Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Semtech and AWS create LoRa asset tracking kit

Steve Rogerson
August 25, 2020

Semtech and Amazon Web Services (AWS) are working with Tensor IoT to simplify IoT development by offering asset tracking and smart building kits using LoRa technology and AWS IoT services.
Systems integrators and enterprises can use AWS IoT services to accelerate the pilot-to-production lifecycle for digital transformation applications, while leveraging key AWS native services, such as AWS IoT Core, Amazon API Gateway, AWS Lambda, Amazon CloudFront, Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3) and Amazon Dynamo DB.
The asset tracking and smart building kits are the first vertical product offerings based on the LoRaWan protocol built using AWS IoT Core and a serverless architecture. In combination, they pave the way for other industry verticals such as utilities, smart home, smart community and smart healthcare to provide similar kits that benefit from long range, low power IoT capabilities that LoRaWan provides.
“LPWAN technologies represent a rapidly growing frontier of connectivity choices for IoT,” said Michael MacKenzie, general manager at AWS. “Hundreds of millions of constrained devices are being connected to solve real world challenges in every vertical. These devices need to be able to communicate through multiple levels of concrete for smart structures or over miles of distance in remote telemetry cases while running on tiny batteries that last ten-plus years. With companies like Semtech, AWS IoT Core customers are delivering LPWAN using LoRa without sacrificing scalability, availability or security.”
In addition to the hardware, the kits provide out-of-the-box cloud dashboard capabilities to demonstrate quickly the value of IoT in the asset tracking and smart building industries. In many industries such as construction, it is critical to monitor and track fleet equipment to increase use.
In other industries such as shipping and logistics, regulatory compliance for just-in-time shipping is driving the need to be able to provide precise information and traceability of inventory from source to destination.
The asset tracking kit allows users to 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 GPS industrial trackers included with the kit easily viewable on a cloud dashboard, users can evaluate the possible benefits of tracking their assets with an out-of-the-box kit.
Market research has shown a strong interest from commercial real estate owners to have more insights into building occupant wellbeing and productivity as well as increasing the use of space. The smart building kit addresses some of these needs by allowing users to monitor doors and windows, desk and room presence, and environmental conditions, and detect water intrusion in near real time accessible via the cloud from anywhere.
The technology can be used, for example, in the event of a fire, chemical spill or other hazard to determine the number of employees in that area and ensure they are evacuated quickly and safely. The portable nature of the kit allows users to move sensor locations to assess completeness of network coverage.
“Customer safety is paramount for us at our dine-in restaurant and the smart building kit is going to help us achieve that goal,” said Naga Kolli of Saravanaa Bhavan. “With a solution built on LoRa, AWS IoT Core and other serverless technologies from AWS, we are able to provide confidence to our customers that their safety is our priority.”
For large-scale IoT deployments, scalability is essential, and these kits take advantage of the scalable infrastructure AWS provides. These kits are built entirely upon the AWS IoT stack, and the cloud dashboards are designed to be largely serverless from the ground up, relying on native AWS offerings, such as AWS IoT Core, IoT Core Rules Engine, IoT Gateway, Lambda and IoT Device Shadow.
Tensor IoT, helping customers accelerate the integration of IoT and machine learning in products and processes across the business, created the cloud applications to connect the sensors to the AWS Services, providing a complete out-of-the-box experience for the kits.
“The asset tracking and the smart building kits are a perfect example of how Tensor IoT is working with AWS and Semtech to provide best-in-class IoT leveraging highly scalable AWS Services like AWS IoT Core and Semtech’s LoRa devices,” said Ravi Raghunathan, CEO of Tensor IoT. “We are extremely delighted that our customers are able to go from proof-of-concept to production on these rapidly due to the scalable nature of the implementation on AWS.”
The kits include the functional capabilities of devices based on the LoRaWan protocol, such as long battery life, enhanced distance and coverage, and a proven protocol, coupled with the power of AWS underneath.
Dashboards built on AWS are open-sourced and can be completely customised. The kits provide functionality allowing easy scalability, from taking the cloud dashboard as-is from proof-of-concept, to pilot to production as the underlying infrastructure is outsourced to AWS.
“Semtech’s LoRa is a proven IoT solution that has been implemented in a variety of industries ranging from smart home and community to asset tracking and smart buildings,” said Alistair Fulton, general manager at Semtech. “Our collaboration with AWS shows that LoRa devices are connected everywhere and LoRa is the de facto platform for IoT LPWAN applications.”
The new kits are available on Tensor IoT’s web site. Tensor IoT is a technology company with a focus on IoT, artificial intelligence, machine learning and edge computing. It has offices in California, Las Vegas, Texas, Virginia and India.