Metirionic is specialized in radar technology. For 10 years, they provide engineering services that enable reliable wireless distance measurement which is used for example in Real Time Location Systems (RTLS).

The ability to provide location accurately for every connected device becomes more and more relevant for industrial applications. The question about WHERE a measurement has been taken becomes as important as WHAT has been measured and “Metirionic knows the distance”.

Metirionic combines 10 years of experience accelerating time-to-market of RTLS. One of Metirionic’s focused frequency bands is at 2.4 GHz, where major industrial wireless communication takes place and found its standardization for example, in Zigbee, WirelessHART, IP500, I/O-Link wireless and now in Bluetooth and BLE.

Interview with Attila Römer, General Manager at Metirionic.

Easy Engineering: What are the main areas of activity of the company?

Attila Römer: Metirionic provides technology and engineering services for companies that develop and integrate radar technology into their applications. We enhance “search and find” applications mainly in the fields of “Location finding” “Safety” and “Asset Tracking”.

With the amount of connected IoT devices growing 18% to 14.4 billion globally (2022 IoT analytics), the location information is a very important part of the context information, because it highly improves the user experience of all the “search and find” applications and makes the world safer.

Some examples are:

Safety tool development: Technology license for search and rescue of firefighters for the world leading safety company.

Virtual fencing: Ensuring accuracy in a safety zone of industrial automation, or heavy manufacturing environments enabling the safety standard ISO 13849.

E.E: What’s the news about new products?

A.R: For ten years, we are developing solutions mainly in industrial IEEE wireless communication standards. Since Bluetooth 5.1, many RTLS systems have been launched however, these systems only allow the determination of angles (AoA technology) and distances are estimated using the signal strengths (RSSI). Metirionic’s phase-based distance measurement technology is a major breakthrough in BLE-based RTLS systems with improved accuracy and less infrastructure efforts. We are working with customers already on the implementation of our technology using Bluetooth and BLE chipsets. Considering the many industrial controls and sensors utilizing a Bluetooth interface already, this is going to be a major gamechanger in improving location services and safety of applications. 

During the Embedded Show 2023 we will demonstrate a new “Evaluation Platform” that enables a combined distance and angle measurement with BLE. 

The relative position of wireless nodes requires the measurement of both – angle and distance.

Current Bluetooth standard ranging solutions are only based on measuring the received signal strength indicator (RSSI), a very simple method that provides distance measurement and can be heavily affected by interferences of the environment. With our technology, MARS (Metirionic Advanced Ranging Stack), based on our patented signal processing algorithms, we can determine the distances and angles with improved accuracy and ensuring reliability on Bluetooth and IEEE802.15.4 devices. 

E.E: What are the ranges of products?

A.R: Metirionic’s radar and ranging technology enhances any product or solution that uses wireless technology for data communication. It can be extended to also provide distance, angle, or location info.

Some examples of these solutions are: 

  • Outdoor “search and rescue” applications.
  • Virtual fencing and collision avoidance mechanisms.
  • Position finding, rescue tools for mobile finding applications.
  • Asset tracking and facility management.
  • Positioning and safe navigation for automated guide vehicles (AGV) and autonomous mobile robots (AMR).
  • Industrial RTLS Underground: Positioning and safe navigation in long tunnels where GPS is not available.
  • Navigation and safe positioning for mining applications.
  • RTLS for outdoor areas: Helping livestock management, tracking and locating animals.

E.E: At what stage is the market where you are currently active?

A.R: Giving the exploding stage of connected devices that brings IoT growth, it is impacting across all industry verticals. Industrial IoT (IIoT) from production lines, automotive, electronics, etc. 

Enabling the location data becomes relevant. The market is growing significantly at this new wave that will require location information as a must have feature. Ranging information is becoming relevant for every deployment, a need for IoT networks.

E.E: What can you tell us about market trends?

A.R: As I was saying, we are immersed in a growing IoT industry. 

The main reason why the market with sensors and measurements is growing so extraordinarily is, because of the strong growth of IoT and IIoT devices. IoT devices surpassed non-IoT devices in 2020. There are well over 14.4 billion connected IoT devices around the globe today and there will be 25.4 billion IoT devices by 2030. The number of IoT platforms more than doubled in four years to cover the new needs of the industry. 

With the amount of connected IoT devices growing globally, the ability to provide location accurately becomes a requirement. Metirionic helps the Internet of Things industry to localize specific sensor data accurately indoors and outdoors.

E.E: What are the most innovative products marketed? & What is the innovation in Metirionic technology?

A.R: Metirionic patented ranging technology is implemented in leading industrial safety remote controls and in connected fire fighters. MARS technology provides the following innovative features:

  • High robustness because of frequency hopping and low interferences.
  • High indoor range even through walls and other obstacles.
  • Outdoor installations without restrictions.
  • Measurement of distances (ranging) AND angles.
  • High reliability to meet safety and regulatory standards.

E.E: What estimations do you have for the rest of 2023?

A.R: The Bluetooth Special Interest Group (Bluetooth SIG) is the standards organization that oversees the development of Bluetooth standards and the licensing of the Bluetooth technologies and trademarks to manufacturers.

The SIG announced a CAGR from 2022 to 2026 of 25% just for location service devices. Therefore, we will support a growing demand of new products with our engineering services to implement these innovative features.