Internet of Things: Beyond the Hype

By Pål Kastnes April 26, 2016 – http://blog.nordicsemi.com/

The amount of connected devices is projected to grow from 2 billion objects in 2006 to 200 billion by 2020. That’s the equivalent of 26 smart devices for every person on the planet! The time to sit up and take notice is now, so let’s take a look at the impact this trend will have on your business.

More than just a buzzword

Web 2.0, Big Data, Grid Computing: The media is quick to attach itself to the latest buzzwords, which can confuse readers and leave them wondering what all the fuss is about. Internet of Things (IoT) is no exception.

IoT references a range of diverse products and solutions that may at first glance seem unrelated to each other. Yet behind the hype, IoT is considered by those in the know to be an unstoppable trend that will affect all global business sectors in the very near future.

IoT in a nutshell

At its core, IoT is simply a network of physical objects (devices, cars, buildings, electronic items etc) that contain a microchip. The other key component is an internet connection via an internal or external gateway. Through sensors and software, the physical objects can monitor data, and send it to and from cloud-based databases to be monitored, analyzed and acted upon.

Think of it as a natural evolution of machine to machine (M2M) networks. Bringing that connectivity online gives you almost limitless possibilities.

IoT and the gold mine of Big Data

As each new connected device provides ever increasing amounts of highly valuable information, the industry of Big Data analytics is growing rapidly.

Pattern of Life (POL) data analytics can be used to profile users for different purposes. From a marketing perspective, it’s a goldmine.

This kind of analysis can save lives, but it also presents major privacy issues. Each country’s rules and regulations are developing and expected to change as people become more familiar with the topic. With this in mind, many companies are now collecting as much valuable information as they can before stricter laws are introduced.

Everyday life in the IoT era

According to Transparency Market Research, the global home automation market was valued at US $4.41 billion in 2014, and was expected to grow 26.3% annually from 2014 to 2020. As home automation technology evolves, your house will get smarter over time as more and more devices connect to each other. Expect more efficient use of energy and more self-learning devices that need less input from you.

Greenhouses can automatically monitor and optimize conditions to create the most productive environment. More intelligent agriculture has the potential to make a real difference to the expected food shortage problems as the world’s population grows.

Within healthcare, advanced wearables that monitor, analyze and report results for patients with chronic diseases look set to change the way doctors and patients communicate. Doctors can rely on hard facts rather than sporadic conversations with the patient.

Self-driving cars are no longer the realm of science fiction. Since 2009, Google’s self-driving car project has clocked up over 1.4 million miles. According to a Google study, their cars are involved in almost 25% less collissions than traditional cars in the United States.

How long will it take to get the world fully connected?

The backbone to connect already exists with cloud-based services in our current Internet structure. However, there are some natural limitations that will delay the adoption of a fully connected world.

  • Battery life
    The capacity and life expectancy of today’s batteries are bottlenecks for the creation of connected devices, yet the future looks promising with developments such as wireless charging.
  • One device, one IP
    We don’t have enough IP addresses available using the standard IPv4 protocol to meet the growing demand for IoT devices, which each need their own IP address to connect to the internet. Transition to the IPv6 protocol makes 340 trillion trillion trillion (yes, 3 x trillion) unique IP addresses available, more than enough to manage demand for decades to come. However, it will take time to update the world’s outdated hardware, so the transition will be gradual.
  • Costs
    The cost of connectivity has prevented an even faster digital transition, although the cost of silicon continues to fall year-on-year. It will take time, but the Internet of Things is a natural progression of technology. In time, cost will no longer be a decision factor when connecting products to the Internet.

How will IoT impact your business?

The era of IoT will force even the most successful companies in the unconnected world to face digital disruption. Despite only being in its infancy, the impact of IoT on traditional industries is undeniable.

Book stores were too busy protecting their existing product to combat Amazon’s Kindle. The taxi industry in New York was ripped apart by Uber. Kodak spent millions to protect their castle of film-based photography, which now stands in ruins.

The world is full of competent people who can create competing products with the digital features that your customers will soon expect. With low barriers of entry, all it takes is the right mix of innovators, a good understanding of market trends and willing investors, for ambitious digital-first startups to grab their share of your market pie in the blink of an eye.

If you are a profitable business with a portfolio of unconnected physical devices, your world will change.

The time for action is now.

Sources:

http://www.reuters.com/article/ny-transparency-market-idUSnBw215604a+100+BSW20150521

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moore’s_law

https://www.google.com/selfdrivingcar/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IPv4_address_exhaustion

http://www.intel.com/content/dam/www/public/us/en/images/iot/guide-to-iot-infographic.png

 

NB-IoT / CAT M2 standard nears completion

By Simon Glassman – Senior Principal, Strategic Partnerships
IoT is fast becoming a reality, and requirements including narrow bandwidth, low power and reliable connectivity are all issues – hear how NB-IoT is addressing these problems.

For the last couple of years, u-blox has cooperated with Vodafone and Huawei to develop and demo the new Narrowband IoT (NB‑IoT) technology. NB‑IoT is an emerging Low Power Wide Area (LPWA) technology that works over existing cellular infrastructure. Providing a simple means of connecting devices that send and receive small amounts of fairly infrequent data, NB‑IoT enables coverage in hard to reach places, as well as support for high numbers of low throughput, ultra-low cost devices.

As it stands, the NB‑IoT standards are nearing completion, a feat that has been achieved in record time. Only in September 2015 did 3GPP agree a common approach for NB-IoT deployment of LPWA networks using the licensed operator spectrum, and release of the standard is expected by June 2016.

Notably, a short development time doesn’t mean a half-baked standard. NB‑IoT is well defined, with a lot of work having taken place to guarantee low device power consumption and an optimized solution architecture – both key to the ultimate success of NB‑IoT. Leading lights behind the NB-IoT Forum have placed high importance on testing NB-IoT technology in real-world scenarios, such as the successful demonstration in Spain in November 2015 when the first pre-standard NB-IoT message was sent to a u-blox module installed in a test device located in water meter locations

Water meters are the perfect example of a host of monitoring devices that involve hard-to-reach locations. For example in basements, underground or behind metal covers, where no mains power is available and where typically other types of signal would be unable to reach. Other applications range from building automation, people and animal tracking, to ‘smart city’ technologies, where NB-IoT could help local government control street lighting, determine when waste bins need emptying, identify free parking spaces and survey road conditions. Battery life of 10 years and more will be expected from all these devices. u-blox labels these kinds of applications as the ‘Internet of Things that Really Matter’ i.e. business-critical applications with good business reasons for adopting this technology.

Take our Waste Management Route Optimization demo for Mobile World Congress 2016, for example. The system brings together pre-standard NB-IoT with u-blox Bluetooth low energy enabled sensors and Bluetooth/Wi-Fi IoT gateway module, supported by an ARM mbed application environment and a cloud based analytics. The system detects when bins are opened and closed, and are thus full or empty, and communicates this via NB-IoT to the cloud. The optimal route for a waste collection vehicle is then calculated, thus minimizing route distance and reducing fuel costs, carbon emissions and the duration of a waste collection.

In a bid to bring NB-IoT rapidly to commercialization, a number of mobile operators and network infrastructure providers are creating ‘NB-IoT Open Labs. Providing the right environment for the creation and support of an NB-IoT eco-system, the NB-IoT Open Labs will facilitate end-to-end development and interoperability testing for application developers, systems integrators and services providers. u-blox’s NB-IoT evaluation kits and modules are being made available to the Labs. [Interested customers can contact us today for our pre-standard NB-IoT kits and modules.]

Here at u-blox, we believe in a wireless future with secure, stable, and robust connectivity and as such, consider that NB-IoT has relevance to anyone building a connected device. With the head-start we have made with NB-IoT, we are committed to playing our part in ensuring that first commercial deployments of NB-IoT are on track for early 2017.

https://www.u-blox.com/

3GPP APPROVES LOWER POWER CLASS 5 (20 DBM) FOR NB-IOT APPLICATIONS

By Graham Prophet – Courtesy of www.edn-europe.com

Wireless and positioning-systems vendor u-blox (Thalwil, Switzerland), together with collaborator and IoT connectivity company Neul (Cambridge, UK) reports success in promoting the concept of an extra power class for devices used in Narrowband-IoT (NB-IoT) applications.

As a result, a maximum transmit power of 20 dBm has been approved on the occasion of the latest 3GPP RAN working group meeting, in the run-up to the 3GPP Release 13 of NB-IoT standards in June. This additional power class with lower maximum transmitted power could help to reduce the peak current consumption from the battery, hence enabling NB-IoT to be suitable for a wider range of IoT applications, such as wearables and tracking.

 NB-IoT is a Low Power Wide Area (LPWA) technology for IoT applications, available for deployment over existing mobile networks, in licensed radio spectrum. These applications have low data rates, require long battery lives and operate unattended for long periods of time, often in remote locations. In many use cases of NB-IoT applications, no local power supply is available, either for convenience (water meter, tracker, covert security sensor, outdoor sensor) or safety (gas meter) reasons. Batteries for long life applications, up to 10 years for some utility meters, are therefore crucial. They must also be small to fit into all IoT devices and be able to operate at very low temperatures.

For more information about NB-IoT at u-blox: https://www.u-blox.com/en/narrowband-iot-nb-iot

Nordic Semiconductor nRF52 Series-based Bluetooth Smart modules offer greater processing power, lower power consumption and better sensitivity

Taiyo Yuden modules employ Nordic nRF52832 SoC – the world’s most powerful Bluetooth Smart single-chip solution – and ease development of wireless healthcare, wearable, and Internet of Things solutions

Nordic Semiconductor today announces that Tokyo, Japan-based electronic component and wireless module manufacturer, Taiyo Yuden, has selected Nordic’s nRF52832 Bluetooth® Smart System-on-Chip (SoC) for its new EYSHCNZXZ and EYSHJNZXZ Bluetooth Smart Modules. The use of Nordic wireless technology for the modules continues a long-term design partnership.

The modules are fully-tested Bluetooth Smart solutions compatible with the latest version of the Bluetooth Core Specification (v4.2) simplifying the design of a wide range of connected products where performance small size, and low power consumption are key factors. The modules offer a compact 9.6 by 12.9 by 2mm (EYSHCNZXZ) or 5.1 by 11.3 by 1.3mm (EYSHJNZXZ) form factor, making them suitable for a variety of small, thin devices including healthcare equipment, wearable devices, and smartphone peripherals.

The nRF52 Series is Nordic Semiconductor’s sixth generation of ultra low power (ULP) wireless connectivity solutions. The nRF52832 SoC at the heart of the Taiyo Yuden modules features a 64MHz, 32-bit ARM Cortex M4F CPU which delivers up to 60 percent more generic processing power, offering 10 times the Floating Point performance and twice the Digital Signal Processing (DSP) performance compared to competing solutions. The 2.4GHz multiprotocol radio offers Bluetooth Smart, ANT™ and proprietary 2.4GHz support with -96 dB RX sensitivity and 5.5 mA peak RX/TX currents. The nRF52832 also features 512 kB Flash memory and 64 kB RAM, a fully-automatic power management system that reduces power consumption by up to 80 percent compared with the nRF51 Series, on-chip analog and digital peripherals for glueless interfacing to external components, and an NFC™ tag for consumer-friendly Touch-to-Pair.

The nRF52832 SoC’s powerful processor, sensitive multiprotocol radio and large memory capacity makes the device the world’s most powerful Bluetooth Smart single-chip solution. In turn, the nRF52832 SoC ensures the Taiyo Yuden modules are suitable for complex Internet of Things (IoT) applications. The nRF52832 SoC’s also supports over-the-air (OTA) application software and Bluetooth Smart firmware upgrades to, for example, protecting the modules against security flaws when used in IoT applications.

The EYSHCNZXZ offers a high performance ceramic chip antenna, while the EYSHJNZXZ has a PCB antenna. Both modules feature a generous set of general-purpose input/outputs (GPIOs), as well as SPI, UART, I2C, I2S, PDM, and 12-bit ADC interfaces together with analog inputs. Output power is adjustable up to +4dBm.

Taiyo Yuden previously offered a range of modules based on Nordic’s nRF51 Series Bluetooth Smart SoCs. The nRF52 Series SoCs offer greater processing power and higher radio sensitivity yet lower power consumption compared to the older modules. However, because the nRF51 and nRF52 Series share a common software architecture (which uniquely separates the Bluetooth Smart RF software (“stack”) and customer application code) OEMs and ODMs can easily reuse proven legacy software.

“We have had a successful module product line based on Nordic’s nRF51 Series chips for several years, however the nRF52 Series more powerful ARM processor and greater memory allocation makes it a better choice for single-chip Bluetooth Smart solutions for complex IoT applications,” says Mikio Aoki, Taiyo Yuden Project Manager. “Nonetheless, both the nRF52832 SoC’s ARM processor and software architecture are compatible with the nRF51 Series modules, making it much easier for our customers to upgrade to the new modules.”

www.nordicsemi.com

Spotlight on u-blox

u-blox – Investing in R&D to provide products and solutions for the Internet of Things – and everybody in the world.

Courtesy of www.cambridgewirelessblog.wordpress.com

u-blox supplies wireless chips and modules for a wide range of applications in Automotive, Industrial and Consumer. In particular, we are focused on the what we call the Internet of Things (IoT) which really matter. What we mean by this is those applications which demand high levels of reliability and robustness, such as Smart Cities, Home automation and Health monitoring.

We see IoT as the most significant trend since the launch of the mobile phone. In essence, we are on the brink of a new world where every object (and human) we interact with will be networked globally (ie able to communicate with any other entity) in order to share information (sensor data, GPS location, status, internet / media content) in order to provide seamless experiences, in-built intelligence and automated operation. Visit www.u-blox.com/en/internet-of-things for more information.

Due mainly to the emergence of LTE, we have seen broadband data use expand massively in the last 10 years, becoming today a mostly mobile experience. We are now seeing LTE revolutionise low bandwidth, low cost, low power communications, with the advent of LTE CAM-M and Narrow Band IoT (NB-IoT). These technologies have been derived on the back of LTE and will be central to the upcoming 5G cellular networks, allowing multiple tiers of low latency, data communications to co-exist in the same cellular spectrum covering applications from 4k video streaming into the home and autonomous vehicles comm’s and control right down to remote electricity meter reading and wrist wearable people tracking (eg for children or senior citizens).

u-blox has grown significantly over the last ten years and our endeavours in the cellular market have been instrumental in this trend. Our 2015 revenue was up 25% YoY to CHF 338 m and our gross profit was CHF 155 m. With an EBIT of 15%, and strong net cash, u-blox is well positioned for future growth, both organically and through acquisition.

We see strong growth opportunities in IoT as companies are increasingly confronted with new business models and the need to connect more and more devices to the Internet – both high and low data rates – in order to streamline the management of a virtually infinite range of applications. We are growing our product range and engineering teams to meet this need and contributing toward the definition of new standards for next generation short range and cellular applications. Especially in 3GPP LTE CAT-M and the recent NB-IoT initiatives.

An example of our recent success was the launch of a new cellular module for residential and industrial gas metering applications. SARA G350 ATEX is certified according to the EU ATEX directive, which defines requirements for use in potentially explosive environments. We collaborated with one of the market leaders in smart gas metering; Pietro Fiorentini to develop a product that would guarantee secure and high quality wireless communication in smart gas metering applications where power efficiency, as well as product robustness and reliability are crucial. Although the current device uses 2G, we are already planning a follow-on exploiting LTE CAT-M or Narrowband IoT (NB IoT).

u-blox has three parallel product centres and I am responsible for market development in our cellular business. This is a challenging role, which begins with building an understanding of the market, key trends and players, whilst also being cognisant of what u-blox can and can’t do; what drives us and how we can add value; in essence, our value proposition. Combining these two allows me to create a business / market strategy and then drive that into product management and development. A large part of the role is also business development; a combination of promotion and selling what we can do to customers, whilst listening to their needs. This completes the circle of market -> product -> customer -> business.

u-blox offers an interesting working environment, due to a diverse and dynamic mix of cultures and locations. We currently have 750 staff in 18 countries, working in all aspects of engineering, marketing and sales. We have ongoing recruitment opportunities in the UK and Ireland; Cambridge, Reigate and Cork and run a number of events annually. We are in the process of booking this year’s events right now. Last year, we held events in Cambridge, Cork and at Nottingham and Surrey Universities and at Trinity college, Dublin. More info here: www.u-blox.com/en/welcome-u-blox

I try to make as many CW events as I can, for two reasons; the useful insights into various emerging technologies, companies and industries gained by attending SIG events and the excellent networking opportunities throughout. Attendees are a great mix of senior decision makers, influential industry figures and key technical staff . I sometimes hear comments about the “usual suspects” appearing, however, mixing with a core group of regular attendees as strong as these is always a rewarding experience.

Due to the benefits we gain from this involvement in CW events, we are also a strong supporter of the Future of Wireless International Conference and I am in fact involved in organising this year’s event at the IET in London. We are pleased to be sponsors again this year and I can promise an exciting showcase of IoT technology at the event – watch this space!

Written by Charles Sturman, Director of Market Development – Consumer IoT, u-blox

nRF51822 now available as ultra- thin CSP variant

The award winning nRF51822 is now available as an ultra-thin Chip Scale Package) CSP variant. Measuring just 3.38mm x 3.38mm and with a height profile (including ball grid array) of just 0.35mm it is tiny, tiny enough to fulfill the requirements of the smartcard industry for example.

Size matters

As the world of Bluetooth Smart connectivity broadens ever further so do the demands placed on PCB real estate designers. Everything is getting smaller, ICs, supporting components and the overall designs are cramming more into less. For the smartcard industry there are absolute demands on size so that cards can fit reading machines etc. In wearables every square mm of PCB space it at a premium and so all savings no matter how trivial they may immediately seem are a boon.

Next generation wearables

Wearables is a pretty broad catch-all description for a surprisingly wide range of applications. When one thinks of this market the likes of FitBit and Jawbone, Polar and Pebble watches immediately spring to mind, but I can assure you that’s just one sub-segment of the wearables pie. We are seeing notification rings, jewelry and even moves into embedded electronic apparel. These applications are particularly sensitive to size, most especially the height of the electronics. At 0.35mm the classic nRF51822 can be realistically embedded into fabrics even and this is opening up very exciting new wearables territory.

It’s still the classic nRF51822

The thin CSP variant is the same SoC without compromise it has 256kB of flash and 32kB of RAM on chip. It still supports the S130 multi-role concurrent operation SoftDevice, and the nRF5 SDKs. When you know you need an nRF51822, you’ve just got to go smaller, this is your device of choice.

devzone.nordicsemi.com

Qorvo RF FLEX™

RF FLEX™

RF Flex™

Adaptability. Scalability. Ease of use.

The Qorvo® RF Flex™ family of products delivers these benefits for 4G LTE mobile devices, to provide regional phone designers with flexible RF front-end architectures targeted for rapidly changing markets.

Leveraging Qorvo’s industry-leading product and technology portfolio and deep systems-level expertise, RF Flex integrates core cellular transmit and receive functionality into high-performance modules to deliver best-in-class performance in a small solution size.

RF Flex™ Gen 2 Solutions

  • Pin-compatible transmit module and multiband PA module options
  • Low-loss integrated antenna switch for single antenna architecture
  • Optimized for 3-mode to 5-mode LTE requirements
  • Product line includes: RF5210, RF5216, RF5410, RF5418, RF5419

RF Flex Gen2 diagram 1

RF Flex Gen2 diagram 2


RF Flex™ Gen 3 Solutions

circle
Changing operator requirements for bands
and CA combinations complicate design decisionsRF Flex Provides Adaptability & Scalability

  • Pin-compatible transmit module and multiband PA module options
  • Low-loss antenna switch/diplexer for single- or dual-antenna architectures
  • Performance optimized for global carrier aggregation requirements
  • Product line includes: RF5228, RF5238, RF5422, RF5423, RF5426, RF5427

Teledyne Relays – All Current New Products

Teledyne Relays, over the past year, have expanded our product lines to meet current and future market requirements. Our excellence in engineering ground breaking technology has been extensive for more than 60 years and we have continued this feat with our latest range of products.

EMR
We have released two new families into our EMR product lines; the RF121/GRF121 & RF700/RF703.

The 121 series boast excellent frequency handling capabilities; up to 16GHz, making it ideal for all X-Band systems, HF Spread Radios, ATE and many other applications. Reliable switching is ensured by precious gold-plated metal alloy contacts.

Our RF700/RF703 was designed with High Repeatability, due to the uniframe motor design, and Broader Bandwidth (Than its little brother, RF300). These DC-4GHz EMR’s are ideal for applications such as RF Attenuation, RF Switch Matrices, ATE and many others. Options for coil suppression diodes are available for applications where the control circuits could be liable to back EMF damage.

COAX
We have release a new family to our coaxial switching lines; our CCR-48K/CR-48K. This SPmT (m=3-6) switch has frequency handling of DC-40GHz and boasts excellent RF Characteristics. It comes as standard with 2.92mm K-Connectors to enable excellent performance in the higher frequencies of its bandwidth. Suitable for operation with TTL Drivers and D-Sub Connectors, options available. Also, the option for coil suppression diodes and moisture seals are available.

Ideal for applications such as Electronic Warfare, ATE Systems and Satellite Communications

Military Solid State Relay
This year we have released our LD00KM & LD00KQ, 270VDC @ 10A & 20A, respectively, Silicon Carbide Solid State Relays onto the market. The SiC technology means a reduction in leakage current across the MOSFET and reduces the overall heat dissipation of the switch. Ideal for applications heat could be considered an issue. These switches have been designed with applications such as primary/secondary power systems in aviation and marine systems as well as DC-DC buck/boost converters where reliability and high performance are critical.

http://teledynerelays.com/

 

u-blox Centimeter-level precise positioning

Centimeter‑level accuracy by combining RTK technology and u‑blox GNSS expertise

High precision positioning can be achieved by combining Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS), such as GPS, GLONASS, Galileo and BeiDou, with Real Time Kinematics (RTK) technology. RTK is a technique that uses the receiver’s measurements from the phase of the signal’s carrier wave. These measurements combined with corrections from a local “base” station or virtual base station, allow the receiver to solve carrier ambiguities and provide cm‑level accurate position information to the end‑user, a moving device, typically is referred to as the “rover”.

The demand for lower priced high precision technology is growing rapidly, as evident in the areas of precision agriculture, UAVs, and robotic lawnmowers. However, due to size, power, and cost restrictions, existing high precision solutions have been unable to meet the demands of these markets. u‑blox has developed the recently launched NEO‑M8P to meet these growing demands.

Together with u‑blox’s GNSS expertise and the implementation of RTK technology, the NEO‑M8P provides centimeter‑level accuracy for the mass market.

https://www.u-blox.com/en/centimeter-level-precise-positioning

LoRaONE: the LoRa® IoT development board by SODAQ

View on Kickstarter here: www.kickstarter.com

About this project

Introducing: LoRaONE The one solution to connect all the things, all the time.

Small, yet versatile. LoRaONE brings IoT to life.
Small, yet versatile. LoRaONE brings IoT to life.

What is it?

LoRaONE is all you need to create your own IoT solution. An Arduino compatible board packed with features and sensors, making it the ideal solution for makers and creators that can’t wait to make the Internet of Things a reality. It is easy to program, connected to its surroundings through numerous sensors and ready to go. The board has the size of a matchbox, so it can be placed anywhere you can think of. But best of all, it is connected everywhere through LoRa® technology. When it comes to building the IoT, there’s nothing like LoraONE.

For the past months we’ve worked hard to get LoRaONE to the final stages of development. The first beta-users are already working with LoRaONE. To make the final step and start mass-production, we need your help. If you back us, not only do you help us to get LoRaONE out in the world, but you’ll also receive one yourself in July 2016. So this summer you can start building on your LoRaWAN™ connected IoT.

You’ve seen us on:

What’s inside?

This board is based on our successful Autonomo. It has a proven 32 bit Arduino compatible platform that is currently the first choice of millions of programmers around the world. Not only is it versatile, it is also extremely small, measuring only 40 x 25 millimeters. One of the characteristics of ARM Cortex M0 based boards is that they can be programmed to run extremely energy efficient, which is essential for your next IoT-project.

But maybe even more essential is the connection. We chose LoRa® as we fully believe this is where the Internet of Things will come to full bloom. LoRa® networks are easy to set up, have extremely long range and are rapidly being rolled out around the world. It works both indoors and outdoors. LoraONE connects easily and safely with your local LoRaWAN™ network, making the IoT a reality.

We’ve include a GPS-antenna in the LoRaONE, so it can track its location precisely. But this is not just any GPS. To make it ideal for the IoT, we have chosen the state-of-the art u-blox Eva GPS moduleWhy is it state-of-the-art? Because it can be made to use less power than any other GPS we looked at. After switching off, the module keeps the almanac in memory. So when switching on, it can get a fix in just a few seconds. This allows us for instance to get a GPS fix every 5 minutes at less than 1% of the power needed for constant positioning by regular GPS. We call this near-realtime tracking and it is essential for our rhino-tracking project, which you can read about below.

Included on the tiny board is also an accelerometer, opening up a wide range of possibilities. If there’s movement, the LoRaONE will know and can act accordingly. You can even let the sensors cooperate. So the GPS can safely switch off, until it the device detects movement. This minimizes energy usage even more, and will also keep you up to date about what’s going on with your LoRaONE.

Want more? LoraONE has a magnetometer, so it is able to detect magnetic fields. There’s aMicroUSB connector, so it can connect to your computer straight out of the box. There’s 14 I/O pins, to connect other sensors or devices. All can be used for digital and 12 for analog It has a button and LED, making it perfect for that wearable you always wanted to create.

Still not enough? If you opt for the Starter Kit, you’ll get some really cool extra’s. The ONEbase extension board makes this device a creators dream. Simply click the LoraONE on the base and you can directly connect all sorts of Grove modules, just like with our previous projectsAutonomo and Mbili boardsIt also comes with a 800mAh rechargeable LiPo battery. And if you really don’t want to worry about losing power, you can use the 500mW solar panel, also included in the package.

LoRaONE rewards

LoRaONE Early Bird (only 100 available): You know what they say about early birds….they save money! Get the LoRaONE for a one-time-only price of €75. There’s only 100 available, so needless to say you need to get up early to catch this offer.

LoRaONE: For the hardcore IoT fans out there. This reward will get you the LoRaONE right at home, ready to go.

LoRaONE Starter Kit: Everything you need to get started as an IoT maker or creator. This kit includes: – LoRaONE – LiPo rechargeable 800mAh battery – 500mW solar cell – ONEbase – MicroUSB cable. The battery, solar cell and cable ensure you have everything you need to get started, while the LoraONE base extends the already broad possibilities of the LoRaONE even further.

LoraTEN: Ready to take on the bigger projects? Developing for your company, organization or maybe your own smart-home? This pack features 10x the LoRaONE. Buy in bulk and get a nice discount, as this unlimited offer gets you the LoRaONE’s at the early bird-price.

LoRaTHON: The ultimate IoT hackathon-package. If you’re planning to do workshops, educational programs or simply want it all for yourself. This starters pack features ten LoRaONEs, each with its own battery, MicroUSB cable, solar cell and the ONEbase extension board. The possibilities are endless…times ten!

LoRaONE Tech specs

  • Microcontroller: ATSAMD21G18, 32-Bit ARM Cortex, M0+
  • Compatibility:  Arduino M0 Compatible
  • Size:  40 x 25 mm
  • Operating: Voltage 3.3V
  • I/O Pins:  14, All can be used for digital, 12 for analog and 8 for PWM, plus UART, SPI and TWI (I2C)
  • Analog Output Pin:  10-bit DAC
  • External Interrupts: Available on all pins
  • DC Current per I/O pin: 7 mA
  • Flash Memory: 256 KB
  • SRAM:  32KB
  • EEPROM: Up to 16KB by emulation
  • Clock Speed: 48 MHz
  • Debug: Serial Wire Interface
  • Power: 5V USB power and/or (optional) 3.7 LiPo battery
  • Charging:
  • Solar charge controller, up to 500mA charge current
  • LED: RGB LED
  • LoRa® Microchip:  RN2483 or RN2903 Module (depending on your region)
  • GPS: u-blox EVA 7M
  • Accelerometer/Magneto: LSM303D
  • USB: MicroUSB Port

Why LoRa®?

The future of the Internet of Things lies in LoRa®. That’s not something we made up, just to get you to buy the LoRaONE. It is actually the opinion of some very bright minds from all over the world. “LoRaWAN™ is to IoT as 3G/4G is to smartphones”, wrote The Verge. “[IoT] devices require a stable, reliable and cheap approach, which opens up a whole new world”, said techsite Tweakers. The different networks are currently regulated by the non-profit LoRa® Alliance, there’s more information on their website.

LoRaWAN™ is a low power network that works over long distances. One gateway can reach up to 10 kilometers around, depending on obstructions. It is cheap to set up, organizations like The Things Network are currently working on new gateways which cost as less as €200 euro’s. This makes it extremely easy and cheap to set up a city-wide network, but it can be just as easy to connect remote places to the internet. One of the great advantages is that the signal can be used indoors and outdoors.

LoRa® is also energy efficient. Connected devices, like the LoRaONE, can go on for years on a small battery. Or they need only a small solarcell to continue working forever.

Note that for the LoRaONE to communicate you need a LoRa® network. This could either be a network operated by your local Telco, like KPN in the Netherlands, Proximus in Belgium orOrange in France. Or it could be your local The Things Network. A third option would be to run your own private LoRa® network, but this would require a LoRa® gateway and LoRa® server which are available through various different sources

Where are you: pick the right band!  

Due to national regulations, LoRa® networks use different frequencies in different parts of the world. Most common are 868Mhz for Europe and South Africa, while the Americas use the 915Mhz band. Other parts of the world are undecided, unregulated or there simply is no LoRa®-network available yet. So when ordering the LoRaONE, please fill in which frequency you require, so we can make sure to send you the right hardware.

What can YOU do with LoRaONE?

So what is LoRaONE capable of? Well, the cool thing is, that is totally up to you. But we like to do some tinkering ourselves, and came up with some ideas that we tried out. This is just a tiny sample, and we can’t wait to hear what you come up with.

LoRaONE can be anything. Like a solar radiation sensor to measure at what sun intensity your plants grow the most.
LoRaONE can be anything. Like a solar radiation sensor to measure at what sun intensity your plants grow the most.
  • We’re currently working closely with the park rangers in northern Tanzania to protect endangered rhinos from poachers who try to get their hands on the valuable horn. For years, the rangers have been struggling to track the rhinos effectively through a range of sensors. Radio waves are unsafe as the poachers can track the rhinos as well. Satellite equipment is big and bulky for an animal to carry around. And cellular service is spotty at best. LoRaONE proves to be the solution. With only ten gateways, the huge park is fully covered. The LoRaONEs are small and light enough so they do not hinder the rhinos and the connection is secure, so poachers can’t eavesdrop. Thanks to small solar panels and sunny African weather, the LoRaONEs never run out of juice, giving the rangers 24/7 information about the whereabouts of these magnificent animals.
  • LoRaONE can serve as an excellent remote alarm system for anything ranging from a bicycle to an expensive painting. The accelerometer detects any movement and the LoRaONE can notify you instantly. Follow it’s location in near-real time and get back what’s yours!
  • With the built in button it works as a wearable, for instance a panic button for seniors. If anything happens, a push of the button notifies loved ones or caretakers, who can immediately read out the location. Thanks to LoRa® this is not limited to one building: it is connected everywhere, all the time.
  • We’re working with local government to attach the LoRaONE to outdoor trashcans. LoRaONE can detect and send information about whether they are full or not, saving the city cleaners tons of time (and money).
  • The Netherlands is home to a couple of huge harbors, each shipping millions of sea containers each year. One or two LoRa®-gateways can be enough to blanket the area in a network. Attach the LoRaONE to the containers with a strong magnet and they’re instantly traceable. Thanks to the magnetometer, the magnetic field of the LoRaONE detaching from the container can be sensed, so it can even notify the owner and warn that something is wrong. Nothing gets accidentally lost, ever again.

Who are we?

We are SODAQ, which is short for SOlar powered Data AcQuisition. Solving the problem of efficiently connecting things while off-grid has always been at the heart of what we do. Additionally, we will always strive to build high quality libraries to support the development of applications for our boards. You may know us from our other two successful Kickstarter campaigns, the first SODAQ development board and the SODAQ Autonomo. Our company is based in Hilversum, a town just outside Amsterdam in The Netherlands. A great place to be, as multiple parties have embraced the idea of a countrywide LoRa® network.

We currently have 12 experienced and enthusiastic geniuses working in our office. Not only do we develop hardware and software for the IoT, we also put energy in spreading the word and sharing our knowledge. For instance, we’ve partnered with IoT Academy and the RDM Makerspace. For their workshops we provide hardware and instructions. Recently Dutch IT-consultancy QNH chose us as partner to gain knowledge and insights on the different aspects of IoT. This is not our first Kickstarter campaign. We’ve launched our SODAQ board and theAutonomo on Kickstarter. Both got succesfully funded and shipped on time.

Risks and challenges

During our last two campaigns we promised to ship on time, and managed to do so. We are planning to keep our promise this time around, too. The first hundred LoRaONE boards are currently being used by beta-users. We’ve finished the development stage, the prototypes are fully functional and ready to go into mass production. The production will take place in the Netherlands.

We have existing production and delivery agreements in place with our selected component suppliers and manufacturers. From small numbers to larger volumes, our relationship with these same suppliers has given us confidence in their ability to deliver what we will need in the future.

However, past performance is not always a guarantee for the future. There’s always a small risk involved while producing hardware. In the overall scheme of things, SODAQ will probably remain a small production item for these suppliers. As much as possible, we will use our excellent relationship with them to ensure that production of the SODAQ board remains on track.

If on the other hand we have a much larger number of orders to fulfil, we will be facing additional challenges in supplying and packaging the kit. We don’t want to slip on the timeline, so if it looks like numbers might grow sufficiently during the campaign, we will be putting in place contingency arrangements with our primary PCB, assembly and packaging providers.

Handling communication with you, our wonderful backers, might prove to be another challenge while we’re all busy producing, sorting, packing and sending out the kits. Our team has some experience in large scale communication and the experience from our previous Kickstarter campaign will prove very useful. The whole team will be available in both the Kickstarter Q&A forum, and by email, to address any requests for information or limitations you might encounter when using the board and kits.

LoRa® is a registered trademark of Semtech Corporation. LoRaWAN™ is a trademark of Semtech Corporation.

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