Real-time transfer of testing data in the auto industry, machine
diagnostics and monitoring of any remote equipment, and drive-by metre
reading for the utility and energy sectors are some examples of where
the wireless telemetry technology developed by cStar Technologies Inc.
of Toronto could be deployed, suggests Solbyung (Stella) Yoon.
Enabling machine to machine or machine to human communication for the
computer processors not already connected to the Internet is a key
ambition for the Toronto-based company. As president and CEO, Yoon hopes
her company's patented technology will play a major role in providing a
communication link to what she estimates as the 98 per cent - numbering
perhaps as many as 60 billion - of the world's computers that are not
linked to the Internet.
"cStar has the competitive advantage because we have wireless WAN,
wireless LAN and power line communication device. And we cover satellite
connectivity, too. We are the only one in the world integrating all
these," she boasts.
CStar developed the technology behind cell-phone vending-machine
transactions where customers use their phones in place of loose change
to make purchases at vending machines. Costs are debited to the user's
cell phone bill.
The "intelligent vending" technology cStar deploys is also a wireless
inventory/sales data capture and inventory management solution,
according to cStar's publicist Ken Chiu. He notes that a vending machine
can be networked via wireless LAN, WAN or even using the phone line to
transfer data. The supply chain can be adjusted accordingly.
A vending operator en route to restock vending machines is now armed
with timely sales data, knowing which machines require priority and
which ones can wait another day. The delivery person can use a
wireless-networked PDA to retrieve real-time inventory data to know
exactly what is required in each machine before setting foot inside the
building housing the machines.
The operator avoids bringing great quantities of
each product flavour only to find one flavour
requiring restocking. Vending machines
automatically transmit warnings of problems, or
allow head office to remotely adjust prices,
cStar's SkyGate and DirectGate integrate with
Computer Associates' Unicenter TNG vending
solution to provide a management solution for
non-IT devices that would otherwise be difficult
to network - such as utility metres, courier
drop boxes, ATMs, traffic lights, pipelines,
freight and forestry controls, according to
cStar. Thus machines are networked to transmit
data using Internet protocols.
cStar's technology sends signals along the
electrical power lines in a building. The
authorized operator can retrieve the data from
any Internet-connected computer whether in the
building or from a specially equipped vehicle as
it is driven within range. Yoon points out that
automating processes saves time and labour
costs. She adds that using a wireless LAN
environment eliminates the cost of wireless
cStar's website can be reached at