Senet intros ‘location estimator’ tool to bring network geo-logic to any LoRaWAN device
US LoRaWAN operator and global LoRaWAN cloud platform provider Senet has announced a new network-based Location Estimator service to make any LoRaWAN device connecting to its own network in the US, and via its roaming partners more widely, location aware. The functionality is available to customers whether or not their LoRaWAN devices were originally designed with geolocation technology for tracking purposes.
Senet said it provides “location logic” without any additional hardware for asset tracking, mapping, and “any application that can benefit from estimated presence and proximity detection”. The Location Estimator tool, available now as an add-on with Senet connectivity plans, uses the company’s public LoRaWAN network in the US, plus any networks deployed by its roaming (’Extended Coverage’) partners.
The latter includes the Helium Network, notably, the modish blockchain-based, crypto-incentivised, and crowd-sourced ‘community’ network that claims to have 870,000 global LoRaWAN hotspots already, and which Senet was among the first ‘traditional’ LoRaWAN operator to hook-up with.
The location of a device is derived from the location of the gateway relaying uplink messages from it. Accuracy is dependent on the number of gateways receiving uplink messages from the device over time. Senet argued that many location services are “over architected” for simple low-power IoT use cases – “which unnecessarily increases device costs, reduces battery life, and generates complexity of application development and service delivery”.
A high number of IoT use cases do not require very precise geolocation, it said. By estimating a device’s location, without new hardware in the device and without frequent communication with the network, these use cases can remain low-power, long-life, and low-cost. It stated: “With total cost of ownership (TCO) largely dependent on the cost and battery life of end devices, [this] makes it economically feasible for solution providers to explore new use cases where the combination of location and other sensor data can enhance the value proposition.”
Bruce Chatterley, chief executive at Senet, said: “Knowing an estimated location and environmental data such as temperature, humidity, shock, and vibration is key for general asset tracking, supply chain, perishable food delivery, and many other applications. With the expansion and densification of Senet’s network… our Location Estimator provides a cost-effective alternative for a variety of fixed, mobile, and nomadic use cases where precision location isn’t needed.”