This is a regular discussion I have with prospect or with different business oriented people about producing electronics in developed countries and costs of devices. When you talk about electronic products in many minds it is equivalent to talk about Chinese production & design. It’s like when you talk about software in a couple of years ago it was a kind of synonym with back-office Indian development.
Category Archives: News
Sigfox has just published a documentation on the technical basis of the network. This pdf document is a good summary of all what you need to know to get start on the technology.
The document is attached here Sigfox technical overview
To complete this overview you can also take a look to my different post & video
Business model is in my point of view a big blocker for IoT tsunami : when IoT is service and service is monthly fee, IoT is also objects and objects business model is based on push the box and get 30% standard business model.
These two approaches are really different and distribution must change its business model to correctly fit with IoT and extract the right level of value. Taking 30% one shot is quick & easy but getting a regular revenue based on service delivery is more profitable.
The blocking point seem to simply be process, people and software: actually distribution is not organized and equipped with the right IT for managing recurrent revenue, for this reason the distribution have no major interest is service oriented product and prefer all inclusive device where service is included in the initial price.
The problem of this model is that it is not profitable for IoT industry : IoT have a making cost to produce the object but year after year each object generate a service cost. In most of the existing business case, new object sell are funding the service for old objects. This can work when the company is growing and make scale effect reduction on service cost. The problem start as soon as the market is decreasing and the cost of running service is higher than the margin made on new object sell. This problem is a killer as soon as your service cost is high like when you have to support a recurrent communication fee (like for what I consider real connected object, I mean objects able to communicate with no local infrastructure dependencies). The only way is to make money on data collected from the object and be payed on client privacy. This equation is really dangerous for the client, even for the IoT industry as much as privacy regulation law are growing and data market not really predictable.
I’m quite sure that this situation will soon change as distribution can make much more money based on service than based on box pushing and as soon as they will be organized to manage it, as the business is better, they will make a lot of available space for service business model based object, enabling the IoT tsunami.
Basically SNOC SFM10R1 aka BRKWS01 Sigfox devkit is an easy way to get start on low cost sigfox hardware thanks to the low cost module from wisol based on the low cost chip from On Semi Ax8052. Presented like this it looks like stack on a stack on a stack.
But in my point of view the solution is really more than this. As a maker I know how difficult it is to kickstart a Sigfox project : you have to deal with expensive devkit where you sometime need a Kbis, then you have to deal with sigfox to get an access and at ends if you want to transform you POC in a product you need to change you technologies for cheaper or simper solutions. (here I’m not pointing anyone but basically I had to made my own devkit to start on sigfox) Most of these problems have already been solved thanks to sigfox making account creation so simple for devkit and the arrival of devkit like snootlab, airboard or smart-everything. All these solutions are nice but provides a full stack solution MCU + communication for a price around $100. This is where the SNOC module is proposing an alternative : get an easy access to the sigfox network with a low cost solution you can plug to the MCU of your choice… Arduino, Rpi, Nucleo, Pic it’s up to you !
Getting this picture from the social networks it was an opportunity on reacting about the general use of wifi technology for IoT smart home equipment and the risk you have to design a such solution.
The following video is a VLOG about this question. As it is in french, this post will details the main lines about my feeling.
Sometime I talk about non tech topic ! And I talk in French … So if you are also interested in an agile way to create a market study, you can watch my talk on this topic 😉
We had a great time with Nicolas, Anthony and Alexander from Sigfox and the other about 30 participants coming from a mix of large companies, startup, students, hackers and makers.
The day was organized in “Le Bivouac” a great place for a such event.
Some elements to understand why it is so long to find connected objects in shops like connected car, table, chairs, fork, spoon… even if technologies, networks are available since year 2-3 now ?
This 5min video post is in French.