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 !
A second video : this time about “life coding”. They are technics based on reverse engineering to understand how life and DNA is working to create robots ; even if all of this is more biology than computers I was really touched by the Xavier Duportet talk about these technics and what he is doing.
For these reasons, it is the topic of my second youtube video (as the first on it is in French).
Last week, Objenious (a bouygues Telecom company) has announced the availability of its LoRaWAN network in France. With already 32 cities covered, about 50% of people can access to the low power network. More over they have announced the deployment of 4000 antennas by end of the year to cover the whole country.
I had the opportunity to test the network and as far as now, I can say it works well, the backend is nice even if it sounds a bit not intuitive yet but for sure they will fix it soon. The good news was a communication about price, with a range of 12€ to 1€ depending on volume, the pricing is really near Sigfox one in a first look. The volume scale will be really important to see the difference as the technical offer (message limit, bandwidth, downlink limit if we have some or not).
In my point of view, Orange is the one loosing most with this announce as they are supposed to start soon with 11 cities in France and they did not yet communicate on the scaling. So now, we are waiting for Orange response and offer in this competition.
The surprising thing in the Objenious announced was the roaming capability with USA as the LoRa frequencies are not compatible between Europe and USA. As most of the device are not yet dual band and the question of detecting the location before emitting still an issue for such use-case, I do not really see how it can have a short term positive impact on project. By-the-way, I was also not aware the LoRaWAN specification for roaming was published. Is it ?
So welcome to Objenious in LPWAN french market, competition is always a good think, and what you announced sounds good and useful for object maker like me.
To conclude with my CES 2016 posts I want to share what I’ve seen and what surprised me ; it is a mix of fun stuff, 3d printing machine, drone or electronic. To have a complete view of it, you should also read my post about CES unveiled where I already post about my favorite startups.