Rigado’s wireless edge technologies and secure large-scale networks power more than 6 million connected devices for 300+ global customers. Recently, I had an opportunity to meet with Kevin Tate, Rigado’s Chief Revenue Officer, and discuss how Rigado is using Bluetooth® technology to deliver flexible and secure edge data networks for smart commercial spaces and support key IoT applications, such as asset tracking and cold-chain monitoring.
Q & A with Kevin Tate
What markets does your company support, and what are the solution areas you provide?
Rigado’s Cascade ‘Edge-as-a-Service’ delivers real-time physical and environmental data to enterprise IoT applications to support use-cases, including asset tracking and monitoring, smart office/smart building applications, and cold-chain and environmental sensing across commercial real estate, retail and hospitality, logistics and warehouses, and healthcare facilities.
Most of the time, Rigado is used by IoT project or product teams who are creating a new connected solution or product offering and need secure edge data from Bluetooth sensors and devices.
What does Bluetooth enable for your company?
Bluetooth interoperability allows Rigado Edge Data Networks to be easily extensible to new use cases and applications.
When Rigado first started, back in 2010, we bet early on Bluetooth Low Energy (LE) as a transformative technology. From 2010 to 2016, we worked with a wide variety of companies (e.g. NordicTrack, GoPro, Tandem Diabetes) to design and develop Bluetooth LE based devices and systems, and we also created our own line of certified Bluetooth LE modules based on the Nordic nRF52 and NXP KW41Z lines.
Starting in 2016, we moved up the stack and began offering an IoT Gateway that was specifically designed to support secure, high-performance Bluetooth use cases for commercial IoT – an emerging category that we knew from experience was going to require a different approach than consumer or industrial IoT.
That first gateway has evolved into our current solution, Cascade, which combines our flexible IoT gateway with a configurable Bluetooth Edge Data Pipeline and Secure Management & Monitoring Tools – all offered as a subscription service.
Can you share more about a project you are currently working on with Bluetooth technology?
We have a wide range of Bluetooth based projects and product implementations across commercial IoT segments, including Radius Networks and Onset.
Radius Networks provides location-based guest experiences to restaurants and retailers, such as table delivery and curbside service at quick-serve restaurants. Their wireless tableside and curbside platforms are installed globally in tens of thousands of locations across more than 60 countries.
Radius Networks and Rigado partnered to configure a gateway solution with highly accurate Bluetooth performance and edge processing capability. Radius Networks typically installs four to five gateways in the ceiling of each restaurant, which then connect to table beacons and mobile apps to deliver precise customer location data to their employee-facing dashboard.
Onset provides environmental asset monitoring solutions, such as cold-chain and vaccine monitoring for healthcare supply chains. Onset has been designing and manufacturing its data loggers and monitoring solutions on site since the company’s founding in 1981.
Rigado partnered with Onset to configure a gateway solution that gathers, processes, and sends sensor data from InTemp vaccine monitors to InTemp Servers via Ethernet or Wi-Fi – where data excursions trigger automatic email and SMS notifications.
How do you hope this project will influence other implementors?
We believe Bluetooth is poised to become the primary conduit for gathering information from smart indoor environments everywhere.
To that end, we hope that as more and more companies adopt Bluetooth for their IoT applications, they will look down the road and recognize the growing need for a shared and secure edge infrastructure that can serve a wide range of IoT use cases, not just a single application.
We also hope that IoT project and product teams leveraging Bluetooth will recognize that they can leverage flexible and secure edge infrastructure solutions, such as Rigado, rather than needing to shoulder the gateway design and development themselves. This dramatically reduces their time to market, technical risk, and total cost of ownership.
What are some of the major market challenges? And how does Bluetooth help you meet them?
Bluetooth has inherent advantages when it comes to cost, battery life, and interoperability.
The applications and market segments we enable are often challenged by the need to gather edge data from a large number of sensors and devices – at a relatively low price point – and spread across a variety of environments while being mindful of and minimizing installation costs and security risk for large deployments.
Bluetooth has inherent advantages when it comes to cost, battery life, and interoperability. We amplify those strengths for our target markets by focusing on extremely accurate and reliable Bluetooth LE performance – increasing our customers’ accuracy and reliability.
Thanks to its success as a standard, Bluetooth has enabled a rich ecosystem of cost-effective sensors and devices – which Rigado leverages through our growing sensor partner network.
Learn how the new Bluetooth direction finding feature enables the development of Bluetooth proximity solutions that can understand device direction as well as Bluetooth positioning systems that can achieve down to centimeter-level location accuracy.
What role do you see Bluetooth playing in emerging markets like smart building and smart industry?
Our focus at Rigado is on the smart building (smart office and smart retail) and smart industry (connected logistics and distribution) segments. We firmly believe that Bluetooth is positioned to become the primary conduit through which real-time data is gathered from those environments – allowing companies to instrument their physical spaces in the same way they have their digital spaces.
Interoperability is clearly a significant factor, can you tell us more about why it is so critical?
Bluetooth interoperability allows Rigado Edge Data Networks to be easily extensible to new use cases and applications. For example, a team might start by using Rigado Gateways to connect Bluetooth LE conference room and desk occupancy sensors to enable office space optimization and real-time scheduling. In future phases or product releases, they can easily use that same edge infrastructure to connect Bluetooth LE employee badges for staff safety, Bluetooth LE temperature sensors for comfort monitoring, or more. Ultimately, the interoperability of Bluetooth technology, combined with edge networks that create secure data pipelines to the cloud, offers unparalleled flexibility and extensibility for commercial IoT applications.
Anything else you’re excited about and can share?
We’re also very excited about our recently announced Bluetooth based Smart Buildings joint solution, bringing together Rigado Cascade edge connectivity, ICONICS data visualization, and Microsoft Azure IoT. By combining Rigado Cascade with sensors, cellular connectivity, engineering support, and cloud services via Iconics and Microsoft Azure, the solution offers an out-of-the-box smart building solution, all in one monthly subscription.
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