5 IoT applications to make our planet great again!

The US have left Paris climate agreement against the will of most citizens. We list here 5 IoT applications that will help to decrease the CO2 emissions on top of providing a financial incentive to the stakeholders.

Connected dumpster

Connecting bins and dumpsters with an ultrasonic sensor to monitor their level of waste helps to optimize waste collection, making it less systematic. Data shows that this approach reduces waste collection by 30% in average.

In practice, this application comes with a route optimization algorithm that reduces travel times and distances, therefore, reducing CO2 emissions.

 

Connected dumpster

Solution providers: OnePlus Systems, Sayme…

 

Gas tank remote monitoring

Like connected dumpsters, LPG, fuel & oil tanks can benefit from connected ultrasonic sensors. The supplier knows when to arrange delivery or pick up and can optimize its delivery route.

Solution providers: Silicon Controls, Ijinus…

 

Street lighting

More and more cities are considering smart lighting as it can decrease their energy bills. Street light dimming systems have a break-even after 4 to 8 years depending on the cost of electricity in the country. The principle is to reduce light intensity when there are no pedestrian or cars. This approach can lead to 80% of energy savings for cities.

Another option is to use Street lighting systems which embed a light intensity schedule where light intensity is only based on the time.

 

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Solution providers: Kawantech, Sayme

 

Smart parking

In dense areas, it can sometimes be challenging to find a parking place. More and more cities are adding sensors connected to a smartphone application so that drivers can be routed to a vacant parking place directly.

This helps reduce driving time by 10 minutes and CO2 emissions by 20% on average.

 

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Solution providers: IoTMalta, Libelium, Sterela…

 

Risk management

A lot of physical tests and measurements can be replaced by connected sensors: regular actions that can be assessed remotely are causing pollution which could be avoided.

This is the case with legionella monitoring. We can now remotely assess the risk of the legionella bacteria developing by just monitoring the water temperature and linking it to a smart algorithm.

Another example is the temperature monitoring of railway tracks. For safety reasons, railway companies physically monitor the temperature of their tracks at many different points to understand train speeds because as the temperature goes up, the rails bend…

Solution providers: Spica Technologies (healthy water), Intesens (railway)…

Where things come alive.

Total Eclipse of IoT

This Monday may have been the first one in a while that the entire country was actually excited about! Everyone had eclipse fever, and our Sigfox team was no exception. Our Boston office was in the 65% solar coverage path, so they didn’t experience much impact of the eclipse besides all the people watching in Copley Square. But I live in Chicago, closer to the path of 85-90% solar coverage and the some of the best Sigfox network coverage in the country.

Ecl-ann

 

Sigfox is a Low Power Wide Area Network (LPWAN) dedicated to Internet of Things connectivity. Sigfox network enables wireless devices to communicate with low power consumption, long range connectivity, and very low data rate transmissions. I joined Sigfox last year, and it’s been my role to discover and prove creative ways to help customers implement their IoT solutions using our network.

Like most days in my role as Field Sales Engineer, I woke up thinking,

“What can I do today to make things come alive using Sigfox?”

I knew I’d experience the darkness first-hand, but I wanted to find out exactly how much the temperature was impacted by the nearly total eclipse of the sun.

 

A bright idea!

I began to think about  a proof of concept we are currently deploying in a Kane County, IL soy bean field for an agriculture customer who wants to develop a real-time local weather database. Having highly accurate local weather, or a microclimate, data is especially valuable to specialty crop growers like vineyards, fruit, and nut growers because their crops are highly effected by temperature, humidity, and soil moisture. This real-time data will help them better prepare and care for their crops amid these environmental changes.

The device used in this proof of concept is an IoT evaluation kit from mcThings, called mcDemo205, includes a Sigfox certified radio, GPS, and UART interface which attaches to a peripheral weather station. We chose MCThings because McScript, the language used to program their devices, offered a quick and easy method to program a Sigfox application and ensure longest battery life. The network that the data is communicating across is equally as important as the device in minimizing the battery consumption, which is why an LPWAN is required.

The devices are attached to posts throughout the field and are spaced a half mile apart each, sending temperature updates every 30 minutes. In an area as spaced out as a farm and with messages being sent at this frequency, it’s important for the network to be able to reach a wide area and not require constant communication, which is where Sigfox is also the perfect solution.

Armed with these devices currently deployed in a field that would be affected by the eclipse darkness, I turned to another Sigfox partner, Losant, a cloud service dashboard to track the temperature changes.

 

And The Findings Are…

The eclipse fully delivered on my expectation of illustrating how local weather events can be tracked real-time by a smart sensor. As you see in the screenshot below, due to the eclipse, the temperature dropped 6-7 degrees Celsius (9-11 Fahrenheit)!  The three lines represent three different devices deployed across the farm. The large dip in this graph gives an example of the impact weather events have on the temperature, but the difference in size of dip also represents how small differences in location can affect how drastic that impact is.

Eclipse backend

I can’t wait for the next eclipse in 2024! By then, Sigfox coverage along with weather and temperature sensors should deployed widely enough to map the full path of totality!

Where things come alive.

A Post About an IoT Industry Engineer, a Tracking Device, and a Network

 I had quite a busy travel week recently taking me all along the West Coast with customer trainings and meetings from San Francisco to Vista, CA. Because the Sigfox network has strong coverage in the area, I decided to put Sigfox’s Internet of Things (IoT) network to the test and track my trip.

Antennae installations, sales engineering, radio field testing, and the kitchen sink

I joined Sigfox at the beginning of our U.S. expansion journey as the second employee here. After working 5 years in the M2M business for a major system integrator, I realized how many use cases were impossible both technically and economically without a Low-Power Wide-Area Network (LPWAN). Sigfox had to become a reality, and I wanted to be a part of making it happen! As the Frenchie engineer in the United States, I began as the main liaison to accomplish all things technical, which brought me to work throughout very diverse areas: deploying Sigfox antennae on rooftops, supporting the first U.S. chip manufacturers and device makers, onboarding the sales team, radio field testing… the tasks were limitless. Today, I focus mostly in the sales organization, sharing my passion about LPWAN by supporting chip manufacturers, developers, and end-customers to build their IoT project using Sigfox.

LPWA network, simply put

LPWAN categorizes all wireless public networks that are adapted and finely tuned for low power, long range, low data rate wireless transmissions. The network growth has been extremely impressive since I joined in 2015. At that time, not one network antenna had been installed in the U.S. The Bay Area was the first place we deployed the network, in collaboration with the City of San Francisco. Thanks to the amazing job of our network deployment team, we are now deployed in several major U.S. metros, including Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Dallas, Chicago, Houston, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, NYC, San Diego, San Francisco Bay, and Seattle.

Livin’ La Vida LoKa

One of the biggest use cases we see is asset tracking, answering very simple questions like “Where’s my stuff?” and “What happened to my stuff?” While these may seem silly, we’ve talked to companies who want to track everything from remote employees to assets within a closed loop environment, to the conditions of their assets after it’s left their loading dock.

To track my journey up and down the California coast, I decided to use the asset tracker from LoKa Systems. It provides a very easy, out-of-the-box experience, with the ability to track indoors. I threw the Loka tracker in my backpack which is smaller than an iPhone and lighter than my cup of coffee and off we went, one man and one device on a mission. The mission: to showcase that the Sigfox network is available and ready to support asset tracking use cases in the U.S. At the price point of the hardware and connectivity subscription, it is affordable to track very low cost assets such as wooden pallets or nuts and bolts, making tracking one of the major use cases for LPWAN networks. We even see farmers tracking their cows in the Alps using Sigfox! The tracker geolocates by sending the MAC addresses from Wi-Fi routers in the area. After sending those MAC addresses through the Sigfox network, LoKa queries the Google Maps API. Google Maps collected all the Wi-Fi router MAC addresses during their street view project. This same Wi-Fi geolocation is what your phone uses most of the time to geolocate you in a city. The benefits of this kind of tracker are that it allows for a very long battery life and indoor coverage, compared to a GPS tracker. I would even argue that geolocation is more accurate with Wi-Fi in a dense city than with GPS. Here is a diagram of how it works:

Screen Shot 2017-08-17 at 13.54.47

Week of tracking at a glance:

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Monday-Tuesday:

FO Tracking blog- MonTues

Here, you’re seeing the LoKa tracker pick up my location and send it across the Sigfox network as I’m leaving San Francisco, landing in Los Angeles, heading to Agoura Hills for a training with STMicroelectronics and Future Wireless, and doing some of my own exploring. Alright, let’s check out my week: this first image is a screenshot of the LoKa backend over the course of Monday-Friday. You see each dot picking up my location around the San Francisco area, then traveling down and all around Orange County. Happy travel tails.

Wednesday-Thursday:

FO Tracking blog- WedThurs

Here, you’re able to get a more detailed view of the LoKa device’s tracking, as it’s in a more concentrated area. I stuck around the Los Angeles area, and the Sigfox network still proved itself as the LoKa device communicated across it the entire time. The dot you see near the beach is where it picked me up at my hotel, where of course I had to take a beach photo. At the bottom corner, it picked me up as I traveled South to spend Wednesday with a customer, then at the top corner it caught me catching up with a friend in L.A. that night, and then the dot right in the middle is me presenting at another STMicroelectronics and Future Wireless training in Irvine. Thursday night, I hopped on a plane and headed back home to SFO.

Friday:

FO Tracking blog- Fri

The LoKa device continued to pick up my location up all throughout downtown San Francisco, as you see me back in the office in the Financial District, getting a quick picture of City Hall on my way in for a meeting with the City of San Francisco, and finally heading home for the weekend, the bottom left point.

As the second employee in the U.S. and seeing the challenges we were facing at the time, I am really impressed at where we are today! The network is a reality, modules and solutions are available – it’s time to sense the world! For more information about coverage, please go to www.sigfox.com/coverage If you don’t see coverage in your area, don’t panic! Go to startusa.sigfox.com and get your coverage kit! In any case feel free to reach out to me for any questions:

mailto:francois.oudot@sigfox.com?subject=Re: Tracking blog post

Where things come alive.

Industry 4.0: The Connected Train Car

 

Everysens sensor

Connected wagon equipped with Everysens’ industrial sensor

 

Railway freight companies estimate that, on average, train cars are not effectively used up to their full potential, from the moment they are loaded with goods to their final point of destination. Different causes to that relate to absence of real-time visibility, maintenance repairs, lengthy downtime, charging/discharging goods etc. As a result, this represents significant performance losses for logistics and industrial companies each year.

Some visionary  international companies like Danone Waters, have committed themselves to invest in innovative technologies to optimize their operational efficiency. One of the chosen options has been to consider utilizing railway freight rather than or in association to road transport. If evidently attractive, this option still incurs managing complex logistics flows.

Tracking wagons to optimize overall operations

IDEO, Control tower of ID Logistics Group, is a multimodal and multi-client organization, specialized in rail freight, road and storage in charge of piloting its clients logistics. IDEO acts as partner with its clients including amongst them Danone, to find solutions and provide real-time transparency in their logistics flows. Together, they built the first private railway freight hub in Europe, handling a large fleet of wagons transporting millions of pallets every year.

 

Selected as one of the innovative companies to work with to achieve these goals, Everysens, an IoT integrated platform and hardware solution, is implementing the digital train solution on 1200 wagons, in order to track, trace and optimize Danone’s operations efficiently. With proprietary industrials sensors built to resist to extreme conditions, and with a massive autonomy of 3 to 5 years, Everysens participates in achieving greater performance and reliability in mobile asset management. To that end, Everysens offers its client a customizable platform focused not only on real-time operational management but also on strategic insights, with Big Data analysis. As a member of the Sigfox ecosystem network, Everysens is able to provide relevant data in several European destinations.

 

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Supply Chain Event 2016 Conference : Emmanuel Guérin (General Manager, IDEO), Antoine Pulcini (Head of logistics purchasing  department, Danone Waters), and Youness Lemrabet (CEO Everysens)

Business expertise, use cases and customization : the winning formula

During the Paris Supply Chain Event 2016, Everysens presented an impactful set of use cases developed with IDEO & Danone, and was granted with the Digital Transformation in Supply Chain Award, and later  the King of the Supply Chain Award– recognized as the start-up to follow in IoT in the years to come. The jury was composed of several supply chain directors (18) of large companies. Here’s what they had to say: Gabriel Schumacher, Bosch Electroménager Supply Chain Director: “ I have appreciated the business expertise, the customization for the client and the overall optimization it induces. All of this makes innovation.  Being myself an active user of railway and truck transportation, this is an innovation that speaks to us.” Similarly, Jean-François Moulin, L’Oréal Supply Chain Director gave us the following testimony: “The added value of the solution is the traceability of merchandises. Thanks to the tracking and richness of data transmission, the solution allows for a real security for logistics flows”.

It is clear that that the visibility afforded by real-time tracking of high value assets helps organizations pre-empt problems, address demand fluctuations and efficiently manage all business processes associated with the assets. Welcome to the future of freight railway – The Digital Train.

 

About Everysens

Everysens optimises mobile equipment fleets for asset-intensive industries such as multimodal rail transportation, waste management or professional equipment rental. Via smart sensors and a customizable SaaS platform, Everysens brings transparency, reactivity and agility to industrial assets’ operational management. This logistic flow management platform automatically collects and secures real-time data.

Thanks to Big Data analyses, Everysens also proves to be a valuable decision-making tool. There are multiple business cases: delays anticipation, use case calculation, backhauling, fleet surveillance, etc. Everysens’ solution contributes to reducing costs, improving customer service and also reducing environmental footprint. Click here for a short presentation video.

 

 

 

Where things come alive.

Sigfox doorbell posting message on Slack

It all came from a challenge made by Nicolas Lesconnec on Twitter to add Sigfox connectivity to Konstantin Dimitrov‘s great project: Arduino Capacitive Sensor In less Than 2 Minutes.

So, I decided to give it a go!

 

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But it is useless to just add connectivity to a project. Hopefully (or not) our door broke yesterday on the 4th floor, thus, I decided to make a doorbell that posts a message on Slack.

The base of the project is the same than the Arduino Capacitive Sensor In Less Than 2 Minutes, I just changed from an Arduino to an Akeru board, which has the same Atmega processor but has the Sigfox module included.

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You just need:

1 x Akeru board
1 x 1M resistor
1 x Coin (or any conductive material)
1 x LED
4 x Jumpers
1 x Cardboard box (I used a Sparkfun Kit’s box)

See more on Instructables

Where things come alive.