NTT DOCOMO Ventures, Inc.
NTT DOCOMO Ventures, Inc. (headquartered in Minato-ku, Tokyo, Japan; President and CEO, Takayuki Inagawa; hereinafter “NDV”), through a fund it operates, has invested in Wiliot Ltd. (headquartered in Caesarea, Israel; CEO and co-founder, Tal Tamir; hereinafter “Wiliot”), an Israeli startup developing sticker-sized, always-on Bluetooth sensor tags that can operate without battery and can be used for object tracking solutions.
The Internet of Things (IoT) is a fast growing market that is expected to transform not only the industrial structure but also workstyles and lifestyles by inter-connecting people and things. Many companies are working to create new businesses in this market.
Among such companies, Wiliot has a mission to significantly grow the IoT by developing a cloud connected computer the size of a postage stamp, equipped with sensor functionality and having the advantages of both Bluetooth and RFID production techniques, communication technologies that are highly compatible with IoT.
The sticker-sized Bluetooth sensor tags developed by Wiliot are a battery-free, always-on product that uses the electric power of radio waves from Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, etc. In addition to transmitting encrypted ID information, the product is able to detect temperature levels and product pickup movements without special sensor devices. Any Bluetooth Low Energy communication device such as a phone, smart speaker and many Wi-Fi access points can receive information from the product. Later this year Wiliot expects to announce mass production of its product.
By offering the Bluetooth sensor tags for a price range that will allow a one-time use, they are expected to create new, non-conventional use cases that will change the way things are made, distributed, sold, used and recycled. Examples include monitoring of demand signals such as real time inventory, check-out and auto-replenishment, utilizing a pick-up function that indicates people are interacting with a product in stores or at home. Wiliot are also being used for asset management, tracking temperature and weight, and establishment of a wide-area object tracking, lost and found network using mobile network infrastructure.
As a pioneer of a new category of battery-free Bluetooth sensor tags, Wiliot has a high affinity for the NTT Group’s IoT business measures. Since we expect it can contribute to creating new values in this field, we decided to invest in the company.
From here on, NDV will promote collaboration between Wiliot and the NTT Group to push forward with measures towards creating new values.
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NTT DOCOMO Ventures, Inc.