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NFC-enabled technology paves the way for award-winning IIoT solutions

If you are reading these words on IoT Agenda, then I’m almost 100% certain you are familiar with the internet of things. What you might not be as familiar with, however, is IIoT — or the industrial internet of things.

The IIoT opportunity is enormous and many companies are using NFC-enabled devices to create solutions currently being deployed in IIoT environments. Some of the numbers and predictions recently published by Juniper Research and Accenture show the IIoT opportunity:

  • IIoT will add a total of $14.2 trillion to the global economy by 2030, because of its potential to drive growth and productivity;
  • An estimated 38.5 billion connected devices by 2020 (a 285% increase from 2015);
  • Between 50% and 75% of the world’s legacy industrial systems are not yet network-attached or IIoT capable.

Connecting the unconnected

Still, despite the fact that billions of machines are now network-connected, there remains a sizable IIoT gap. As stated above, most of the world’s legacy industrial systems — 50% to 75% — are not yet network-attached, meaning that they are unable to reap any benefit from IIoT. This problem is compounded by the longevity — usually measured in decades — of the typical industrial system. Adding connectivity to a machine may require a complete redesign of the industrial system, which can be costly, complex and inconvenient.

These challenges presented by legacy industrial systems compelled the engineering team at KEOLABS to search for a better way of providing network connectivity with a customizable user interface — while ensuring data security. Based in France, KEOLABS is a member of the NFC Forum and is a manufacturer and supplier of application development and testing tools.

The KEOLABS team solved many of these challenges by developing and patenting IoTize™, a solution that enables IIoT by adding NFC connectivity to any existing electronic system — without modifying its initial design — and can be used with NFC-enabled smartphones. IoTize has been commercially available since early 2016 and has proven so successful that KEOLABS recently spun IoTize off into its own company.

IoT solution: An NFC-enabled plug-in module

The main component of IoTize is the connectivity module, which is about the size of an American quarter. It provides easy one-tap connectivity between the IoTize module and the user’s smartphone, using NFC technology. NFC technology enables the collection of machine data and uploads it to the cloud. Since it only functions when the user has actively initiated the connection, this NFC-enabled solution offers good security for the user.

IoT award-winning innovation

In Feb. 2016, the solution won an award for innovation in hardware at Embedded World. Currently KEOLABS continues to ramp up its mass production of the module and is developing models that highlight the other capabilities of IoTize. For more information, click here.

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