The Internet of Things evolves to become the Internet of Everything in 2019

During 2019 the Internet of Things has been moving towards the Internet of Everything. Advances in flexible RFID technology mean that for the first time it is now possible to integrate intelligence and interactivity into high volume everyday items – going far beyond smart TVs and smart home appliances.

Evolving applications

As the costs involved in implementing new connectivity solutions reduce, the variety of use cases it can be applied to rapidly increases. Applications are no longer limited to high value goods and low volume consumer engagement marketing campaigns as this novel technology brings the benefits of item-level digital identification to mass market products, where it can be used to improve supply chain efficiency, increase recycling, reduce waste and prevent the sale of counterfeit goods. Also, it enables adoption into a diverse range of sectors, including FMCGs (fast-moving consumer goods), pharmaceuticals, healthcare, games and many others.

Pioneering projects

PragmatIC is at the forefront of this change. In February 2019, we launched our ConnectIC family of FlexICs, which are the key to achieving the low tag cost required to add intelligence to everyday objects. We have also announced several important collaborations, such as with Schreiner MediPharm, the leading smart labels provider for pharmaceutical products and medical devices, and we have been involved in a UK government funded project to develop the UK’s first comprehensive digital waste tracking system.

Most recently, we introduced FlexIC Foundry to enable the design of custom flexible integrated circuits, providing the opportunity for innovators to generate entirely new solutions to everyday problems. FlexIC Foundry combines the PragmatIC Process Design Kit (PDK) with the rapid production cycle time of our FlexLogIC manufacturing system, allowing product iteration and refinement without the cost and timescale constraints of a silicon fab. This is currently in beta release, and we have been working with select partners. One example is the PlasticArmPit e-nose project, a collaboration between Arm, PragmatIC, The University of Manchester and Unilever, to design a cost-effective, custom machine learning (ML) integrated circuit on a flexible substrate that can recognise odour. This technology development has great potential to have a significant long-term impact in many areas, including reducing food waste.

Next steps

2019 has been an especially busy and award-winning year for PragmatIC and we look forward to an even more exciting 2020. In the January blog post we will share our 2020 industry predictions for the RFID and electronics industry, so watch this space!