In the past, it was sometimes considered too expensive to connect devices over cellular networks. Specially, when low-cost alternatives were also available. Yet we know cheaper is not always better. Now Low Power Wide Area (LPWA) technologies, which combine lower cost, broader coverage and better battery life with globally available cellular networks are turning the tide.
In a new webinar jointly organized by the IOT Solutions World Congress (IOTSWC) and the Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC), and sponsored by the Catalan Ministry for Digital Policy and Public Administration, connectivity experts emphasized that cellular and LPWA are increasingly becoming the best choice when connectivity is mission-critical, as they are specifically designed for low-power IoT applications.
Rob Shah, Senior Product Manager, Connectivity Management at Arm, which is advancing IoT technologies through the design and development of integral platforms, sensors, and subsystems driving IoT performance, said it from the beginning: as it occurs in other sectors, the current pandemic has added some uncertainty to IoT projects. The most optimistic predictions have been painfully refuted by reality. Yet there is a definite place in the IoT market of the future for niche areas and well-focused companies benefitting from the advantages of IoT and connectivity.
Cellular, he said, “has the capacity to help you simplify your project and reduce the security burden” as it’s “standardized, available, cost-effective, secure, flexible and easily deployed.” Mario Zuccaro, Founder and CEO at Oysta Technology, a company providing specific hardware and software solutions for safety and security, echoed his sentiment. He stated that “cellular makes easier to use data so that you can prioritize care provision”, a key issue in the current COVID-19 crisis. In fact, he highlighted that “traditional care is no longer good enough in 2020” and advocated that mobile telecare through NB-IoT is much simpler to use, detects falls, provides tracking and freedom to leave home, handles over-the-air updates, and leverages network switching for best signal. These are advantages that definitely provide “a 360º view of well-being.” An important standpoint for Oysta Technology to carry out creative safety solutions.
On the other hand, Syed Ahmed, CEO at Savortex, explained how the British company is helping clients revolutionize workplaces with smart hand hygiene while cutting carbon emissions by using information. The coronavirus has brought hygiene to the forefront of global business. As a result, hand sanitizers have turned into a critical sector. In fact, the hand hygiene sector is forecast to grow from $2.7bn to $36.6bn by 2026.
However, 95% of the existing devices require to press a button to release the liquid. Savortex brings a solution to that problem. Built on Intel and ARM technology, the SAVORTEX smart hand sanitizer is internet-connected and releases exactly 3ml of hydroalcoholic gel into your hands without the need of touching anything.
In addition, it wirelessly reports usage in real-time as it has a mechanism to collect data and an antenna, and also alerts managers to potential hygiene risks. This makes the workplace a safer environment to carry out activity, said Ahmed. In fact, Savortex CEO reminded that 80% of all infections spread through touching surfaces and that this is costing employers $225.8 billion annually. A good reason to find solutions to address this issue. Whether this is the silver bullet to help the global economy back on track or not is another matter.