In November, the Voyantic team celebrated 15 years of bringing excellence to the RFID industry. The celebration took place on a magnificent island of Boistö in Finland. This is a perfect moment to look back on the history of Voyantic.
Roots in Finnish University Research and Industry Connections
When the RFID fever was nearing its peak in 2004, two researchers - Jukka and Juho – were looking into smart packages and RF sensors at the Helsinki University of Technology (now Aalto University) in Finland. One day, during a talk over coffee, they got the idea of a system that would support RFID tag development. Market research soon proved the need for a UHF tag performance test system. Excited, ambitious, and young, with absolutely zero business experience, these fellows rushed out from academia to launch Voyantic Ltd.
Freshmen in Business, Pioneers in Tag Performance Testing
From 2005 to 2006, it was a time of the start-up struggle with hair-thin invoicing, global financial markets collapsing, and a measurement system prototype giving utterly strange test results on the lab table. A few seasoned venture capitalists added agony by educating the young team that “You boys are never going to sell any systems directly to customers in the USA.” Jesse joined the company in late 2006 to improve the calibration procedure and to package complex RF measurements into a turn-key system. In 2007 this new Tagformance solution brought tag sensitivity and frequency tuning tests to everyone’s reach.
Jesse, Juho, and Jukka (2019)
New Capabilities that Shifted RFID Engineering into Overdrive
After a tedious zero-budget roadshow in the USA, on one Thursday afternoon, it was a Xerox fax machine that delivered a miraculous first order from New Jersey. Direct deliveries to the USA started immediately. The first 5 systems were sold to 4 countries on 3 continents. This success with the early adopters in 2007 added much-needed air under Voyantic’s wings and encouraged the entrepreneurs to push forward.
As has been later acknowledged by several industry experts, these new tag testing capabilities mark a major milestone for the whole UHF RFID industry. The number of qualified developers rapidly multiplied. This engineering power drove the performance and reliability of UHF RFID systems up to a level that made a wider adoption of RFID technology possible.
Customers Requested RFID Quality Testing
When the innovative RFID tag designers started applying the Tagformance system to sampling production testing, feedback started to pour in. A production tester was urgently needed, and in reel-to-reel label processes, the tester should be fast. In 2010 Voyantic responded with Tagsurance and Snoop Pro antenna. This combo matched production speeds, brought visibility to smart label quality variations, and catalyzed continuous improvement to production processes.
Expertise and Global Service in Design, Manufacturing, and Deployment
Over the years, Voyantic has grown, new talents have joined the team, and partners have extended our global presence. NFC systems and product extensions have been added to the portfolio, and key software products have enjoyed constant engineering attention. Nowadays, over 90% of tag developers use Voyantic systems. Voyantic has delivered hundreds of solutions around the globe. It is the only company in the world with a 100% focus on RFID performance.
On the Mission to Deliver RFID Excellence
Voyantic has maintained its original idea to build the highest level RFID expert team and use that to deliver tools for the RFID industry. The instruments with which Voyantic helps the industry are testing, measurement, and encoding systems. RFID industry has evolved - RAIN RFID alliance has started, RFID hype has turned into solid double-digit growth with millions and billions of tags manufactured every year. RFID use has expanded from original retail hype to several industries and countless applications.
Behind all of this is the simple promise of wireless ID. RFID and NFC can be used to identify, count, and track objects fast and reliably, which is only possible if the right components are used in each place, and each part is of good quality. Voyantic mission in 2019 is to help companies excel in RFID.
“We have gone far in the last 15 years. Voyantic was founded at a time when UHF RFID was taking its very first steps. We were pioneers in RFID testing and helped the industry make the technology work. Now, as RAIN RFID is a mature technology, we are the industry’s trusted partner in quality.” - says Jukka Voutilainen, CEO and co-founder of Voyantic.
“Voyantic’s greatest achievements are the results of teamwork. I am grateful to our employees and to our customers that have all been dedicated and focused on solving problems. My logic says that we have thrived because our customers have thrived” - says Juho Partanen, Business Development Director and co-founder of Voyantic.
Beyond Just Business
In 15 years, Voyantic has become more than just a successful, profitable business. The company takes pride in dedication to its customers, but so many more people and communities are affected by good deeds. Organizations and events around the world and domestically are sponsored every year by Voyantic: Mühlbauer charity marathons, ultrarunner athlete Noora Honkala, RAIN, NFC, and AIM seminars and summits are among others.
Voyantic hires smart people and wants them to contribute to the success of the company. The amazing team of experts has been carefully handpicked.
“We are encouraged to do our best and succeed in our tasks. Should someone need help at any point, there’s always someone to help. Sometimes the goals might require a bit of a stretch, but no one has to achieve it alone. Truly, teamwork at its best.”, - says Sami Rautanen, Junior R&D Engineer.
Through the years, Voyantic has been committed to the well-being of people and developing their competences. Of course, the company would not be here today without its partners - distributor network that gets all the support for engineers, managers, specialists to achieve their sales goals and develop the partnership.
“Our common journey with Voyantic to explore the RFID market lasts more than a decade. We highly appreciate the collaboration and would like to continue growing together to lead the market with performance advantages ensured by Voyantic products.”, - says Mr. Nogami Akira, Executive Officer, from Altech Co., Ltd., the Japanese distributor of Voyantic products
What started on November 22nd, 2004, with a vision of 2 people, has grown into a company with 25 employees and over 800 installed systems in more than 30 countries. We want to thank everyone who accompanied us on this great journey: our customers, industry partners, investors, distributors, employees, and relatives. We strive towards surpassing these results in the future and continuing to help companies to excel in RFID.