Our friends at Verizon Wireless have been working with us on a four-part series on our Wireless Connections radio show on Business RadioX. Thus far, we’ve uncovered much about the overall landscape for the burgeoning Internet of Things, and it looks as though North Carolina is really beginning to take a strong leadership position in this space. We thought it might be time for us to replicate some of that content in our blog. So, for those of you who have not yet downloaded the podcasts, here’s the first in a series of pieces that provide you with a quick look into what was covered.

The DNA is made up of the Device, the Network, and the Applications.

Devices have gone far beyond the mobile phone or even tablets (or phablets). We’re thinking not just about FitBits, but we’re thinking about how we can improve on seemingly “strange” devices to increase productivity. Case in point: connected, green, trashcans. Raleigh, along with many other cities in the nation, has adopted eco-friendly garbage cans that use solar energy to determine when the garbage can is full. This information is then connected to the city, alerting city workers to empty them.

Mark Boggs, Mark Scheuerlein, and Todd Young of Verizon Wireless agreed that the ultimate goal is to increase productivity and help small companies see their innovative ideas come to fruition. To listen to their entire radio show and keep up with this series on Business RadioX, visit Carolina Connections.

The tremendous potential for new applications of wireless-enabled medical devices has spurred significant innovation of late. Combining medical assistance with power of broadband can improve healthcare for everyone throughout the world. Yet, those in the U.S. tend to think first about designing to address FDA and FCC regulations. That’s complicated enough.

But as you consider your market opportunities, remember that the population of the United States is approximately 318 million. When compared, however, to the world’s population – 7.2 Billion – the US is less than 5% of the market. Consider that when you consider designing products for helping people live better lives.

The promise of innovation and the potential to change medicine is a global concern – and the market is a global market. The convergence of communications technology and medical devices is evolving quickly. It takes a team dedicated to keeping up with not just technology changes, but market and government regulation changes, too. And when we say government, we mean governments – plural.

During our upcoming webinar on Global Markets for Wireless Medical Devices, we’ve partnered with the US Department of Commerce US Commercial Service to bring you expert advice on how to be sure you’re designing – and testing – for the world. Some of the topics discussed will include global understanding of:

• “Intended-Use” – this is critical terminology with global definitions

• On-body, In-body, Near-body – and the differences in testing requirements

• Range of operation, battery life, performance optimization – implicated in regulatory approval

• Selection of wireless technology appropriate for the application – to help you design efficiently

• Quality of service – both from a device and an operations perspective

• Coexistence with other devices (interoperability) – especially critical for low-range frequencies

• Security of data transfer – this varies slightly

• Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC)

Regulatory commissions that will impact approval of the above include – but aren’t limited to – the following agencies:

US: FCC Federal Communications Commission

CA: IC Industry Canada

EU: ETSI European Telecommunications Standards Institute

Japan: MIC Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications

Korea: KC Korean Certification

Israel: MoC Ministry of Communications

So, you have a great idea. You’ve begun development. You’re looking at FDA approval concerns. But if you’re not sure your design will meet global specification requirements, don’t let this opportunity go by, as it is sure to advance your product’s success. Learn from the professionals in regulation, trade, and antenna research, all from one webinar.

Join us June 5, 2014 – sign up here by June 4th to assure your spot.

Click here for information on the presenter, Dr. Gerard Hayes.


brightwolf_badgeThe WRCNC is pleased to announce the newest addition to the Commercialization Center: Bright Wolf. Bright Wolf’s Arbor software platform makes businesses smarter and more efficient by connecting wireless technologies to enterprise systems. They’ve helped countless companies get more from their Machine-to-Machine (M2M) and Internet-of-Things (IoT) devices.

It’s no wonder WRC is so thrilled to have Bright Wolf on board. Bright Wolf is in a strong growth position, having recently grown out of Groundwork Labs. Its products and services are a great match for other companies on site, and many of the companies served by WRC.

Bright Wolf is developing platforms and services for M2M and IoT devices, which allow them to interact easily with other devices and systems. The accelerated adoption of IoT and M2M technologies enables businesses to make decisions in real-time based on validated real-world data.  M2M and IoT systems eliminate sources of human error and reduce risk across enterprises.

Bright Wolf’s Arbor platform operates under some of the harshest conditions, including Power Generation, Mining and Construction, Locomotives, Rail Maintenance Equipment, and Tractor Trailers.   Accessing and integrating real-world sensor data has never been easier for enterprises.  A sampling of the sensor technologies supported by the Arbor platform include: tire pressure, GPS, refrigeration, J1939 and Modbus.

Today’s M2M and IoT systems are extremely sophisticated, so delivering them requires a flexible, robust, enterprise validated platform built on a strong research-based foundation. Bright Wolf is the perfect complement to WRC, and we’re thrilled they’ve chosen to join other firms in our center, including RF2 Antenna and Fokus Labs, among others.

att logoWRC NC does it again. In continuing effort to develop strong relationships with those impacting the future of wireless technologies, a new opportunity has arisen. As of February 15, WRC will work with AT&T Emerging Device Organization as an approved technology partner. This partnership expands not only reach, but depth of opportunity to integrate wireless research and testing through one of the world’s leading wireless networks.

This partnership provides those associated with the Emerging Device Organization access to the WRC’s advanced technical research facility, includes one of only 3 Satimo SG64 testing chambers in the world. Offering Emerging Device partners access to the most accurate solution for testing antennas and wireless devices is one key reason this partnership is important.

The WRC is dedicated to providing top-notch research to those creating new wireless devices. The newly established partnership with AT&T’s Emerging Device Organization positions the Center to better support this market with their deep expertise in research, testing, and global innovation.

Much like the saying “it takes a village to raise a child,” ensuring digital broadband access to every citizen in the state of North Carolina will take the efforts of a number of groups – public and private … and non-profit. BlogSharonDecker.png

When the Wireless Research Center welcomed North Carolina Secretary of Commerce Sharon Decker on Monday, February 3, her determination to help make that happen was palatable.

She emphasized on her tour of the facility (with Gerry Hayes in photo) that it will take access to broadband across the entire state of North Carolina is to see resurgence in manufacturing and agriculture leadership.

Of course – Secretary Decker was like most visitors to the Center… she was excited to tour the Satimo test chamber – where all these photos were taken. She voiced her surprise that North Carolina had this unique testing facility—in a non-profit center, funded in part by the City of Wake Forest and the Golden Leaf Foundation.

To demonstrate just how committed the region is to this endeavor, a veritable assembly of leaders came to underscore their commitment and encourage the State’s involvement in its success. In attendance was Vivian Jones, the Mayor of Wake Forest, Dr. John W. Harden, Executive Director of North Carolina’s Office of Science and Technology, Phil Emer of One Network, and Maria Akridge, President of the Wake Forest Chamber of Commerce (pictured at right). Decker WRC visit group photo 2-03014

“We are honored to have been recognized by the Secretary of Commerce, the Mayor, and so many other leaders in both technology and economic development,” said Dr. Gerard Hayes, Present and CEO of WRCNC. “By partnering with the Department of Commerce and its partners throughout the state, the Wireless Research Center can begin to ensure broadband throughout North Carolina and create more jobs in wireless research technology.”

According to CTIA, the United States leads the world in development and deployment of wireless technologies. But how safe are these products – and how well do they really work?

As the largest trade association for the wireless industry, CTIA has developed a series of tests to verify the efficacy of wireless products.  Specific requirements change with the times, because as industry standards change, certification testing changes with it.

The Wireless Research Center of North Carolina (WRCNC) is one of only 28 CTIA certified testing facilities in the United States, and the only one in the Carolinas. Dr. Gerard Hayes, CEO and President of the WRCNC, sees receiving CTIA certification as a strong marketing tool for economic development in North Carolina.

“Our testing facility has a lot going for it,” said Dr. Hayes. “The Center is an ISO 17025 accredited facility and a certified CTIA Test Lab for over-the-air (OTA) testing of cellular devices. In addition to its CTIA accreditation, we offer Antenna Characterization, OTA, ESD, and RSE testing services. We’re very accessible (right outside of Raleigh), and we’re a non-profit, which gives those who test here added benefits.”

What benefits? Perhaps the most important is the security of your Intellectual Property, and access to patent review services for those in-process. Entrepreneurs, especially, can benefit from our other offerings:

  • product development support
  • regulatory guidance
  • business development/commercialization support.

According to this CTIA Economic Report, the US has more than double the number of wireless broadband subscriptions than any other country, and has, within the last five years, outpaced Japan and Europe in productivity, with an ever-increasing number of wireless technologies, computers, and telecommunications.

Wireless technology is our future – for consumers, in the workplace, in health care, and in field service automation (GPS). Because of the Wireless Research Center of North Carolina’s newly CTIA-accredited status, the Center is growing exponentially and will continue to offer state-of-the-art testing for new technologies from both new and established companies.



On the Radio: Larry Steffann, Dr. Gerald Hayes on Business RadioX. Listen here:

Dr. Gerard Hayes and Larry Steffann/Wireless Research Center of NC

Dr. Gerard Hayes is the President and Founder of the Wireless Research Center of North Carolina. Dr. Hayes has more than two decades of experience in government and commercial electromagnetic research and design. Prior to working with the Town of Wake Forest to establish the WRCNC in 2010, Dr. Hayes was the Director of Engineering at GreenWave Scientific where he led the development of antenna and RF circuit designs for a diverse range of DoD applications. At Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications (USA) Inc., Dr. Hayes provided global technical leadership in the Technology and Research organization with contributions to handset antenna design, technology, and radiated performance optimization. At Lockheed Martin (formerly Lockheed Missiles and Space Co.), Dr. Hayes supported research and development efforts for space-based, phased array applications. The scope of his experience encompasses electromagnetic theory, bioelectromagnetics, antenna design, RF circuit analysis, and material engineering. He has participated in the development of international standards for OTA, HAC, and SAR evaluation (including IEEE, IEC, CTIA, and C63 standards). With over 75 US patents, Dr. Hayes has maintained a prominent technical role in the wireless industry.

Larry Steffann has over 35 years in technology.  He has been a CEO (NSO/AMEX) and COO (BOCI/Nasdaq). As a serial entrepreneur, Mr. Steffann’s recent roles have included GM of the Wireless Research Center of North Carolina and VP of Product Development for Consert, a Smart Energy start up in Raleigh North Carolina. Consert raised more than $40 million in funding prior to being sold to Toshiba.  Larry Co-Founded Joystick Labs, the initial tenant of the American Underground at the American Tobacco Campus, in Durham, NC. Mr. Steffann has been a serial mentor both as a corporate executive and as a community minded citizen. This started with Israeli Incubators and has continued as an Executive-in-Residence at North Carolina State University since 2008. Mr. Steffann has mentored for the Center for Entrepreneurial Development (CED) as a Fast Track and VMS mentor. This combination of executive leadership and hands on mentorship is now applied to economic development – the primary mission of The Wireless Research Center of North Carolina.

Why connect with the Wireless Research Center of North Carolina? That depends on your interest in wireless.

If you are developing new wireless technologies, or work in the telecommunications, medical, or government/defense industries, WRCNC can provide innovative intelligence, testing and economic development opportunities. Here are four key areas in which we offer outstanding ROI:

•    Wireless Developers: WRCNC offers access to specialized testing facilities and expertise not available elsewhere in the state – and in some cases, available in only one other place in the world. Antenna and wireless testing and consulting is available from concept through production for commercial, defense and medical markets. We can also conduct EM Simulation/Evaluation and be your non-profit partner for research grants.

•    Economic development: We are North Carolina’s wireless research hub, enhancing job creation, retention and expansion around the ever-growing field of wireless technology. Our entire mission is centered on making North Carolina a rich and viable center of wireless research and product commercialization.

•     Universities/Research: WRCNC serves as a catalyst for university research initiatives in wireless and antenna technology by providing cost effective, ready access test laboratories and expertise.  Being a part of the WRCNC will make area universities more competitive when seeking government and commercial research grants and also more competitive in the commercialization of technology.

•    Certification: our testing facilities are certified by CTIA, offering your products the seal-of-approval they need before making proof points available to the public. We work closely with agencies like the FCC, CTIA, IEC and IEEE and therefore can offer guidance on projects for standard body activities. The WRCNC can provide support for quality systems, OTA and RF exposure.

If you are not connected to WRCNC, learn more by following the link and connect with us today!