Why tools giant Stanley formed a joint venture to tackle big data and IoT
By Stephen Ellison, Contributing Writer
When Stanley Black and Decker, the tools and hardware giant, last year formed a joint venture with RF Controls, a software startup focused on using RFID tags to track things, it was a bet on the future growth of big data and the Internet of Things. But in the near-term, the collaboration was focused on a very concrete business proposition: helping manufacturers, retailers and logistics firms automatically count and monitor items that pass through their facilities, something that today consumes a vast amount of worker time and energy.
Most RFID (radio-frequency identification) systems today use handheld devices or door-affixed portals to capture “snapshots in time,” says Steve Hudson, CEO of the joint venture company, View Technologies, based in Marietta, Georgia. View’s overhead-mounted antenna – strategically placed in manufacturing plants, distribution centers or big-box retail stores – continuously identifies tagged items within a 150-foot range. That’s 10 times as far as any other RFID tracker, Hudson says. Combined with the company’s software, called the inView Platform, the system captures and stores real-time data, creating a more effective way for companies to follow the items being stored as well as movable assets in the facility.