Wiliot IoT Pixels at the vanguard of Ambient IoT
Wiliot is a successful startup developing IoT technology for supply chains and asset management. Wiliot’s main vision lies in minimum waste, full trust and a perfectly timed world. IoT Pixels are postage stampsized battery-free Bluetooth computers which serve these goals by connecting potentially everything to the Wiliot Cloud in real time at a very low price point. Visibility and intelligence of products throughout their entire lifecycle benefit high-velocity supply chains as well as, in future, private consumers. IoT Pixels represent one of the earliest examples of Ambient IoT.
The growth of Ambient IoT
Ambient IoT means that all items are connected to the internet through connectivity sources in the existing wireless infrastructure. The need for Ambient IoT has been spurred on by the growth of e-commerce (by 14 per cent each year!) which has pushed retailers to seek out new means to maintain visibility over their inventory.
Increasing efficiency in stock-taking and transportation
Grocers with omni-channel services need correct inventory information as otherwise orders cannot be fulfilled. The traceability of produce in reusable transport assets (RTA) or individual packaging is created by Ambient IoT and IoT Pixels which sense temperature and location and, coming in 2023, surface occupancy, humidity and proximity. Affixing IoT Pixels helps avoiding nil-picks which is crucial in a time of limited staff numbers and fast-moving consumer goods. A recent deployment with a multi-faceted retailer also revealed disadvantageous transport routes. Analyzing location data generated by IoT Pixels in the Wiliot Cloud helped find more time- and fuel-saving routes.
Sustainable supply chains
Pallet and container loss is a substantial problem in all supply chains. Grocers suffer RTA pool losses of around 60 per cent every year, resulting in a turnover leakage of several million dollars each year. Traceable containers prevent that and also make sure that products are sold before their shelf life has expired. Food waste contributes to 8 per cent of climate change and 40 per cent of food never makes it to the plate.
Retail case study
Wiliot recently deployed Ambient IoT with IoT Pixels for a retail pharmacy which was faced with substantial pallet and container loss and temperature-related issues causing products to deteriorate quicker. Sensor data analysis in the Wiliot Cloud showed up to a 15-degree variance between RTAs at the bottom of a pallet pile and the items at the top. There was also a considerable time-lag in stock reception which affected the temperature and availability of goods for consumers. With IoT Pixels, the retailer gained precise overview of the number of stock-keeping units and insights into real-time sales.