Category Archives: News

My own news on technology and all the one i’m specially sensitive
Petits mots sur mon actualité technologique où celles du monde auxquelles je suis sensible.

The Things Industry is taking the lead on LoRaWAN ecosystem

Today was the first day of The Things Conference (TTC) 2020 in Amsterdam. TTC is the yearly event organized by The Things Network initiative. Years after years this event is becoming THE world LoRaWan event. The Things Network let the floor to The Things Industry, all the LoRaWan industrial ecosystem is coming to Amsterdam to discuss about the future of this LPWAn technology. The community spirit is still here, strong and awesome: I had plenty of discussions with many tech & business guy I never met before ; I’ve learned a lot of thing through the high quality conferences. Two days of conference will be too short for meeting people I’ve listed and follow the conference track.

So let’s talk a bit about the content of this first days and the direction The Things Industry is giving to LoRaWan ecosystem. Because, trust me or not, even if the LoRaWan alliance is full of big telecom companies, it really seems that, this small group of 20 awesome people from TTN are taking the lead.

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UnaMKR Mini breakout board

After presenting the UnaMKR Arduino devkit, Unabiz has made a new version of its maker kit supporting Sigfox Monarch and based on LiteOn module.

The UnaMKR mini is a breakboard solution for the LiteOn module and nothing more. You can easily make your own prototype system based on this board. The price sounds to be $25 to $30.

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The other Sigfox Connect news

During Sigfox Connect 2019 we had different announcement like ultra-low power devices and ultra-low-cost IoT devices with a BOM under a single $. There are the main announcement in my point of view but we have also had much more coming with updates on previously seen technologies.

At first Sigfox announced the ability to deploy a private network, we are going to see what it could means as the details have not yet been given. Next I’ve got update on satellites connectivity and bubble service announced last year.

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Make Sigfox works with potatoes, an ultra low power story

Sigfox Connect yearly event is the opportunity for the company to present its vision on IoT technology evolution. As part of the 2019 edition, the company has introduced Ultra-Low-Power Sigfox communication. In this domain, we are talking about micro-watt to send a radio message over the air the Sigfox network will be able to capture on the fly. You can find a lot of different use-cases for a such communication system. Industrial environment sounds to be the primary market but it can also be included in final products. The main interest of ultra-low-power is to not needing battery but harvesting its energy from many sources, up to the existing WiFi network energy captured from the air.

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All about the Sigfox Connect button

As a gift to the participants of 2019 Connect forum, Sigfox has offered a connected button. This button is the first official device based on the ultra-low cost technology detailed in my previous post about $1 Iot. This device is based on a single SoC, a CMT2189C chip from CMOSTEK. This chip usually made for garage door remote controller is offering a low-cost solution ($0,25) with a MCU+Radio solution, compatible with Sigfox.

In this post I’ll detail what are the components of this solution and the real price you can achieve for a such device to verify the low cost promise.

Sigfox published the reference design for this type of IoT devices, including the button elements. Where writing this post, I did not add a chance yet to read the final version of the document and the estimate is based on reverse engineering of a prototype I’ve got a month ago. The reference design can be obtained from build.sigfox.com.

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What is Amazon sidewalk?

As usual, I love read what traditional and “tech” press can write about LPWAn technologies. That’s always a pleasure to read such amount of bullshit condensed is a maximum of 10-15 lines. They are directly copied and paste from a press release. The Author added value is a custom and totally wrong clickbait title.

As part of many, the one making me starting this post is from “Le monde informatique”. It is supposed to be a serous source. The title was “sidewalk a threat for LoRa and Sigfox on IoT”.

Just to let you know guys… Sidewalk is just a new Zigbee !

So let see what is really Amazon sidewalk, what are the strength and weakness of this solution

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I held the first $1 Sigfox IoT device !

This was 2 years ago during the first Sigfox connect event: Christophe Fourtet was on stage opening a letter and this action was firing a Sigfox message. He was announcing Admiral Ivory service. He was announcing $0.20 solution able to communicate on the Sigfox network. Since this date, the Admiral Ivory service has just been a strategic vision proposed by Sigfox for a future low cost IoT, far from the device maker day to day reality. Far from the minimum $10-$15 devices we currently produce coming with its $2-$5 yearly subscription fee.

Could we imagine, this two years old vision will be the next semester reality ?

Being in relation with the Sigfox lab, I’m back with some really good news about making this vision becoming a reality, let see how it is going to be possible.

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MeteoHelix, Sigfox weather station made by Barani Design Tech.

BARANI Design Technology has contacted me to test their weather station product MeteoHelix IoT pro. This is a Sigfox weather station but they also have LoRaWan versions. It is also the first personal weather station class product to meet the World Meteorological Organizations (WMO) measurement accuracy guidelines. So it can be used by scientific and professionals according to its designer. Thanks to LPWAn technologies, it can be deployed anywhere. No power / communication constraints.

I like this kind of product because they are really interesting use cases for LPWAn technologies and useful for agricultural environment. I see a part of my family working in the agricultural domain taking some manual notes about rain daily taken at one point. In 2019 it’s so easy to get graph from a cloud platform and have multiple device for the multiple fields you work on. Sounds like a revolution but it have a price 600€ including communication !

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