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18 October, 2021updated 29 Oct 2021 12:56

Wiliot Develops Ultralight Chip that Runs on Radio Waves

Concept: Israeli IoT startup Wiliot has developed a platform that combines cloud services and IoT stickers, computing elements that harvest radiofrequency energy to power themselves. The IoT sticker is a chip dubbed as Wiliot IoT Pixels that serves as a data gatherer and empowers connected devices to act as self-sensing smart devices.

Nature of Disruption: Wiliot IoT Pixels is a Bluetooth low energy wireless microcontroller unit (MCU) that offers the ability to sense, compute and communicate. It includes a self-power management unit, several sensor interfaces, a security engine, and non-volatile memory for programming and configuration. It leverages low-cost, high-speed production processes thereby saves cost. The chip is manufactured using the same tools and processes as the high frequency (HF) and ultra-high frequency (UHF) tags. When combined with the cloud-based platform, Wiliot IoT Pixels can deliver core sensing functionalities like temperature, tamper-detection, humidity, motion, fill rate, and many more. Wiliot chips, enclosed in Wiliot IoT Pixels, send encrypted and authenticated packets over the air while the cloud provides decryption, authentication, access control, and smart-sensor processing. Whereas, the Wiliot cloud-based ML algorithm translates raw sensory information into the corresponding physical domains like temperature change, and pick-up/movement. These programs are continually learning and improving over time to recognize trends, events, and exceptions.

Outlook: Wiliots IoT Pixel and cloud platform is an all-in-one solution that provides a global unique identity for products, with support for GS1-based notation and meta-data information like stock-keeping unit (SKU). To maximize the business, the startup plans to transition to a SaaS model for running and selling its software, which Wiliot prefers to call sensing as a service because it uses AI to read and translate multiple signals on the object coupled to the chip. The ultimate goal is to shift a licensing model for its chip hardware, allowing different third parties to build them. It has secured $200M in Series C funding led by Amazon, Verizon, NTT DoCoMo, Qualcomm, PepsiCo, and Softbank. Wiliot intends to use the funds to expand its business. A pharmaceutical company is a major customer for the startup while other industries in talks are CPG, furniture, and apparel.

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