RFID Journal Live 2016

reelyActive at RFID Journal Live 2016

Our team have just returned from RFID Journal Live, the largest RFID conference in the world. We had previously attended in 2013, an experience we discussed in this blog post where we concluded that:

we continue to pursue our vision of simple, accessible active RFID, and we strongly encourage other vendors to follow suit in the spirit of collaboration.

The spirit of collaboration

We were pleasantly surprised to discover the extent to which many vendors are embracing collaboration with their current products and business models. For instance, Ubisense unveiled their AngleID sensor which precisely locates their ultra-wideband (UWB) tags, and can be purchased outright without licensing fees and integrated with another vendor’s application software. Similarly, Quuppa presented us their sensor which, like ours, is compatible with Bluetooth Low Energy devices and provides an API for integration with third-party application software. ELA has a similar model for 433MHz Active RFID. Why does this matter? Imagine one of our prospective clients has a need for our technology, but also requires high-precision RTLS in a few places: we could integrate their complementary hardware with our own middleware to provide a complete solution. Everybody wins.

Where’s the WiFi?

Notably absent on the exhibition floor this year were vendors of WiFi RTLS. In 2013, we argued that they favoured competition over collaboration and it was disappointing, but unsurprising, not to find this year a vendor with a solution and business model similar to those presented above.

Simple and accessible anyone?

In 2012, RFID Journal Editor Mark Roberti wrote about Making RFID Easier, suggesting he didn’t know of a simple, cost-effective solution for tracking a few pieces of art in a gallery. In March of this year, a similar post again pleaded “Offer a simple, cost-efficient solution that delivers value, and you’ll have a customer for life.” For this reason, we timed the launch of our Pareto platform, which is precisely that, to coincide with the conference. From our experience on the exhibition floor, we’d argue that we are indeed unique in successfully responding to this plea.

It doesn’t get better than this!

Perhaps our favourite talk of the conference was Kevin Berisso of the University of Memphis’ Auto-ID lab‘s Bluetooth Low Energy: Simple Low-Cost RTLS Replacement or Complex Problem? Essentially, Dr. Berisso sought to create a simple, cost-effective RTLS using commodity Bluetooth Low Energy devices. Slide after slide illustrated the dead ends his team faced. It could have been an advertisement for our solution, and, as such, it completely validated everything we had developed since our previous visit to the conference three years ago. In fact, solving Dr. Berisso’s pain with our platform will be straightforward. Our challenge, rather, is ensuring that many more people like him can quickly and easily find our solution.

BLE RTLS is a complex problem

Accessible RFID is not only about cost-effectiveness, but critically about actually finding its way into the hands of those who need it most, whether they know they need it or not! With healthy collaboration now established, let that be the challenge for RFID Journal Live 2017!