Category Archives: Technologies

Ultra Low cost IoT, a breakthrough to innovation

Ten month ago, I was starting investigating the Ultra Low Cost Iot thanks to Sigfox given access to the experimentation they made in this area. The Ultra Low Cost IoT is defined by manufactured devices under or near the cost of $1.

Such level of price are enabling scalable deployment of devices and mass data capture, more than it has ever been able to made. And basically, it is not a question of device cost, it is a question of scalable use-cases where the higher device cost where a business model killer.

This is basically reducing the price of devices by a factor of 5x to 10x. No miracle, this is also reducing the device capabilities and concerns different use-cases than the one previously designed. In another word, Low Cost IoT is not classical IoT for a lower price, it’s a new IoT area where we find new use-cases, new business model and more generally is source of innovation.

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Pi Day – Sigma Lambda Pi

Sigma Lambda Pi is the perfect thing to talk about on the 3/14 Pi day!

This crazy machine is a 16 Raspberry Pi-4 cluster in a 2U server rack, set to execute FaaS (Function as a Service) with a green-it approach. Don’t make a dream of Raspberry-Pi high performance demonstration, you will be disappointed and it’s not the purpose of this project. This is not a commercial product, the objective of the company who made it, was research, team building and team skills improvement. This has been made by friends of my, working at Be|ys, a team of 9 people, under the lead of Christophe Prugnaud. They made a demo of it during the Clermont’Tech Api Hour #46, the video will be soon accessible.

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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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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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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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My little Bitcoin experience – Asic mining

Following my previous post on bitcoin I’ve start mining with ASIC to continue playing the technology. I’ve started with a small USB ASIC providing 2GH/s. This is equivalent to 200 times the power of my Xeon server and it was really easy to install, running on a Raspberry Pi to simplify the usage.

This post details this experience and gives some advices for one wanted to experience mining.

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Meet the Sigfox founders

This last monday I had the chance to meet the two Sigfox founders Ludovic Le-Moan and Christophe Fourtet during a really nice day at Labege (SigFox headquarter) with other Sigfox ambassadors.

From the meeting we had with the founders I retained some of the Sigfox strategical guide line:

 

 

  • Scalability –  this is the major point raised during our discussions : the network must be able to scale and all what has been designed in the radio protocol & technology, as in the cloud architecture was for scalability.

Thanks to this initial design no big change are expected in the radio solution in the coming years. It has already been designed for future.

In regard to this scalability strategy we have also meet the team operating the network. I’ve seen a really nice Network Operation Center, well equiped and with about 40 people involved. It has been fun for me as in my daily job I’m managing internal inter-application communication of a large company. The volume of data we are proceeding every day is quite similar as of now but Sigfox is well more equiped than I am and better prepared for scaling 😉

 

  • Reliability – The ISM band will continue to have more and more noise on it coming from all the coming radio device using it. Sigfox design has been made to ensure a long term capacity to support this evolution. Ultra narrow band is actually the best and secure way to continue to communicate over noisy environment also protecting this common good by limiting the spectral usage.

 

  • Simplicity –  Sigfox has been made to be simple to use with no parameters to tune the radio or the protocol. Everything is defined to ensure a good quality in the communications. This spirit will be kept in the future but potentially we will have the capability to tweak some of the parameters. We could imagine to limit the repetition time for frame with lower criticality. This will save power or send more frame per hour. We could imagine to get higher speed. Why not having more downlink ? Larger payload ?

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