Fujitsu develops thin, solar-powered IoT beacon

The beacon can be rolled up and attached to curved surfaces

Fujitsu has developed a thin, flexible IoT beacon that sends out location or ID information. Measuring 2.5mm thick and weighing 3 grams, the beacon doesn't need maintenance or to have its batteries replaced and can be attached to curved surfaces as well as corners.

Fujitsu has developed a thin, flexible IoT beacon that sends out location or ID information. Measuring 2.5mm thick and weighing 3 grams, the beacon doesn't need maintenance or to have its batteries replaced and can be attached to curved surfaces as well as corners.

In a move that could help spread IoT (Internet of Things) devices, Fujitsu has developed a thin, flexible IoT beacon that can send out location and ID information to smartphones and other mobile devices.

Measuring 2.5 millimeters thick and weighing 3 grams, the beacon is mounted on an elastic silicone substrate and can be rolled up and attached to curved surfaces as well as corners or even clothing. It uses a Bluetooth Low Energy module to send out pings at regular intervals.

Most IoT tags use coin-type batteries that have to be replaced every six months to a year, but the new device uses a small solar cell and doesn't require such maintenance, according to developer Fujitsu Laboratories.

While it needs a light source to work, the device could help put more IoT tags on everything from fluorescent light bulbs to critical equipment in hospitals to parts of subway stations to help commuters navigate.

Fujitsu's tag can activate its beacon using stored power from the solar cell, eliminating the need for conventional power-management chips. The storage element is only one-ninth the size of similar components used in earlier tags, the lab said.

"The power-control technology used here can manage the limited generated output from the solar cell and make devices and wireless communication modules work with lower energy consumption," a spokesman for Fujitsu said via email.

Fujitsu said it will continue tests of the beacon and plans to make it ready for commercialization in the fiscal year ending March 31, 2017.

Japanese electronics makers such as Fujitsu have been trying to use their components expertise to create new businesses in the expanding IoT industry. Earlier this week, Panasonic's North American arm said it would provide royalty-free access to some IoT software and patents from its products.

Tim Hornyak covers Japan and emerging technologies for The IDG News Service. Follow Tim on Twitter at @robotopia.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags Internet-based applications and servicesFujitsu LaboratoriesComponentsinternetFujitsu

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Tim Hornyak

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?