Posted on October 11, 2017
I love my neighborhood. I love my neighbors, and I love being able to see the Utah mountains from my backyard. What I don’t love is that my mail is delivered to a centralized mailbox at the front of the neighborhood, not at the end of my driveway. It’s a 20-minute walk round trip to check the mail, sometimes to find that it hasn’t even come yet. And I don’t want to be that guy that drives just to check his mail.
Cheap and cheerful solution to little pain points that add up to big ones
During my two years at Sigfox, I’ve started seeing pain points that can be solved through cheap Internet of Things solutions. The Low power wide area connectivity Sigfox offers has opened the door for solutions that require really low cost and really long battery life to be feasible. Knowing when my mail is delivered is valuable, but not at a price point of $100 for the device and $40 a month per year subscription, not to mention a monthly or even daily battery recharge need. However with Sigfox connectivity solutions to solve pain points start much lower than $100 per device with a subscription as low as $1 per device per year.
With coverage in my area, I decided to use the Sens’it device, a multi-sensor device that measures temperature, humidity, light, shock/vibration, and things like door open/close. It comes with desktop and mobile applications to configure and receive alerts. I set it to light, which is measured in lumens, and programmed it to send me a message when the lumen level is 10 or above, to indicate the mailbox has been opened.
An important point to note about this use is the Sens’it is transmitting from within a metal mailbox, which means the Sigfox signal permeates through this dense material, essential for some applications.
More than mail; solutions that can streamline business operations
Now that I get these notifications, I only check mail when it’s there, and I can enjoy the walk knowing I’m going with a purpose. This is just one application from my daily life. Now imagine the many tasks that businesses do manually, a cheaper streamlined solution was available; which is a big benefit for Sigfox LPWAN connectivity.
Take street lights, for example. Instead of sending someone to check whether the lights are on or off, a lumen sensor install on the light will transmit an alert each time a light is out. For facilities managers, instead of walking miles of halls checking on lights that are left on, a light sensor can alert when a light is left on in a specific area. For restaurants or event facilities with 10s of 100s of refrigerators and freezers, can now be equipped with light and temperature sensors that sends an alert when the door is left open after a certain amount of time, saving energy and protecting the safety of what’s being stored at a specific temperature.
And these are just the multiple use cases that are measuring light. We haven’t even touched the opportunities within location, shock, pressure, fill levels, or predictive maintenance that the simple connectivity of Sigfox allows at the low cost and long battery life required for these use cases. Does this have you thinking about the monotonous tasks in your business operations could be monitored and automated? Let’s talk!