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

RFID, AIDC and IoT New Round Up for June 18, 2019


Impinj Sues Rival NXP for Patent Violation; The End of Lost Baggage at Last? IDC Research Finds Global Spending on IoT to Top $1 Trillion 2022


June 18, 2019
SCDigest Editorial Staff

Below are three of the top stories in automated data collection, RFID and the Internet of Things in recent weeks.

Impinj Sues Rival NXP for Patent Violation, Asks Injunction against NXP Shipping Its New Tag

RFID tag and reader company Impinj is suing one of its top competitors, alleging that Dutch semi-conductor giant NXP copied patents and designs for the Seattle company's RFID chips.

Impinj CEO Chris Diorio announced the patent infringement lawsuit recently in a letter to RAIN RFID, an RFID industry alliance co-founded by Impinj in 2014.

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IATA said RFID tracking is more cost-efficient than other approaches to achieve the industry's target of 100% bag tracking.

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As reported by Geekwire, Impinj alleges that NXP is infringing on 26 patents, including a diagnostic system for checking the health of the chips and features that make them more durable and accurate when tracking items.

In addition to the patent infringements, Impinj alleges NXP also infringed on circuit designs that allow the chips to be very small, as tiny as a grain of pepper. Diorio also said that NXP has resisted efforts to work out the dispute without the legal action

"For two years we have tried to resolve this matter out of court. Disappointingly, NXP repeatedly refused to meet with us to address the issue," Diorio wrote in the letter. "Consequently, we were left with no choice but to file this lawsuit."

NXP issued the following statement: "NXP acknowledges that Impinj filed suit against NXP on June 6th in U.S. District Court. NXP disputes the allegations made by Impinj and intends to vigorously defend its products. As a matter of policy, NXP cannot comment further on any specific aspects of the litigation."

Jeff Dossett, Impinj's executive vice president of sales and marketing, said the company is seeking damages on all of NXP's connected chips that violate its patents. Impinj is asking for an injunction to halt sales of one of NXP's newest chips, the UCODE 8 series.

"In addition to wanting NXP to stop copying Impinj's patented inventions, we really do want to affirm the importance of fair and lawful competition, and at the same time we want to set a standard of mutual respect for everybody's patented inventions," Dossett said.

In March, Impinj introduced what the company called it's most exciting new product in a decade, involving smaller, more powerful RFID tags.

NXP, which refers to itself as the "world's #1 Global Identification leader in RFID," is a much larger company than Impinj, reporting $9.4 billion in revenue in 2018, versus $122.6 million for Impinj.

The End of Lost Baggage at Last?

At its 75th annual meeting recently in South Korea, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) passed a resolution in support of using RFID to track the luggage of airline passengers.

IATA is a standards making organization for the airline industry.

While not a mandate, the move likely will hasten adoption of RFID technology for baggage applications.

It turns out airlines have shown much improvement relative to lost bags over the past decade from process improvements. IATA references a study that found the while passenger numbers soared 64% between 2007 and 2017, the rate of bag mishandling per thousand passengers actually fell by 70.5%.

Airlines of course have primarily relied on bar code scanning to track bags. But that can require a manual scan by a human, and even in automated systems many times the bar code cannot be read because it is damaged, in the wrong position, etc.

Delta, however, had adopted an RFID-based system across much of its network, and seen great results from the change, in a technology first launched in 2016.

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Delta "transitioned to RFID hands-free scanning technology at 84 of our largest domestic stations," says Gareth Joyce, Delta's senior VP of airport customer service and cargo president. These locations, he says, account for more than 85% of the bags flying in the Delta system.

IATA said RFID tracking is more cost-efficient than other approaches to achieve the industry's target of 100% bag tracking.

"Passengers want to arrive with their bags. And on the rare occasion when that does not happen, they want to know exactly where their bag is," said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA's director general and CEO. "Deploying RFID and adopting modern baggage messaging standards will help us to cut mishandlings by a quarter and recover bags that are mishandled more quickly."

And there is ROI for the airlines, IATA says. Despite the improvement in lost luggage cited above, IATA estimates industry-wide adoption of RFID bag tracking will see a return on investment of over $3 billion to the industry.

In a statement, IATA said its standard for RFID use, Recommended Practice 1740C, has been updated to reflect the latest developments in the technology and to include a set of tests to ensure a global standard of performance that is sufficient for baggage tracking.

IATA also said it conducted a survey of airports with Airports Council Internationalat at the end of 2018, found70% of the airports surveyed are already considering RFID implementation, and 52% are working on a business case.

IATA is also developing messaging standards to enable cross-carrier tracking.

IDC Research Finds Global Spending on IoT to Top $1 Trillion 2022

Worldwide spending on software and hardware around the Internet of Things (IoT) is projected to grow rapidly, from $726 billion in 2019 to $1.1 trillion in 2023, according to a report from market research firm International Data Corporation (IDC).

The figures, published in IDC's Worldwide Semiannual Internet of Things Spending Guide, projects a 12.6% compound annual growth rate for IoT spending across commercial and consumer segments through the period.

The study identifies discrete manufacturing, process manufacturing, and transportation as the three most active commercial sectors for IoT spending, accounting for nearly a third of global spending around IoT in 2023. Consumer market spending, meanwhile, is expected to grow at a brisk 16.8% CAGR through 2023, vaulting it past discreet manufacturing as the largest source of IoT spending by 2023. Smart homes and connected vehicles currently lead IoT spending in the consumer space.

Meanwhile, a study by network security firm Zscaler found found that over 40% of IoT or connected devices do not encrypt their traffic. This means a large number of such devices are exposed to man-in-the-middle (MitM) attacks where hackers in a position to intercept traffic can steal or manipulate the IoT-based data.

Any reaction to the stories in this week' roundup? Let us know your thoughts at the Feedback section below.


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