In August, 2020, Semtech announced a collaboration with Amazon Web Services (AWS) and TensorIoT on a new series of Internet of Things (IoT) kits leveraging LoRa® devices and the LoRaWAN® protocol. The kits accelerate the deployment of smarter, more efficient solutions for Enterprises and Systems Integrators by making use of LoRaWAN connectivity with the smart integration of AWS’s leading IoT services. The end goal of the kits is to shorten the production lifecycle of simple, effective IoT applications for Smart Building and Asset Tracking use cases through the use of LoRa devices’ proven advantages, AWS IoT Core and a flexible serverless architecture.
The Smart Building Kit addresses the needs of commercial real estate use cases by enabling the simple connection and monitoring of doors and windows, desks, rooms, environmental conditions, and other functionality in real time. The portable nature of the kit allows users to deploy applications quickly and assess the completeness of building network coverage.
To understand how the Smart Building Kit simplifies IoT development with LoRa, Semtech, AWS and TensorIoT hosted a recent webinar, which is available to watch on-demand on the Semtech website.
Highlights from the Webinar Q&A Session
The webinar accrued several questions from the audience. Below, I answer some of these questions with Ravi Raghunathan, CEO of TensorIoT, and Karthik Ranjan, LoRaWAN Ecosystem Leader at AWS.
What is the price of the Smart Building Kit?
Byron BeMiller, Semtech: The price of the kit varies per distributor but MSRP is $1,200 USD. The kits are available for purchase from Digi-Key, Mouser and Amazon.com. For more information on the kit, including set-up guides and more, visit the TensorIoT website.
What regions and frequencies does the kit support?
Byron BeMiller, Semtech: At launch there are two versions of the kit. One uses the U.S. 915MHz band and the second uses the 868MHz band for the EU. Semtech, TensorIoT and AWS are working on potentially developing additional versions of the kit depending on market interest.
Can the kit’s software be installed in-house or in your own account?
Ravi Raghunathan, TensorIoT: Yes, there is source code for the application available in the Github repository which allows customers to install themselves.
Can the kit be used with third party LoRaWAN network server systems?
Ravi Raghunathan, TensorIoT: The kit is designed as a self-contained end-to-end system including the LoRaWAN network server with a Cloud dashboard front-end. For simplicity's sake, the customer is not exposed to the LoRaWAN network server. However, if the customer chooses to recreate the dashboard into their own AWS account, then the gateways can be repointed to a different LoRaWAN network server, although it is limited to interoperate with gateways which support LoRa Basics™ Station.
Is it possible to add additional sensors/devices to the system? How many sensors are supported by the provided gateways?
Karthik Ranjan, AWS: The gateways have the bandwidth to support thousands of connected sensors. The LoRaWAN protocol also allows you to add additional gateways to expand the range and capacity of your network. Additional sensors or new types can be added to the dashboard, but would require the customers to modify the dashboard themselves (using source code on Github) or work with TensorIoT to have it modified.
Is there a subscription fee to use the kit? What is the cost to run this kit on your own AWS account?
Karthik Ranjan, AWS: There is no ongoing cost to the customer to use the kit with the sensors as sold. However, were a customer to run this in his or her own account, we anticipate the total cost would be <$1/month given the small number of sensors.
Is there a limit to the number of users who can access the dashboard?
Ravi Raghunathan, TensorIoT: Each kit comes with a single username and password. It may be possible to add additional users as part of a customization project.
Semtech, TensorIoT and AWS recently hosted a second webinar on the Asset Tracking Kit. The companies will be addressing the questions from that event in a similar blog to come. Subscribe to the Semtech blog to be notified when that blog posts, as well as stay up to date for more information on all things LoRa and IoT.
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