Sigfox introduces new GPS-free IoT service
Sigfox, a France-based company that builds wireless networks to connect low-energy objects, has recently unveiled a new GPS-free, Internet of Things (IoT) service that revolutionizes the way packages are tracked. The new service will enable shipping companies to effectively track shipments around the world without the need to pay a premium.
Apart from the expensive costs of acquiring a GPS service, the standard today is that companies also pay for the high maintenance fees of servicing tracking equipment. As such, GPS tracking is usually reserved exclusively for tracking high-valued items, and is uneconomical for the mass tracking of shipments.
Spot’it is Sigfox’s newest service which aims to not only offer low-cost tracking services for shipping companies but also make tracking available for mass freight shipments. Enabled by the French company’s global network, which operates in over 30 countries, Sigfox’s module will act as a geolocation device that can be tracked by Spot’it.
The service is integrated into Sigfox’s network, and embodies the first ever global IoT geolocation assistance. When a tracking device is registered in Sigfox’s cloud, the geolocation service becomes available in all areas where the network is present.
What makes Spot’it low-cost is that it does not require any additional hardware or software updates. In addition, the device doesn’t need to transmit messages for the GPS to work, and also doesn’t have to rely on energy-hungry GPS technology to function.
Customarily, companies track their items in transit by either scanning packages at the point of arrival. However, scanning only upon arrival means the procedure is prone to losses and errors, specifically in third-world countries where customs officials are unsupervised when opening shipment boxes. With Spot’it, companies can track their packages in real time.
“Spot’it is not only set to transform the global freight industry, but we anticipate that new services will be developed,” said Laetitia Jay, the Chief Marketing Officer for Sigfox. “Imagine a new service where shipping companies can be alerted when containers stray into regions that they aren’t supposed to be in. From fraud detection to new insurance and geo-marketing business models, the possibilities are endless.”
The use of GPS or Global Positioning System technology has greatly evolved since its integration into mobile devices. When it was first launched, it was only useful for planning traffic routes through apps like Waze. However now, a variety of innovative applications such as Spot’it are changing the way people live.
Apart from tracking people and shipments, GPS is also used to help people with visual impairments navigate streets and cities. According to Telogis, an app developed by Sendero Group LLC uses GPS to guide blind users to their target location as well as navigating them past objects that may be obstructing their path. The app was developed in association with Guide Dogs NSW/ACT, an Australia-based company that offers guide dogs and mobility services to those who need them.
Sigfox has built a global network to connect devices from all over the world to the Internet while consuming very little energy. The company’s revolutionary approach to device-to-cloud communications addresses the three major barriers to global IoT adoption: cost, energy consumption, and global scalability. The company was founded in 2010 by Ludovic Le Moan and Christophe Fourtet in Labège, which is referred to as France’s “IoT Valley”. Sigfox has satellite offices in Boston, San Francisco, Dubai, Singapore, Paris, Madrid, and Munich.
Sigfox will be sponsoring the IoT Tech Expo Europe 2017 in Berlin on the 1-2nd June where Aurelius Wosylus, Director Sales & Partners Germany at Sigfox will be leading the keynote session: Keynote: Massive IoT from the low cost and low power perspective. The talk will take place on Thursday 1st June at 2:50pm and will take place within the free conference track; Developing for the IoT.
(c) istockphoto/ tawanlubfah & Pixabay