NEC has developed a product locating system using Radio Frequency (RF) backscatter technology. The system includes transmitters, passive tags, and receivers to compute the location of products. Different transmitters activate tags in various regions, enhancing efficiency. The system also includes a harvesting signal for energy efficiency. GlobalData’s report on NEC gives a 360-degree view of the company including its patenting strategy. Buy the report here.

According to GlobalData’s company profile on NEC, Battery management systems was a key innovation area identified from patents. NEC's grant share as of April 2024 was 34%. Grant share is based on the ratio of number of grants to total number of patents.

Product locating system using rf backscatter technology

Source: United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Credit: NEC Corp

A recently granted patent (Publication Number: US11971473B2) discloses a product locating system that utilizes Radio Frequency (RF) backscatter technology to track the location of products. The system includes RF backscatter transmitters emitting excitation signals, passive RF backscatter tags generating Ultra-Wideband (UWB) signals, and RF backscatter receivers computing the time-difference-of-arrival (TDoA) between signals to determine product location. By aggregating TDoA information from multiple receivers, the system can accurately locate products based on the attached passive RF backscatter tags. The system also incorporates features such as synchronized interfaces, energy harvesting signals, and backscatter signal initiation for efficient operation.

Furthermore, the patent details a product locating method based on the described system, emphasizing the emission of excitation signals by RF backscatter transmitters, UWB signal generation by passive RF backscatter tags, and TDoA computation by RF backscatter receivers. The method involves the synchronization of RF interfaces and UWB interfaces, encoding of UWB signals, and the use of multi-lateration techniques for precise location determination. Additionally, the method includes strategies such as backoff schemes and orthogonal coding for efficient UWB signal transmission from passive RF backscatter tags. Overall, the patented product locating system and method offer a comprehensive approach to tracking products using RF backscatter technology, enhancing efficiency and accuracy in locating items within various deployment regions.

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GlobalData Patent Analytics tracks bibliographic data, legal events data, point in time patent ownerships, and backward and forward citations from global patenting offices. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.