Taoglas buys Irish IoT and AI design company Firmwave
Antenna company Taoglas has acquired Dublin-based hardware and software developer Firmwave to bring new internet-of-things (IoT) and artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities to its antennas and radio solutions, targeted at healthcare, energy and utilities, supply chain and logistics, transportation, agriculture, and construction.
Irish firm Taoglas bought US competitor ThinkWireless in January to expand sales in the commercial vehicle industry. The latest deal will enable Taoglas to take advantage of Firmwave’s experience with facial recognition, centimetre-level positioning (versus meter accuracy), speech recognition, and AI for motion sensing and analysis.
“Many companies struggle with design engineering for complex next-generation IoT applications because they require a high level of integration… Advancements in these areas promise to open a world of IoT applications,” said Taoglas in a statement.
Taoglas said it be able to decrease the price and time-to-market for GNSS positioning systems, real-time kinematics, computer vision and non-vision-based systems, and 5G communications.
Firmwave was founded in 2015, and is located, like Taoglas, at the DCU Alpha campus in Dublin. DCU Alpha hosts tech companies and startups. Firmwave has developed IoT and AI solutions for HealthBeacon, Vodafone, Glen Dimplex and other clients.
Taoglas and Firmwave have collaborated already on Taoglas Shift, an artificial intelligence (AI) beam-steering antenna system for 5G networks, as well as IoT projects like HealthBeacon, a tool for managing medication. Taoglas will go forward to differentiate its antenna and RF solutions with IoT and AI technologies from Firmwave, it said.
Ronan Quinian, co-chief and co-founder of Taoglas, said: “Customers have long been asking Taoglas for more engineering support for their IoT solutions. They now want a one-stop-shop for IoT engineering services. They don’t want to deal with multiple engineering teams, as they do today, to create each component of next-generation IoT solutions. We are seeing increasingly complex IoT projects that are being delayed to market by this fundamental problem.”
Adrian Burns, chief executive at Firmwave, commented: “We are excited to integrate our IoT design expertise and products. Taoglas has a global reputation for high-quality products. Its scale and sales channels will accelerate the deployment of our hardware and software solutions.”
In January, at CES, Firmwave launched an end-to-end security testing (EST) and validation framework for IoT devices, to help make sensors and gateways more secure. “The world of connected products is full of examples of bad security,” it said at the time. Its solution offers end-node, device management, data management, and application penetration testing.
Firmwave opened an office in San Diego at the end of last year. Taoglas, known for antenna solutions for automotive, smart grid, home automation, remote monitoring and medical applications, opened a design and support facility in Minneapolis in April.
In July, it entered the speaker market via its acquisition of ThinkWireless. Its new series of high-sensitivity speakers for commercial vehicles deliver distortion-free audio, high fidelity and high-power handling sound, according to its marketing materials.
Taoglas released a new range of antennas for LTE-M and NB-IoT networks, as well as unlicensed LPWA equivalents like LoRa and Sigfox, at the end of last year. The new antennas pack high power into small packages, and promise faster and cheaper scalability of solutions, it said.