Keeping IoT Networks on the Battery DL, Unlocking Application Creativity

By Special Guest
Cynthia Artin, Special Correspondent
November 15, 2016

As cool as Bluetooth, Bluetooth Low Energy, WiFi and ZigBee are when it comes to connecting all those billions of things in our expanding IoT universe, let’s face it – they still drain batteries and don’t work for long range applications. The same is true for cellular networks which, in addition to also draining battery life, are draining the bank accounts of companies who deploy large scale IoT solutions. The hardware is expensive, the services are expensive and recurring, and well – it’s all part of the overall reason IoT has been a little slower than the original pundits predicted a decade ago.

That’s why we love LoRa which is short for long range.

IoT applications and deployments only require the transmission of tiny bits of data to manage and monitor connected devices. Does the world really need a new network type? When it comes to the IoT finally exploding like it is supposed to the answer is heck yes!

Low Power Wide Area Network (LPWAN) is ideal for the IoT because LPWAN is purpose-built for sending small amounts of data over a long range (up to six miles or so) while enabling those batteries to last for years.

LoRa uses a modulation technique based on spread-spectrum and a variation of Chirp Spread Spectrum (CSS), which provides significantly longer range than the competing technologies. The LoRa wireless technology was developed by Cycleo SAS, which was later acquired by Semtech.

The LoRa modulation is the physical layer of LoRaWAN, which is a MAC protocol for a high capacity long range and Low Power Wide Area Networks (LPWAN).

Given the newness of all this, the LoRa Alliance was established as an open-nonprofit association of members is working to standardize LoRaWAN, focusing on the basics including IoT’s need for secure bi-directional communication, mobility and localization.

Reaching for the Stars
So now that the industry is figuring all this out – how can developers actually innovate based on the increasing popularity and growth of LoRaWANs?

Earlier today, myDevices announced they are supporting development of applications, releasing their “drag and drop” IoT application builder, Cayenne, tuned to make it easy for developers to build middleware which connects things with LoRaWANS.

LoRaWAN network architecture uses a star-of-stars topology in which gateways relay messages between end-devices and a central network server in the backend. Gateways are connected to the network server via standard IP connections while end-devices use wireless communication.

A single LoRaWAN Gateway covers more than six miles in range. One great example of this is the famous Things Network, which covered the city of Amsterdam with just 10 gateways at the cost of $1,200 USD in its initial trial.

myDevices has certified its LoRa IoT Project Builder, developed exclusively for the LoRa ecosystem.

The Cayenne platform, which has attracted over 80,000 developers worldwide for is general offering, empowers companies to rapidly deploy IoT solutions and manage data. According to the company’s news release today, “Cayenne is device- and connectivity-agnostic and provides full control of hardware regardless of manufacturer, all in a scalable and flexible environment.”

“With the release Cayenne for LoRa we are reinforcing our commitment to the LoRa ecosystem and now able to extend our existing partner network,” said Kevin Bromber (News - Alert), CEO of myDevices. “Now we would like to invite all LoRaWAN end device manufacturers to integrate with Cayenne and showcase their solutions for free in our library of supported products. This will provide visibility of innovative LoRa devices to our existing community of 85,000 developers.”

There are several hardware manufacturers already participating and onboarding their LoRaWAN devices inside of Cayenne, including Adeunis, GlobalSat, HaxIoT, Multitech, Raveon, Semtech, and NKE.

 In addition, myDevices has announced partnerships with leading LoRaWAN network connectivity providers including Actility, Loriot, PixelNetworks, and Senet, which is the only network services provider of LoRaWAN in the US with over 100 Points of Presence, growing rapidly.

“We are pleased to see myDevices continued investment and participation in our community with the development a project builder exclusively for our ecosystem,” said Geoff Mulligan, chairman of the LoRa Alliance. “This type of tool aligns with our mission to collaborate to drive the global success of the LoRa protocol by sharing knowledge and experience to guarantee interoperability between operators in one open standard.”


Edited by Ken Briodagh
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