An ambient IoT company, Wiliot designs semiconductors that power battery-free Bluetooth® tags to enable real-time awareness for everything using these postage-stamp sized computers – from manufacturing to distribution to utilization – for a minimum-waste, full-trust, perfectly timed world. Wiliot’s innovations are being used to fight climate change and revolutionize inventory and supply chains.
I recently spoke with Steve Statler, SVP of marketing & ESG for Wiliot, about how they are using Bluetooth technology to support ambient IoT technologies.
Q&A With Steve Statler From Wiliot
What Bluetooth technology trends from 2022 most stick out to you?
“We are on a path where the number of Bluetooth® devices could scale to trillions of everyday things.”
2022 is the year when the first Bluetooth® ambient IoT technology from Wiliot started on the path to massive IoT volumes. Ambient IoT is a progression from the early days of the IoT that was focused on connecting expensive things like appliances and cars to an IoT where the things are the everyday objects that surround us: packaging for food, medicine, clothing, and even furniture. We are on a path where the number of Bluetooth devices could scale to trillions of everyday things, with IoT connectivity for medicine, food containers, clothing, documents, machine parts furniture, and tools.
We enabled an apparel store with 50,000 postage-stamp sized Bluetooth radios attached to clothing, delivering real-time visibility of where items were in the store with no manual tapping or scanning required. This enables retailers to prosper in a world where they must be able to field online orders while delivering better service with fewer staff from a smaller store.
Our innovations also support farm-to-store cold-chain visibility, adding days of shelf life to produce to deliver better quality fruit and vegetables with less waste and a lower carbon footprint.
What has Wiliot been focused on in 2022?
We launched an ambient IoT starter kit that makes innovation with ambient IoT affordable, enabling large numbers of partners, developers, and innovators to experiment and learn while helping some of the largest companies in retail prepare to deploy at scale.
What has been the biggest Bluetooth technology demand from your customers in 2022?
“Real-time inventory location tracking and sensing is becoming key to surviving in a retail environment.”
Real-time inventory location tracking and sensing is becoming key to surviving in a retail environment permanently changed by COVID-19 and competition from Amazon. Customers expect to be able to buy online and pickup in store or have deliveries made to their home. To compete with Amazon, retailers need to fulfill these orders from their most valuable and expensive asset, their stores. Bluetooth® ambient IoT technology provides the real-time visibility needed for retailers to thrive in an omnichannel world. This allows staff to spend more time engaging with customers instead of looking for products.
What new trends do you anticipate seeing for Bluetooth technology in 2023?
Ambient IoT technology will rapidly scale and become a material part of the volume of total Bluetooth® device sales in 2023. We expect 2023 to mark a transition from pilots to production projects for large-scale Bluetooth ambient IoT.