DNP and Star Launch IoT Service Based on Powerless Caster Beacon

Helps visualize the location and flow of people and goods at commercial facilities

Dai Nippon Printing Co., Ltd.

Dai Nippon Printing Co., Ltd. (DNP) and Star Micronics Co., Ltd (Star) will make an April 2017 launch of an Internet of Things (IoT) service based on a powerless caster beacon.
The new service operates on the power generated by the movement of casters attached to luggage carts, and will make the location and flow of people and goods at commercial facilities and airports more visible.
A Bluetooth-compatible beacon developed by Star is integrated into carts and transmits a location information radio wave that is stored on a cloud server, via a receiver installed at such commercial facilities.
The new service also utilizes a dedicated location-linked IoT platform developed by DNP, and the combination of these two partner services now makes it possible to visualize the location and flow of people and goods. Service effectiveness verification tests at large scale facilities were conducted with the cooperation of Narita International Airport Corporation (Narita Airport). 


Companies that maintain commercial facilities, transport infrastructure, such as railway stations and airports, along with indoor facilities, such as warehouses and factories, have long desired the visualization of the location and flow of people and goods in order to realize operational efficiencies and expand sales. Adopting such a system to meet these needs, however, has entailed a high operational burden from selection of the equipment to be used, and the information storage server, through operation and maintenance, which has presented obstacles as to the simple introduction and ongoing operation of such a system.
In this latest development, a dedicated location-linked IoT platform developed by DNP has been combined with a caster beacon developed by Star, to develop a system that facilitates the simpler visualization, in just a short time, of the location and flow of people and goods.

[Service Summary and Features]

Dedicated location-linked IoT platform developed by DNP

The platform integrates an Application Programming Interface (API) for IoT services, which allows companies to realize IoT services with just a short lead time. Data acquired by various equipment is accumulated on a server, with sophisticated security functions located at the DNP Kashiwa Data Center, developed to provide the robust system operations environment and operations necessary to promote IT business. In addition to location and flow management functions, the new platform is also equipped with an information delivery function for in-facility guidance, and coupon distribution, making it possible to provide location-based services targeting consumers via smartphones.
For further information regarding the dedicated location-linked IoT platform, please see our news release data October 24, 2016 at

Caster beacon developed by Star

The caster is comprised of an electromagnetic induction type rotary power generation unit built in to the casters on luggage carts and appliances, and a beacon circuit. The cart harvests rotary energy from the movement of the casters to operate the beacon, removing the need to install and replace power cells. The caster is capable of transmitting radio waves equivalent to power cell operated beacons with a movement of approximately 0.8m. The beacon can be used merely by switching out the existing casters on standard shopping carts, flat carts, and cage carts (for the new casters with the beacon function.) Energy harvesting is an environmentally-friendly power generation technology that harvests minute amounts of energy from the surrounding environment and transforms it into power.

Model name


Caster dimensions (3 types)

Φ100×27mm, Φ100×32mm, Φ125×32mm

Transmission frequency

1 transmission for approximately every 2 revolutions

Wireless spec

Bluetooth low energy


Structure of electromagnetic induction type rotary power generation unit

[Verification Tests]

Visualizing the flow of consumers at large scale facilities, such as railway stations and airports can help improve services, such as the optimization of store layouts and ad delivery, along with the implementation of congestion easing measures. Narita International Airport experiences more than 100,000 passengers per day on average, and tests conducted at the airport involved installing a gateway receiver at 10 locations, to pick up data from moving luggage carts, which was then forwarded to the cloud server. Positional data related to the carts is collated at the server and the result displayed on the management screen.

At left: airport handcart / At right: management screen display

[Anticipated Usages]

The new IoT-based service manages the uneven existence of goods, and also responds to individual management needs, such as high value testing equipment.

1. Managing shopping carts at commercial facilities

Using a smartphone, it is possible to confirm the present position of abandoned shopping carts at large scale commercial facilities. In cases, where more than a specific number of such carts have been left at the storage area, it is also possible to enact a screen-based alert notification, leading to more efficient cart collection tasks.

2. Management of flat carts, and cage carts at warehouses and plants

For companies with indoor spaces, such as warehouses, and multiple distribution locations, making the movement rate of flat carts, and cage carts, and their location more visible, can lead to the optimization of investments, such as operating with the appropriate number of units, and additional purchases of the same. In addition, it is also possible to use the newly developed system to prevent abandonment, illegal removal from the premises, and theft.

3. Managing various equipment at locations such as hospitals and research facilities

It is possible for busy staff in hospitals that maintain a large volume of testing equipment to search for the correct equipment, and provide care in a prompt and timely manner. Universities and companies also maintain high value equipment in volume, leading to demands for appropriate location management from the standpoint of conserving management resources.


Initial set up fees: From 300,000 yen
Cloud environment usage fees: From 160,000 yen per month
Caster beacon management API usage fees: From 60,000 yen per month.
Caster beacon: Discretionary pricing. Individual estimates available on a lot unit basis
Optional add-ons include application development, and the production of data analysis reports

[Forward Looking Events]

DNP and Star will propose the newly developed service, along with related operations, including application development and operations, to companies operating carts and flat carts at indoor facilities, such as railway stations, airports, commercial facilities, warehouses and plants, as well as research institutes and hospitals requiring location management of high value equipment, aiming for sales of 1.0 billion yen by FY 2020.

* Product prices, specification and service contents mentioned in this news release are current as of the date of publication. They may be changed at any time without notice.

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