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Wireless, Rechargeable & Solar: FreeWave Unleashes New IoT Solutions for Use in Hazardous Environments

By Paula Bernier October 21, 2014

The Internet of Things is a hot new(ish) area of communications. But despite the excitement around and potential for IoT, many of its applications are not glamorous.

Smartphones are, of course, carried around by happening teens, busy executives, on-the-move parents, and just about any other kind of person that comes to mind. IoT sensors and related connectivity gear, meanwhile, may be stuck out on a remote oil rig, attached to underground pipelines, or in other hard-to-reach and inhospitable settings.

That’s why it’s important to have robust IoT equipment that can survive in harsh environments, doesn’t require hard wiring, and needs little in the way of hands-on maintenance. With that in mind, FreeWave Technologies today came out with two new solutions: the WaveContact 10i End Point and the WaveContact 50i Data Concentrator.

The WaveContact 10i End Point is a class 1, division 1 I/O solution. That means it can provide accurate telemetry in hazardous locations. For example, it can sit right on top of a tank in the field, explains Glenn Longley, senior product manager of IO and software at FreeWave Technologies.

The solution – which includes a 1 watt 900 MHz or 500 mW 2.4 GHz wireless M2M communication module – is also noteworthy in that it can communicate via short-wave radio instead of a physical connection, and it has an on-board rechargeable battery and solar panel, so it’s self-sustaining adds FreeWave Technologies Chief Marketing Officer Ashish Sharma. And because the WaveContact 10i End Point offers a high I/O count, and supports analog and digital I/O in the same enclosure, it means less inventory for customers, Longley continues.

The WaveContact 50i Data Concentrator, meanwhile collects and aggregates the data from the various End Points, and can thus make control decisions – such as shutting off a pipeline if there’s a pressure drop – either locally or from a central hub.

FreeWave Technologies has been selling industrial wireless devices for diverse applications by golf courses, oil and gas entities, the military, utilities, others since its creation in 1993. It was a player in the IoT space, says Longley, well before the terms IoT and M2M were invented or popularized.



Executive Editor, TMC

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