Nov 29, 2018—
Global RFID company Smartrac Technology Group is opening a new office and Experience Center in Southern California, focused on solutions development, that is intended to broaden conversations between end users, solution providers and Smartrac. The new office and center will be utilized by potential users of the technology to experiment with solutions specific to their own use cases and requirements.
The new center is part of Smartrac Group's effort to extend its reach as it sells RFID and Near Field Communication (NFC) hardware, as well as full RFID-based solutions, to markets that include retail, luxury goods, logistics, pharmaceuticals, health care and manufacturing. The majority of the company's marketing and sales management team will now be based in the new Orange County office. The office and experience center together encompass 18,420 square feet of space. The offices officially opened this summer, says Amir Khoshniyati, Smartrac's product marketing manager.
Smartrac's new Experience CenterSmartrac, based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, already has a presence in the United States. Its facility in Fletcher, N.C., provides the only RFID tag manufacturing still taking place in the United States, according to Scott Krynock, Smartrac Group's product marketing director. The company also maintains a software-development center in Baltimore, Md., and a marketing-based office in Santa Monica, Calif. In Stuttgart, Germany, the company offers its European experience center that focuses more on the company's hardware (RFID tags) rather than on full solutions.
With the new Experience Center in Irvine, Calif., the firm plans to bring services to its partners, as well as to Fortune 500 company end users. The center has a focus on tailored solutions, Khoshniyati says, that will allow organizations to bring unique use cases to the center in order to ascertain how they could build a solution. The facility is intended to serve existing end users in addition to potential new customers.
Smartrac launched in 2000 and was mass-producing RFID inlays a year later in Thailand. It became the world's largest supplier of RFID inlays for electronic passports by 2006, then opened its office in Stuttgart. After that, the firm began expanding to other locations, including South Korea and Brazil. Its Smart Cosmos Internet of Things (IoT) solution was released in 2014, then sensor tags were developed by 2015 to detect data such as the presence of water.
Smartrac has seen double-digit growth in its RFID product sales, Krynock says, especially in UHF RFID products and solutions for the retail market. However, RFID technology demand is experiencing other upticks as well, as more NFC-based solutions are being developed in conjunction with Apple's release of iOS devices with open NFC functionality. For several years, Apple had limited its built-in NFC functionality only for use with Apple Pay; however, the 2017 release of the latest iOS products enabled access to the NFC feature for app developers. That has led to a growth in NFC development throughout the past year (see Apple Embraces NFC (Finally)).