Wednesday, February 25, 2009

2009 GSMA Mobile World Congress: Gauging the Market

Our international editor, Richard Mumford, attended Mobile World Congress last week. According to the official figures, the organisers claim more than 47,000 visitors (including delegates, exhibitors, contractors and media) from 189 countries attended the four-day conference and exhibition at the Fira de Barcelona from 16 to 19 February, which compares with 55,000 visitors in 2008. The number of exhibiting companies remained the same at 1,300.

The event has a longstanding reputation for being a dynamic showcase for the mobile industry, a hotspot for innovation and a springboard for new technologies, but was that still the case at a time when market confidence and perception are key factors? Richard's perception was that although the event may have lacked the flamboyance of previous years and that the mood was more subdued there was no denying the continued determination to innovate and benefit from a market where the potential to profit from the right product at the right time remains substantial.

To read his full review, visit our web site here.

Monday, February 23, 2009

ZigBee and Now RuBee!

The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) has approved RuBee®, a long-wavelength, packet-based, magnetic transceiver protocol, as a new international standard designated IEEE 1902.1. RuBee overcomes many of the problems seen with RFID and other wireless asset visibility solutions in harsh environments through its ability to work on steel and in liquids. RuBee tags and antennas are volumetric in harsh environments, not line-of-sight as is typically the case with other wireless technologies (and bar codes). RuBee tags work over a range of 1 to 50 feet depending on antenna configuration, and can be powered by a single coin-size lithium battery with battery life from 5 to 15 years. RuBee tags and systems can easily be combined with sensors, buttons, displays, and LEDs.

IEEE 1902.1 has been used to ensure the visibility and safety of government owned firearms, high valued evidence, military weapons, patient visibility and optimal patient flow in hospitals, hospital disposable and implantable inventories, livestock, disaster recovery equipment and safety systems, mission-critical tools, aircraft maintenance tools, and many other categories of highly valued goods and services. RuBee wireless asset visibility networks seem to be cost-competitive with other wireless networking solutions, including RFID so they could have a good future for these harsh environment applications.