Tag Archives: IoT

Why electronic does not mean china and why 5$ IoT is for Chinese ?

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.

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Sigfox technical basics

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

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Eclipse & nRF52 create a native project

As seen in a previous post, working with nRF52 and Eclipse is not the easiest challenge !

This post will detail how to create a template project for a BLE project using a softdevice working on the PCA10040 board and using my ble library.

This can be apply to most of ble starting project with nRF52. I assume you configured Eclipse IDE as described in this post. As a pre-requisite you also need git. The tutorial works with SDK 12.3

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Discover Nordic Semi nRF52832 with Eclipse

nRF52832_mediumnRF52382 is a BLE micro-controler based on a 32b Arm M4 core operating at 64MHz. It includes 512kb of flash memory and 64kb of RAM with a price about 2,80$.

It supports BLE (Bluetooth Smart) and ANT RF protocol. It also includes a NFC-A tag. NFC can wake up device and allow easy bluetooth pairing.

Device allows Over-the-Air Firmware Upgrade. It also have different SoftDevice (protocol stacks) with BLE or ANT8 or both.

By including internal Oscillators, power supply elements and Rf elements, this chip is a low cost solution for building IoT.

nRF52832 will be available Q1 2016 but development kit preview are available. (note – this post has been kept as a draft for a too long time !! )

Now, let’s read the next part for how to quick start with the development kit.

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Let’s be part of The Things Network with a Kerlink LoRa IoT station

The Things Network (TTN) is a global LoRaWan public network kernel based on crowd-source infrastructure. This initiative sounds really interesting in my point of view because it breaks one of the main LoRaWan issues : the country based operators organization.

Related to this good point, the negative point is the current area covered by a such network limited to the contributor localization, generally in the main cities.

That said, I’m convinced : when you want to create a private LoRaWan network you have to manage a network kernel managing gateways, device authorizations… You can do it yourself, you can pay someone to do it for you or, eventually, you can lever TTN for this use. As a counterpart you will extend the network and offer this benefit to any around. That way it makes sense and gives large opportunities to the networks and it’s private users.

Long introduction for a technical topic … How to join this network once you have a Kerlink LoRa Iot station available ? Continue reading

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I have experimented the sigfox geolocation service

Sigfox has announced end of last week the opening of the device Geo-location service. This solution allows to get the location of a device based on its radio signal.

Different announced has been made in this domain by Sigfox and its competitors LoRaWan. The technics in place are not the same and the Sigfox solution is based on BigData.

 

From the beginning Sigfox was returning a device location based on the signal measured by the different base-stations. This location was previously rounded to the nearest lat/lng degree. This information has a precision of 100km x 150km basically. Even if it was not possible to locate a device precisely, i was interesting to know in what country corner it was located.

With the service launched in February 2017 Sigfox is moving to a more precise location based on radio signal, according to different discussions I had the precision goes from a couple of meters to some kilometers depending on situation, data already gathered at this position, number of antennas …

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How IoT Business Models maters ?

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.

 

 

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Sigfox downlink in details

The downlink process is the way a sensor can receive data from the network. This process is really useful if you need the device to execute an action or if you want to change the sensor behavior.

This post is as some other of my LpWan series a video post in French completed by this text post in english.

 

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