Search By Topic The Green Supply Chain Distribution Digest
Supply Chain Digest Logo

Category: RFID, Automated Data Collection, and Internet of Things

RFID, AIDC and IoT News Round Up for May 23, 2018


RFID in a Box Redux; Sprint Opens IoT Store; Digimarc Still Looking for Market Traction

May 23, 2018
SCDigest Editorial Staff

Below are SCDigest's picks for the top stories this week on RFID, automatic data collection and IoT.

RFID in a Box Redux

Some may remember that back in the early halcyon days of the Walmart RFID mandate a few different vendors began hawking "RFID in a Box" offerings, basically inexpensive development kits that included a reader, some RFID tags, a software development kit, and perhaps a few other goodies.

The idea at the time was just to offer those interested in RFID, especially consumer goods companies and retailers, to play around with the technology to get a feel for what it might do for their operations.

Supply Chain Digest Says...

The Sprint digital store has a range of IoT product options for purchase, such as a GPS vehicle tracking and security system for $122 and $10 a month

What do you say?

Click here to send us your comments
Click here to see reader feedback

Well, those RFID kits soon went away with the demise of the Walmart RFID mandate, but lo and behold, a new company called RFRAIN is back with a new RFID in a Box offering, this one a little more serious for companies interested in developing RFID applications.

The company says "The RFRain Inventory Management Solution contains all you need in order to start detecting, monitoring, or discovering your items on your LAN or in the Cloud using RFID."

The box of RFID goodies includes:

• An RFR-855 reader that supports up to two monostatic antennas, which covers a tag read distance of over 30 feet, depending on antenna used. The reader supports the EPCglobal Gen2 RFID protocol

• An RFR-GW gateway that allows users to communicate with up to 20 RFR-855 readers over a LAN, Cloud, or cell connection.

• The RFR-Zone Manager, an advanced web based control center that allows users to configure, monitor, and control a network of RFID readers and gateways in the Cloud or on a LAN. In addition, the RFR-ZM allows real time updates to the Cloud or to the LAN, and allows a user to receive customizable alerts via text messaging and email based on RFID read events.

• Two 9dbi antennas

• An unspecified number of ISO 18000-6C passive RFID tags

• Two power supplies and RF coax cables.

RFID application development using the kit can be done with no programming, RFRAIN says.

The company's web store to order the RFID in a Box isn't quite working quite yet, but the company asks those interested in the product to call for pricing and ordering. Reports are it will set you back $3500 for one box.

Sprint Opens Up Store for Off the Shelf IoT Systems

Meanwhile, in a similar vein, cell phone provider Spring announced this week it has opened what it calls the IoT Factory, which it says provides pre-packaged connected solutions in a digital store format.

As part of the store products and services, Sprint formed strategic partnerships myDevices, a creator of drag and drop IoT development tools,, and The Goldie Group, which provides life cycle services in the electronics and wireless technology industries.

(See More Below)


Learn More about Softeon's Innovative Supply Chain Solutions


"From family-owned restaurants, medical companies to heavy equipment fleet operators and everything in between, the Sprint IoT Factory is giving business owners the power to easily enhance operations – using IoT technology to track assets and connect what's most important to them," said Ivo Rook, senior vice president of IoT at Sprint.

Rook added that "Small and medium sized businesses can now attain the latest in advanced and secure technology at reasonable costs, with the ease of being able to buy a complete solution from the digital store, having it shipped quickly and installing it themselves within a matter of minutes."

The digital store has a range of IoT product options for purchase, such as a GPS vehicle tracking and security system for $122 and $10 a month and a keyless smart home lock system for $402 and $13 a month. The services comprise continual IoT tracking.

How well do these solutions work? We're going to try one out and see.

Digimarc Finding It Tough to Gain Traction in Retail

We've been reporting off and on relative to developments at Digimarc, developer of technology that allows bar codes to be invisibly encoded in images, such as a retail product's packaging or a photo in a magazine.

That allows scanning at retail point of sale to occur much faster than traditional UPC scanning because the checkout person doesn't need to find or orient the bar code. Or, a QR code with a link to more detailed product information can also be embedded in the packaging and read with a smart phone.

More recently, the company released a product for thermal label printing say for manufacturing or distribution applications. In this case, the Digimarc is not quite invisible – seen as a series of barely visible light dots on the label – but would again have the advantage of allows bar code reads by hitting the label anywhere with a laser reader, rather than aiming for the bar code itself. This could be especially beneficial for deployment of robots that need to scan bar code labels.

For all the technology's coolness, hoever, it is not setting the world on fire.

That's in large part because retailers are "suitably cautious" about replacing the traditional barcode that they and other companies have used for so many years, according to Bruce Davis, the company's CEO, in a recent interview.

"It's a lot of work" to implement Digimarc bar code and includes lots of testing at stores including early Digimarc customer Walmart, but that work is "unavoidable," Davis said at the recent Needham & Company Emerging Technology Conference in New York.

The company did recently announce a new 15-year partnership with Microsoft that includes the integration of Digimarc scanning software into Windows, as part of the Windows 10 update.
In a time or turmoil for many if not most retailers, there is a "need for operational efficiency" more than ever before, which Digimarc's technology provides, Davis said.

Publicly traded Digimarc had revenue for the first quarter of 2018 $5.6 million, compared to $6.1 million in the same quarter a year-ago. Operating loss for the first quarter of 2018 totaled $8.4 million compared to an operating loss of $6.4 million in the same quarter a year-ago.

Any Feedback on this week's top stories? Let us know your thoughts at the Feedback section below.


Your Comments/Feedback




Follow Us

Supply Chain Digest news is available via RSS
RSS facebook twitter youtube
bloglines my yahoo
news gator


Subscribe to our insightful weekly newsletter. Get immediate access to premium contents. Its's easy and free
Enter your email below to subscribe:
Join the thousands of supply chain, logistics, technology and marketing professionals who rely on Supply Chain Digest for the best in insight, news, tools, opinion, education and solution.
Home | Subscribe | Advertise | Contact Us | Sitemap | Privacy Policy
© Supply Chain Digest 2006-2013 - All rights reserved