printing, Zebra had a few printers displayed, including their ZD500R, which takes advantage of a ThingMagic reader module and is versatile in the applications you’ll find it in – from the manufacturing floor to tagging and tracking for retail, healthcare and government.
The Zatar platform was their main attraction, their cloud-based software service that’s meant to help feed Internet of Things solutions more easily into users’ operations. Zatar makes it easier to configure devices together for smoother connectivity and will soon be compatible with ThingMagic devices, though beta customers like American Barcode.
RF Micron is a newer company with beta users developing solutions that involve their sensors which can adjust to environmental conditions and will involve ThingMagic’s M6 and M6e reader modules. Their innovation will prove to be big in industries like oil and gas and other industrial settings where conditions can often affect technology’s functionality. This could range from moisture detection and knowing when water has leaked into places it is not supposed to be, to pressure detection in tire gauges that will allow us to have smarter vehicles.
The newest and probably most interesting thing we saw was the Omni-ID View Tags, that use both active and passive RFID to replace paper labels in supply chain operations with an electronically re-writeable surface that’s added to RF tracking technologies. Picture a nurse wheeling a patient around a hospital, where patient information can be pushed to this device telling where exactly that patient needs to be next. Or an operator on a manufacturing plant floor walking up to a particular asset and having information pushed to this rugged handheld based on his particular role.
All in all, it’s good to see the variety of industries deploying ThingMagic and other RFID technology continue to grow and expand. We had the chance to catch up with one industry analyst at the show for his impression on everything being displayed and his thoughts seemed to mirror what we and other auto ID companies have been seeing and saying more and more – that connectivity across the board, not just RFID, is going to continue becoming cheaper, more fluid and more accessible; all making the Internet of Things more of a reality. And we were glad to be able to have aided in more than a few of such solutions on display at the Auto ID & Sensing Solutions Expo.