Wirepas lands indoor tracking, monitoring deals – including key contract with Orange
IoT connectivity company Wirepas has secured a couple of notable deals, including with Orange Business Services (OBS), the enterprise IT and system integration division of French operator Orange, which will offer the Finnish firm’s proprietary low-power Wirepas Massive mesh technology for large-scale indoor asset tracking. It has also won a deal with US medtech provider Intrex, which will use Wirepas Massive to connect and monitor senior living communities.
The deal with OBS will see Wirepas Massive (formerly Wirepas Mesh), which has found decent support in the smart buildings space, integrated as a connectivity option into the telco’s smart tracking offer for enterprises. It highlighted tracking cases in offices, hospitals, construction sites, warehouses, and factories. More niche, it also suggested usage for security-tracking artworks in museums.
The Wirepas Massive system is a rival point-to-point mesh solution to the likes of Bluetooth and Zigbee. It has been integrated, notably, into lighting-as-a-platform solutions in office buildings, to offer a connectivity platform for various indoor IoT sensors. Wirepas claims Wirepas Massive is the only solution to combine monitoring, control, positioning, and large-scale inventory in a single technology.
Dutch luminaire maker Ingy, which has a deal with Wirepas for at least 10000 units, told Enterprise IoT Insights in late 2020 that Wirepas Massive goes to 750,000 nodes, at least, offering the kind of scale that outruns “the biggest Bluetooth mesh network”. Wirepas said its mesh tech “makes it easy to deploy a network without scale or surface limits and without any infrastructure or cables… [in] as-short-as a day”.
OBS is offering a smart tracking application, available on subscription, that enables customers to view assets on an indoor “basemap”. Their entry and exit into a dedicated area will trigger an alert in the app. Wirepas said OBS customers will be able to identify and locate assets “anywhere, at any time”, and also run inventory on 5,000 devices per pallet, “with perfect accuracy, in a minute”.
Meanwhile, the (newer) arrangement with medtech firm Intrex will see Wirepas Massive used in the US firm’s Rythmos monitoring platform for patients in assisted living quarters, which offers a way to assess the safety and wellness of “senior living communities”, and to manage chronic conditions and keep residents independent for longer. Rythmos integrates with health devices for care management, facility management, and predictive analytics.
It solves the lack of integration between electronic medical record (EMR) and nurse call systems, and between patient monitoring data and healthcare records. Rythmos also offers positional data, to mitigate against “elopement risk” and issue alerts for emergency button pushes and falls from any web-enabled device. The inclusion of Wirepas Mesh resolves the connectivity issue, precluding the need for expensive “wires, Wi-Fi, and other infrastructure”.
Ted Tzirimis, chief technology officer at Intrex, said: “Having worked in these communities, we saw first-hand the issues this siloed approach to healthcare was causing. We knew there was a way to innovate however, administrators were hesitant or unable to take action because of the high costs associated with traditional network providers. With Wirepas, we’re able to bring the most cutting-edge solutions to administrators and residents.”
Wirepas talked up the burgeoning hardware ecosystem falling in line behind its Wirepas Mesh technology, able to meet diverse demands – “from the most basic to the most specific”. It name-checked Nordic Semiconductor or Silicon Labs, offering Wirepas support on their BLE chips. It stated: “Integrating Wirepas technology makes the devices not only traceable but also capable of inter-communication. The technology is also based on industrial gateways allowing interoperability between an on-premises Wirepas network and any type of server or cloud.”
Wirepas, with €10m of new funding from Finnish venture firms, is also pushing a parallel mesh-based industrial IoT technology in the license-free 1.9 GHz band to go up against cellular-based private 5G. Its new Wirepas Private 5G product is based on the new DECT-2020 NR standard, set to be absorbed as the first non-cellular tech into the International Telecommunication Union’s 5G family of technologies. The DECT-2020 NR standard was developed to support “broad and diverse” wireless IoT applications, including both massive machine-type (mMTC) and ultra-reliable low-latency (URLLC) communications, as also defined in cellular 5G.