A Technology that Cares: Libelium's Focus on Sustainable IoT Advancements


In the cutting-edge market of IoT, a market undergoing exponential booms in sectors every which way, distinct challenges continue to demand transformative solutions. IoT is capable of translating real-time data into improved safety and productivity in cases ranging from single office spaces, to businesses as a whole, multilevel factories, and even projects on the scale of entire smart cities.

So in the name of developing and customizing IoT applications tailor-fit for businesses’ ongoing needs, highly committed companies like Libelium spring to mind. Libelium’s ripples in the realms of IoT have spanned from the Waspmote sensor device for use in developing IoT projects, to smart parking, smart agriculture, radar technology and more. Libelium believes in IoT as a tool to help build a sustainable and datocratized society, with reliable synergies that contribute to the handling of global challenges.

To tackle these IoT topics, we had a chance to speak with Carlos Prieto, Commercial Chief Officer at Libelium. This came with especially good timing, as Libelium will be present (and is speaking at) IoT Evolution Expo, taking place from February 14-17, 2023 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Here’s what Carlos had to say:

IoT applications are achieving scale these days. What are your thoughts as to what is contributing to IoT’s accelerated growth?

From our experience of more than 16 years offering IoT solutions, we have seen this growth as inevitable. The IoT is the tool that is helping us to build a more sustainable and habitable world for all.

New public legislation is pushing cities to adopt technology that measures air quality and noise levels, helps manage drinking water treatment, monitors the influx of people, or allows municipalities to better parking spaces management. In short, municipalities want to use smart tech that contributes to the more technical management of a city to make it more human-centered.

And in agriculture, we are noticing generational change, as well. Younger farmers are not afraid; what's more, they want to incorporate the technology into the management of their farms and crops that allows them to improve production and quality without having to spend hours in the field.

Do you think we have enough professionals skilled in IoT applications deployment, or does the industry need to hire and train more people?

Our challenge as designers of IoT solutions is to offer hardware and software technology that can be used by everyone. If we design technology that is complex to use and requires more and more pre-trained hands on deck, we put another barrier to IoT adoption in our own way.

The end-user does not care if there is more or less AI in the algorithms or if they should choose this or another connectivity, instead. What they need is data to be accurately and reliably captured and processed to give them the bottom line they need to execute to improve their outcomes, whether these are reducing air pollution or improving the quality of a tomato crop.

How has your company changed in the last few years? What IoT applications or technologies are driving your growth?

            Carlos Prieto

The creation of low-emission zones in cities with more than 50,000 inhabitants in Europe is driving the market for measuring air quality, the adoption of electric cars, and innovations around EV charging stations. Something similar applies to industries, where the factories are increasingly under surveillance to reduce their levels of air and water pollution.

In the near future, scarcity of water and farmland will make every drop count. So with generational change, we expect exponential growth of the IoT in agriculture.

Is there any recent news from your company you would like to talk about?

At a technological level, we are presenting One. One is the result of in-depth analysis and a careful R&D continuous effort by the Libelium team. We deserve a technology that cares.

One has been designed for continuous monitoring of a huge range of parameters covering the most relevant IoT applications vital to water quality management. (Conductivity, optical dissolved oxygen, pH, ORP, turbidity, salinity, temperature, and more).

We also bring the new Air Quality Station, a smarter, smaller and more affordable Air Quality Station that collects and analyzes data through Libelium Cloud using AI.

Finally, we bring our long-implemented technology, the Libelium Plug & Sense!, implemented in different verticals for years.

We saw some big mergers and acquisitions in 2022. What should we expect in 2023?

In 2022, Libelium took a step forward in its corporate strategy and acquired its first company: HOPU, a leading company in the development of air quality, smart cities and infrastructure solutions.

This was a milestone in Libelium's history of which we are extremely proud. Libelium is now a more powerful, agile and solid team with a workforce of more than 80 highly skilled people and a broader product portfolio. We are ready for the big push.

The deal is part of the organic and inorganic growth plan that Libelium initiated after Axon Partners took a stake in the company in June of 2021.

And yes, we do expect new acquisitions in 2023.

Some IoT applications are more fascinating than others – for example, the IoT rat trap or the living wall. What IoT applications have you implemented or heard about that caught your attention?

We can see two upcoming IoT applications that look very interesting. One is the EV charging stations. There will be more and more of these in order to satisfy the demand for spaces (public and private) that recharge the increasingly electric car market. We have already received a bunch of projects to develop smart charging spots. The other comes from a food paradigm shift in the form of algae farming.

If you had a magic wand, what would you do to progress the industry

Interoperability is the key factor. We need more standardization. So, we’d wave the wand in that direction.

Why are you excited about IoT Evolution Expo 2023? Why should attendees be sure to stop by your booth in the exhibit hall?

Libelium will be showcasing its cutting-edge solutions, including One. These solutions are designed to help businesses and organizations optimize their operations and improve productivity with a focus on sustainability. Attendees will have the opportunity to see Libelium IoT solutions in action and learn more about live projects developed.

We are thrilled to be participating in IoT Evolution Expo and to have the opportunity to connect with other industry leaders and innovators.

Our solutions are designed to help businesses and organizations unlock the full potential of IoT and we are excited to share these with the attendees at this event.

Are you speaking at IoT Evolution Expo 2023? If so, what is the session and why is it a must-attend?

On Wednesday, February 15, 2023, our session will be “Sustainability in Action: Using IoT to Improve Water Quality Management and Reduce Environmental Impact"

This is very important to us, as the scarcity of water will make every drop count. How do we assess the quality and quantity of water we use, and what can be done to manage better this scarce resource? How do the ESG initiatives incentivize the care of water use?

We will be talking about water quality management in industrial and agricultural environments, and how IoT plays its role.

For more information about this year’s IoT Evolution Expo, click here.

Edited by Alex Passett
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