Internet of Things (IoT) start-up Wiliot is set to showcase its ambient IoT technology at the US National Retail Federation’s (NRF) Retail’s Big Show 2024 in New York City.

Ambient IoT is an evolution of legacy IoT and RFID [radio frequency identification] technologies. Wiliot’s ambient IoT visibility platform connects the digital and physical through the company’s IoT pixels – stamp-sized, self-powered compute devices – and battery-free smart tags that push data to the cloud in real time.

IoT pixels can attach to any physical thing – such as packaging, or a container or crate – and connect it to the internet.

Once connected, products transmit real-time item and case-level information about their location, temperature, humidity and even carbon footprint. This provides retailers with the data they need to improve supply chain performance, ensure product safety and optimise staff time.

Uses for IoT technology in packaging

A critical use for the technology is compliance with food safety regulations. The platform generates the traceability data on food and cold chain packaging that is required to meet the reporting requirements of Rule 204 of the US Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), which goes into effect in January 2026.

Using their smartphones, consumers can pick up nearby inventory without labour-intensive scanning. IoT pixels affixed to retail products provide detailed information about any item’s origins, composition, temperature in transit, carbon footprint and more.

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This is an increasingly important application, considering the European Union’s Strategy for Sustainable and Circular Textiles, which will require products sold in the EU to carry digital product passports by 2030.

Wiliot CFO Roee Zeiler commented: “This real-time, end-to-end visibility of all products everywhere represents the biggest disruption in retail since the price tag.

“Having arrived in the retail market in 2023, ambient IoT is now positioned for exponential growth in 2024, thanks to technological advancement, manufacturing scale, live deployments and integration with a growing ecosystem of enterprise apps.”