Could Santa Claus Benefit from LoRa®-based IoT?
16 December 2019 / by Marc Pégulu
IHS Markit predicts up to 43 percent of all low power wide area networks (LPWANs) will be based on Semtech’s LoRa® devices and the LoRaWAN® protocol by 2023*. As of December 2019, more than half a million LoRa-enabled gateways have been deployed globally, supporting 135 million LoRa-based end nodes**. With the global adoption of Internet of Things (IoT) solutions and the growing market share of LoRa-enabled applications, it is becoming more and more difficult to identify a business segment that could not benefit from some level of connected devices. With new LoRa use cases being announced regularly, and growing numbers of worldwide LoRaWAN network deployments (public or private), it seems the only limit to these applications is the imagination of the developers and system integrators solving real world business challenges today.
In this blog, we playfully and festively explore that imagination and muse on what is possible with Semtech’s LoRa devices by considering potential use cases in Santa’s Smart Workshop. Behind every possible application in the Smart Workshop Solutions infographic below is a real world use case deployed today. Learn about those solutions below.
1. Reindeer Health Monitoring
A disruption in Dasher and Dancer’s health could compromise efficiencies at the North Pole, much like how sick cattle disrupt ranching operations. From ingestible bio-trackers to smart ear tags, there are an abundance of LoRa-based use cases for cattle health monitoring around the world.
- LiveCare, a product created in cooperation with Korean telecommunications provider SK Telecom, is a LoRa-enabled bio-capsule which collects data from inside the gastrointestinal tract of cattle. Collected data detect the onset of disease, estrus and forecasts delivery of calves, facilitating higher quality milk, meat and greater income for the rancher.
- Quantified Ag’s LoRa-based ear tags monitor cattle on feed lots in the U.S. and Australia, alerting ranchers to anomalies in behavior and vital health indicators, preventing or reducing the spread of disease among the herd.
- In North America and Europe, itk’s FarmLife® smart agriculture service and its LoRa-enabled sensors detect cattle estrus, drive improved nutrition and predict the onset of disease.
- In addition to health monitoring, Russian lar.tech’s LoRa-enabled GPS trackers wirelessly transmit real-time location data on cattle, preventing theft and wandering.
Find more smart agriculture use cases on our website.
2. Smart Weather Sensors
Environmental factors, such as weather conditions, can be problematic for snowy sleigh rides. Using IoT-connected devices to remotely measure and report weather patterns helps identify problematic weather before it can cause damage. The low power and long range qualities of LoRa devices enable LoRa-based applications for climate monitoring which are in use today.
- Green Stream’s LoRa-based devices are self-contained, weather-proof, solar-powered, and can be deployed in remote and rugged terrains. The devices transmit data through Senet’s LoRaWAN-based networks to provide an end-to-end flood monitoring solution for smart cities.
- In an indoor use case, the City of Calgary, Canada, deployed LoRa-based sensors in its indoor Devonian Gardens to measure light, humidity, temperature, and barometric pressure, among other indicators, to facilitate the tropical weather conditions necessary for the garden’s exotic plants to thrive.
3. Smart Lighting
What do Rudolph’s red shiny nose and street lights have in common? Failure to illuminate can result in navigation challenges for motorists, compromising public safety. Street lighting is an extraordinarily costly portion of a city’s energy budget, often reaching up to 40 percent. The low power requirements of LoRa devices, and ease of deployment into an existing infrastructure, make IoT-based street lighting a proven LoRa use case for smart cities.
- Ahoy System’s smart lighting solutions based on LoRa devices can be easily integrated into a city’s existing LED streetlamp infrastructure. The smart streetlamps automatically dim according to programmable schedules, detect moonlight and dim accordingly, and can send automated messages to managers upon malfunction detection.
Find even more LoRa-based solutions for smart cities on our website.
4. Smart Door Locks
Whether a private home or place of business, like Santa’s Workshop, smart door solutions enable remote security monitoring and peace of mind for inhabitants. The low power features of LoRa devices allow battery operated door locks to remain in place for several years before battery replacement is required.
- YoSmart’s smart door lock product is just one of its several LoRa-based connected devices for smart homes, demonstrating the scalability and flexibility of a network based on Semtech’s devices.
Explore other LoRa-based smart home and building use cases at this link.
5. LoRaWAN-based Gateway
Connect LoRa-based devices to the Cloud with a LoRaWAN-based gateway. Shop for LoRa-based hardware, devices, software, and services available today in the LoRa Developer catalog.
6. Gas Utility Metering
Even Santa Claus can benefit from the advantages of smart utility metering. Globally, the demand for IoT-connected gas meters is growing, and reports predict installations of new smart gas meters will reach over 20 million units annually by 2024. Long range capabilities and bidirectional communication make LoRa devices an ideal technology platform for smart gas metering, facilitating real-time usage insights and enabling energy conservation, and thus cost savings for end users.
- With the largest market share in China’s gas metering market, Goldcard’s smart gas metering products help public utility companies improve efficiency and reduce costs up to 25 percent.
- In Germany, Seluxit’s MeDa meters leverage a number of the LoRaWAN protocol’s advantages for consumers to change wasteful energy habits and save money.
- In the water metering industry, Birdz Veolia’s implementation of LoRa devices increased water network efficiency eight percent and saved one million cubic meters of water annually.
Find even more examples of smart utilities applications for gas, electricity and water here.
7. Conveyer Belt Sensors
Production facilities, such as Santa’s toy shop, or industrial operations, such as mining sites, rely on conveyer belts to efficiently move materials through a process. When that process is interrupted by non-operational conveyer lines, efficiency grinds to a halt. This compromises business operations and potentially endangers operator safety.
- Transco Industries leverages LoRa devices in sensors to remotely monitor conveyer belts in mining operations, preventing catastrophic damage of critical equipment and saving millions of dollars while keeping miners safe.
- In another notable manufacturing implementation of LoRa devices, Ineo-Sense’s LoRa-based sensors enabled Lauak Group, an aerospace manufacturer, to reduce production lead times by 20 percent and downtime by 10 percent.
8. Smart Workshop Occupancy
Next to salaries, real estate is the highest operating expense for employers. Thus, measuring utilization of workspaces and making space-saving decisions with sensor data can lead to enormous cost savings for building owners. LoRa-based sensors enable the connection of entire buildings to the Cloud through a single gateway.
- Capgemini’s SmartOffice solution leverages data collected from LoRa-based presence, desk and comfort sensors to not only optimize space utilization but also monitor noise, temperature, humidity, and light to improve worker satisfaction. With an initial investment of just two percent of its total office/facilities budget, the company expects annual savings of more than 10 percent of its real estate costs by increasing occupancy to more than 75 percent in many of its offices.
Download the white paper on Capgemini’s smart building deployment to learn more.
9. Food Temperature Sensors
Food manufacturing operations, such as Santa’s cookie bakery, and food retail establishments can eliminate the manual labor and analog records for temperature monitoring by implementing a LoRa-based food safety application. Because IoT solutions based on LoRa can communicate through stainless steel doors, concrete walls and even multiple stories of a building, the platform is ideal for restaurant and food processing applications where such building challenges are present.
- GND Solutions’ smart refrigeration system for restaurants connects LoRa-based sensors to the Cloud. In a demonstration of its cost-saving value, one deployment of its solutions saved a restaurant up to 40 percent of its operational cost due to greater food management efficiency.
- Laird Connectivity and CM Systems integrated LoRa devices into ComplianceMate, a temperature monitoring system for restaurants including fast casual chains Shake Shack and Five Guys. The system alerts management to extreme temperature risk, preventing inventory loss. This benefit was demonstrated when a ComplianceMate system alert prevented a $50,000 inventory loss at Hattie B’s in Nashville, Tennessee.
- Axino Solutions’ LoRa-based smart refrigeration solutions use artificial intelligence algorithms to predict the core temperature of food in refrigerators to ensure food safety throughout the cold chain. The system has been implemented extensively throughout Migros stores, Switzerland’s largest supermarket chain.
Download the Axino white paper to learn more about LoRa’s advantages for smart refrigeration.
10. Fire Safety Monitoring
A crackling fire is cozy when contained to a fireplace, and smart fire safety helps save lives if a fire should spread.
- HEX SAFETY’s dynamic evacuation signs communicate with a building’s fire alarm system to dynamically route evacuees safely from the building, increasing the chances of survival in catastrophes.
Discover more LoRa-based smart building use cases.
11. Smart Sleigh Parking
With smart parking, Santa never has to worry about finding an empty spot for the sleigh! Low power wireless sensors are cost effective to deploy and require virtually no maintenance.
- CivicSmart’s smart parking meters provide utilization data and remotely monitor unpaid meters to efficiently dispatch parking enforcement officers as needed.
- PNI Sensor Corporation’s PlacePod smart parking sensors detect parking space occupancy to provide drivers, traffic coordination systems and municipalities with actionable real-time data.
- On the University of British Columbia campus, LoRa-based smart parking sensors communicate handicapped parking space availability over eleven-x’s LoRaWAN-based network to efficiently and remotely monitor accessibility on campus.
Find even more LoRa-based solutions for smart cities on our website.
Explore libraries of real world use cases by vertical market on the Semtech website:
Semtech wishes you a happy and healthy holiday season and prosperous New Year!
*IHS MarketInsider, May 2019
**Data from Semtech Q3 FY20 Earnings Call
Semtech, the Semtech logo and LoRa are registered trademarks or service marks of Semtech Corporation.