In 2008 there were more connected devices than human beings on the planet. By 2020 there could be 50 connected devices for each human being.
So what are connected devices and why are they useful? Connected devices include any device which gains additional utility when connected to the Internet. They are also known as Internet of Things (IoT) devices. They can communicate with other devices and be remotely controlled and monitored. Smart Homes can have connected fridges which order more milk when you run out and lighting and heating systems that you can control from work. These ‘smart’ devices can be upscaled to a city; leak detection and power usage sensors can optimize the performance of energy and water distribution. Sectors, including industry and agriculture, and individuals can use IoT devices to save time, energy and money.
Existing mobile phone and WiFi networks are not suitable to support the growing number of connected devices. LPWAN networks (low-power wide area networks) are a solution to support a greater number of connected devices over a larger area, using less power. LPWAN networks are relatively new on the block and describe a new family of radio technology. They aspire to provide the five 10s: 10,000 devices supported by a single base station and sending just a few bytes of data 10 times a day, devices with a 10-year battery life, a 10 mile range and which cost less than £10. In the UK, the LPWAN technologies currently leading the charge are: Sigfox, LoRaWAN and NBIoT (to be rolled out by major telecoms operators by the end of 2018).
NMiTE’s Ingenuity Studio has a LPWAN network base station (a.k.a. gateway), one of 400 installed as part of Digital Catapult’s Things Connected project. Digital Catapult promotes early adoption of digital technologies to make UK businesses more competitive and productive. Ingenuity Studio participants will benefit from impressive digital interconnectivity to tackle real-world community challenges and NMiTE students will be able to make use of IoT sensors and solutions in and around Hereford to send data to the Things Connected network survey via the gateway and deliver a service via an app.
We are excited to announce Easter 2019 workshops that are open to all to have a play with Ingenuity Studio’s LPWAN gateway. For more information and to register your interest in these free sessions, we would love to hear from you via firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ingenuity Studio’s gateway is a Kerlink Wirnet Station V1.0. It is able to receive data from any LoRaWAN sensor in range. The Ingenuity Studio, when out and about, is connected to the internet via a 3/4G mobile connection. Data traffic from the LoRaWAN gateway is sent over this connection to the Digital Catapult / TTN network server.