Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Semtech reference kit simplifies LoRa asset tracking

Steve Rogerson
February 11, 2020



Semtech has released a reference kit to simplify the adoption of LoRa-based asset tracking technology. The kit is said to enable quicker set-up times for more effective evaluation and time to market.
 
California-based Semtech is a supplier of analogue and mixed-signal semiconductors and algorithms. Its asset tracking reference kit aims to accelerate the adoption of asset tracking based on LoRa devices and the LoRaWan protocol, and facilitate the confirmation of the business value of such offerings.
 
According to the 2019 IHS Markit LPWAN market report, worldwide connections in asset management have grown from 15 million in 2017 to more than 50 million in 2019, and are expected to reach almost 500 million by 2023.
 
Despite the continued growth of IoT for asset tracking, the technical nature of IoT serves as a barrier to entry for many potential businesses. LoRa devices offer a proven feature set for enabling a wide range of asset tracking that meets user needs and delivers real return on investment.
 
Asset tracking often requires sensors to be installed in industrial environments reducing the impact on the production. LoRa devices’ ability to provide infrastructure for both indoor and outdoor coverage with geolocation combined with multiple year battery life makes the platform a preferred technology for asset tracking projects.
 
“For companies that need indoor presence detection and outdoor geolocation, the Semtech asset tracking reference kit illustrates how easily LoRaWan private network coverage can be achieved in combination with geolocation,” said Pierre Gelpí, director of vertical marketing at Semtech. “System integrators will be able to start customer projects expeditiously and enterprise users will be able to evaluate the value of LoRaWan for their business processes without needing to have extensive knowledge of IoT technologies.”
 
The kit lets users locate outdoor assets around a specific location, including performing a regular automated inventory of assets that are available on site. With the data generated by the trackers, users can evaluate the possible benefits of tracking their assets with an out-of-the box kit.
 
The reference kit will demonstrate the key benefits and capabilities of LoRaWan-based tracking by applying the trackers to specific assets and providing the ability to access the data by a web-based dashboard.
 
The kit consists of LoRa-based sensors and gateways that are available on the market. Once users see the value of implementing a LoRa-based service for asset tracking, they can deploy a commercial offering with any of the manufacturers in the LoRa ecosystem, providing sensors, gateways, network software and connectivity.
 
The kit comes with six industrial LoRaWan-based GPS trackers and one outdoor LoRaWan-based gateway including a preconfigured SIM card for cellular backhaul. The data from the GPS trackers are collected via the LoRaWan without the need of a licence or subscription fee. The user can configure some parameters of the trackers and access the data through a secure portal. Depending on the gateway placement, the coverage will vary from hundreds of metres around the location to several kilometres.