Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Eleven-x and Skyhook combine wifi and LoRa for positioning

Steve Rogerson
June 4, 2019
 
Eleven-x, a Canadian full service low power IoT provider and operator of a public coast-to-coast IoT network, is working with Skyhook, operator of an independent wifi and cell-based positioning system, to develop wifi-enabled location tracking for use with LoRaWan.
 
This hybrid combines the best of two wireless technologies – wifi and LoRaWan – to enable precise location services for low-cost devices that can be used almost anywhere, with improved accuracy, efficiency and scanning capabilities for wifi access points.
 
The collaboration included the development of a reference device architecture and a connectivity platform. Both use the key benefits of LoRaWan technology, specifically the long range, long-life battery power and the low-power data communications. The flexible and adaptable offering extends Skyhook’s technology capabilities and enables fast wifi access point scanning and signal-level monitoring without the need for expensive cellular data services.
 
“We’re excited to work with the Eleven-x team on the development of this,” said Skyhook’s product director Nick Knellinger. “With the increase in deployments of LPWAN networks, including both public and private LoRaWans, Skyhook has seen an influx of demand for accurate, network-based localisation for various IoT applications. This product and reference architecture allow for the ability to tune for specific power and accuracy requirements for low-power and bandwidth constrained networks, showing what is possible for deployments where extended battery life is a must and GPS hardware may be unnecessary.”
 
With improved capability and increased cost efficiency, the offering is primed to provide a compelling alternative to current wireless tracking. Use case applications including a wide variety of geo-bounded assets that rely on traditional expensive wireless technologies. Specific use cases include tracking of city assets such as school buses or snow ploughs, shared bikes and scooters, and industrial assets such as pallets, merchandise, work crews and other construction assets.
 
“Leveraging two teams who are experts in their respective technology fields to develop a cost-efficient solution for location-based tracking was really exciting for us,” said Eleven-x CEO Dan Mathers. “The potential of this hybrid has the ability to significantly disrupt the current asset tracking space and specifically smart cities and industrial use cases where current GPS tracking is simply too cumbersome and costly.”
 
Skyhook, a Liberty Broadband company, specialises in location technology and intelligence. The company was founded in 2003 at the outset of the mobile revolution and powered location on all the early iPhones.