There are applications for IoT sensors in nearly every industry! There has never been a better way monitor, alert, measure, record, report and analyze. What would you like to keep better tabs on? The possibilities are – literally – endless.
Whether you’re looking to build a competitive edge, reduce strain on budgets, increase revenue, improve operations or have a different important goal – implementing wireless sensor monitoring to bolster your business or municipality can have a huge, measurable impact.
Using light, noise and temperature sensors to assist with safe school routes, summer shade locations, campus conditions, traffic conditions, street crosswalk locations and more.
Measure temperature, humidity, soil conditions, water levels for any agricultural situation.
Monitor boat mooring, water levels, intrusion and more to offer services to boat owners in marinas and harbors.
Monitor environmental conditions, power availability, machinery stays and more from meshed network connections out of range of cellular coverage.
Detect conditions for bridge icing, road snow cover, lighting maintenance, and more for safety and street maintenance asset management.
Storm Drain Monitoring
Damage from flooding is exacerbated when storm drains are blocked. Monitor the flow of water to detect blockages that need clearing.
Weather and Air Quality Monitoring
Using multiple sensors, its possible to track changes in weather and air quality to different areas in the city. At our office in Milwaukee, we have been collecting weather and air quality data and storing it in a dashboard to demonstrate the power of IoT.
Monitor and manage street lighting to adapt to unusual conditions
As coastal water levels rise, monitor hundreds of specific data points to determine locations vulnerable to flooding.
Use heat sensors to learn where a fire is threatening, and specifically where it is spreading most rapidly.
Remote Equipment Monitoring
If there’s equipment or machinery running in remote locations without communications or power, manage and monitor it for failure, fuel levels or any other purpose.
Monitor air quality, groundwater, runoff, asset location, traffic congestion on a construction site for more efficient operation and asset protection.
Water and flow pressure sensors detect presence of water outside of a pipeline to prevent significant water loss.
The Power of Thinking Creatively
Sometimes the best solution isn’t the most obvious one. With each customer, we begin by gaining an understanding of what it is that you’re trying to measure. Oftentimes, the sensor that seems appropriate for the job may not the best one – either due to logistics, budget constraints or simply overkill for the outcome. For example: if you want to know the health of a motor, an auditory sensor solution might be inexpensive and effective for this purpose – as opposed to a more complex motion and/or electronic solution. If the motor is going bad – it will make a noise. The noise is recorded. You receive an alert: simple and effective.
Sensors “speak” to the network via two types of technologies: LPWAN (LoRa) or cellular. Each are best suited to different needs – but it isn’t always an “either or” issue. Some applications make use of both.
Low-Power, Wide-Area Networks (LPWAN) utilize sensors that run on small, inexpensive batteries that last years in an operating range that is typically ~3 miles in urban settings.
LPWANs are best suited for sending and receiving small amounts of data in a dense location (cities or large buildings) that require long-term monitoring. LoRa LPWAN sensors connect to gateway devices without any connectivity fees (similar to how your devices might connect to a WiFi network).
Cellular networks require contracted service agreements, with fees per sensor. In addition to the expense, cellular sensors also struggle with battery life, gaps in coverage and technology sunsetting. Sunsetting is when a technology is intentionally phased out: there are currently more than 30 million 2G endpoints in the US that no longer work due to sunsetting.
Cellular networks are best suited for sending larger amounts of data and in cases where short battery life is not a concern. Hardware is typically more expensive. Cellular-based IoT solutions are generally utilized by larger corporations or for smaller sensor deployment numbers.