Wiliot, a fabless semiconductor startup based in Israel, announced the close of $30 million Series B round of funding from investors including Amazon Web Services, Samsung Venture Investment and Qualcomm Ventures. Wiliot makes a sticker sized battery-free Bluetooth sensor tag with an ARM processor that's powered by ambient radio frequencies.
According to Wiliot, its sensors can be used to transmit information such as location, proximity, and encrypted serial numbers, along with weight and temperature data. The tags use nanoWatt computing technology to communicate the data to other devices.
The sensors can be printed on plastic or paper tags smaller than a fingernail and thinner than a piece of paper, the company said. Wiliot also claims that the sensors have "unlimited power and lifespan" and can be embedded inside of products that were previously unconnected to the Internet of Things.
The startup is eying the retail, manufacturing and logistics sectors as the main target markets for these battery-free Bluetooth transponders. In manufacturing, for instance, the tags can be embedded in the production phase for real-time tracking through the manufacturing process. In retail, the tags can facilitate interactive product engagement on packaging, or used to track valuable products in the event of loss or theft.
"We believe that disposable electronics based on battery-free, low-cost systems are the foundation for future IoT systems," said Tal Tamir, Wiliot CEO and co-founder. "Re-cycling the radiation around us to power sticker-size sensors can enable new ways for consumers to interact with products that were previously not feasible. We are on the edge of dramatically changing the way products are made, how they are distributed, where and when they are sold, and how they are used and recycled."