Buy Versus Build: Options for LoRa Cloud™ Geolocation Integrations
16 May 2022 / by Karthik Ranjan
Implementing a Semtech LoRa Cloud™ geolocation application may be simpler than you think. Semtech, together with valuable Internet of Things (IoT) ecosystem players, offers the resources to help. In this article we explain both build and buy options to arrive at a full asset tracking application, which incorporates LoRa Cloud, to address your specific use case.
Choosing the Right Hardware
Before even discussing Cloud services, all asset tracking solutions must start with physical hardware. In this case: asset trackers. There are various factors when considering the hardware that is the right fit for your application. Will the tracker be required to track items outdoors? Will it need to operate in extreme temperatures (e.g., -40°C/°F)? Will it need to be ruggedized and require ingress protection? If so, at what level? How long does the battery need to last before being charged or replaced?
To choose the right hardware for the job, Semtech works with trusted hardware manufacturers that provide multiple options, as listed below. (Note: This list is sure to grow as the ecosystem grows.)
miro TrackIt is an LR1110-based tracking device that integrates a multi-standard GPS scanner and passive Wi-Fi MAC address scanner with Bluetooth 5.2 connectivity and various sensors, such as an accelerometer and humidity and temperature sensors,
combined into a compact device with an IP65-rated housing that has multiple mounting options.
LoRa Edge™ Tracker Reference Design, LR1110
LoRa Edge Development Kit, LR1110
Build an End-to-End Solution Using the LoRaWAN® Protocol and LoRa Edge LR1110
Buying or Building Your LoRa Cloud Application
After choosing a hardware option, the next step is building a software/Cloud solution to address your use case. Building an asset tracking cloud application requires access to a skilled development team that can stitch together multiple Cloud services. These include network integration, Internet of Things (IoT) device management, digital twins, databases, map services, and applications. Building a Cloud application also involves using a modern Cloud service, such as Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, or Tencent, all of which offer many of these LoRa Cloud-compatible building blocks.
Customers who don’t have this talent in-house can either choose to work with a Solution Provider (SP) that provides turnkey hardware and software service, or a Systems Integrator (SI) that can custom-build an application to their own specifications. Semtech collaborates with SIs and professional services, such as TensorIoT, and AWS Professional Services, that have direct experience integrating LoRa Cloud services, and that can help customers build their applications.
Semtech offers several resources (listed below) to help you be successful whether you choose to buy or build your application.
Buying an Application
When buying an application, you'll need to consider a variety of options, including Cloud Services Providers, Professional Services & Systems Integrators, and Solution providers.
Cloud Services Providers & Application Enablement Platforms:
Enable highly-secure and reliable communication between your IoT application and the devices it manages. Azure IoT Hub provides a Cloud-hosted solution backend to connect to nearly any device. Extend your solution from the Cloud to the edge with per-device authentication, built-in device management, and scaled provisioning. In addition to IoT, Azure Cloud services provide the essential components required to build a custom asset tracking application including database and mapping.
Additonal Resources: https://github.com/Lora-net/SWNW003
AWS has broad and deep IoT services, from the edge to the cloud. AWS IoT is the only cloud vendor to bring together data management and rich analytics in easy-to-use services designed for noisy IoT data. AWS offers many of the key building-block components in one place to build a complete asset tracking application including the AWS IoT Core for LoRaWAN® managed network server, Amazon DynamoDB as the database, Amazon Location for mapping, AWS Lambda for payload decoding, and many more.
Additional Resources: Integrating LoRa Cloud™ with AWS IoT Core for LoRaWAN®
Ivanti Neurons for IIoT empowers supply chain businesses to drive operational excellence through low-code/no-code workflow automation. It enables supply chain businesses to collect the right information at the right time, easily visualize and
Ivanti Neurons for IIoT allows businesses to integrate industrial IoT applications into existing operations. The platform simplifies the use of real-time data collected for greater efficiency in operational decision-making and allows customers to cross-connect applications with new systems – rapidly automating their processes and optimizing workflow operations.
Additional Resources: The Guide to the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) for Supply Chain.
Tencent Cloud IoT Explorer fully integrates LoRa Cloud geolocation capabilities, including a comprehensive toolchain, with a built-in LoRaWAN network server. The Tencent Cloud IoT Explorer development environment enables users to easily create a complete IoT geolocation application. Get more information here.
Professional Services & Systems Integrators:
The AWS Professional Services organization is a global team of experts that can help you realize your desired business outcomes when using the AWS Cloud. The Professional Services team has collaborated with Semtech to demonstrate how AWS & AWS IoT services can be integrated with Semtech LoRa Cloud to create a turnkey asset tracking solution. Contact AWS Professional Services to see how they can help you build your LoRa Cloud-enabled asset tracking application on AWS.
Additional Resources: Semtech Webinar: Track & Trace Using AWS and LoRa Cloud Services
TensorIoT is an AWS Advanced Consulting Partner that provides customers with innovative products, solutions, and consulting services to deliver business value from IoT, data, and machine learning technology. With seven AWS competencies and multiple service delivery credentials, the AWS-certified TensorIoT team accelerates customers’ realization of their technology and business goals. TensorIoT collaborates with Semtech and AWS to simplify IoT solution development and provides best-in-class IoT solutions that leverage highly-scalable AWS Services, such as AWS IoT Core and Semtech’s LoRa® devices. To learn more or to schedule a demo, visit https://www.tensoriot.com/.
GeoTracker is a plug-and-play asset tracking and fleet management IoT platform & Apps that offers businesses real time / historical insights to their key resources, empowering their employees to optimize their logistics and digitize their operations.
SmartMakers, a state-of-the-art IoT solutions provider, has deep expertise in creating asset tracking solutions and offers real-time visibility into the location, condition, and status of carriers, shipments, containers, vehicles, and equipment.
Given the importance of power-consumption savings as a key differentiator for its target applications, SmartMakers’ asset tracking solution now includes devices with LoRa Edge. For more information, visit https://smartmakers.io/.
Building an Application
Customers who have the resources, skills, and knowledge can choose to build their asset tracking applications in-house. This will involve integrating LoRa Cloud APIs with other Cloud services. To that end, Semtech offers several resources to help developers in their journey:
Cloud Services End-to-End Walk-Throughs
Semtech How-To Content
LoRa Edge™ Tracker Reference Design Evaluation Kit User Guide
The LoRa Edge™ Tracker Reference Design Evaluation Kit is a portable reference kit designed to introduce LoRa Edge tracking capabilities with LoRa Cloud services, integrated with the Actility ThingPark enterprise-based community platform (network server) and the Tago.io Application Service.
LoRa Cloud™ Network Server Integrations
LoRa Cloud Integration With ChirpStack: This document explains how to use the LoRa Cloud integration with ChirpStack’s LoRaWAN network server.
LoRa Cloud Integration With The Things Stack: This document explains how to use the LoRa Cloud integration with The Things Stack from The Things Industries.
Open-Source Platform Options
LoRa Basics™ Modem: Developer Walk-Through
This guide walks you through the steps required for an end-to-end demonstration of Semtech’s portfolio of LoRa Basics software and explains how to set up all required servers. It also provides several sample applications.
Getting Started With Node-RED
Note: This content is part of the LoRaWAN Academy™. Accessing it requires free registration on the LoRa Developer Portal.
Application Server: Node-RED
Included in the LoRa Basics Modem: Developer Walk-Through, this demonstration uses Node-RED as the application server. Node-RED is a browser-based visual programming tool that allows for fast prototyping.
LoRa Edge Hardware
LoRa Basics Modem SDK (Development using LoRa EdgeTM)
GitHub - Lora-net/SWSD001: LoRa Basics Modem SDK
LoRa Edge Evaluation Kit (EVK)
U.S.: LoRa Edge Development Kit, LR1110, 915 MHz for North America | Semtech
EU: LoRa Edge Development Kit, LR1110, 868 MHz for Europe | Semtech
U.S.: LoRa Edge Development Kit, LR1120, LoRa® 915MHz ISM band for North America | Semtech
EU: LoRa Edge Development Kit, LR1120, LoRa® 868MHz ISM Band for Europe | Semtech
LoRa Edge Tracker Reference Design for Rapid Development of Geolocation Applications
This article discusses Semtech’s LoRa Edge Tracker Reference Design, a versatile hardware, software, and services platform that simplifies and accelerates time-to-market for asset management solutions.
LoRa Edge Tracker Reference Design User Guide
In this guide, we introduce you to the Semtech LoRa Edge Tracker Reference Design v1.0 and explain how to set it up with a network server and the associated mobile application, LoRa Edge Config.
Whether you want to purchase a ready-made asset tracking solution, hire someone to build a solution for you, or build your own from scratch, Semtech has you covered, offering the resources that you need to get the job done.
Semtech and LoRa are registered trademarks or service marks, and LoRa Edge is a trademark or service mark, of Semtech Corporation or its subsidiaries.