All of LAIIER’s devices use LoRaWAN to communicate wirelessly to the internet and send messages and status updates.
It is a relatively new technology, only created in 2015, and is now maintained by the non-profit LoRa Alliance.
LoRaWAN is used for two main reasons. Firstly, it has an impressive range of up to 15km. Secondly, it is very energy efficient. Our sensors only require one battery and can operate for multiple years on one charge.
What is LoRaWAN
LoRaWAN is built on LoRa, which is a modulation technique. LoRa, short for “Long Range”, encodes information using chirp spread spectrum (CSS) technology, a common sonar and radar technology.
LoRaWAN in turn is a protocol that uses the LoRa modulation technique. It is a new technology.
LAIIER's devices act like cellphones, connecting to the network and formatting messages. It uses the LoRa technique to transmit messages. This is similar to how a cellular network defines how cellphones connect and the format of messages.
A cellular network needs cell towers to connect devices to it. For LoRaWAN, these cell towers are known as gateways.
A gateway receives messages from LoRa devices such as LAIIER’s Severn Board. It then sends the message to the internet. Finally, the user can view the message from their preferred application.
Benefits of LoRaWAN
LoRaWAN has a much longer range than other wireless technologies, such as WiFi or cellular. It is also much more energy-efficient. It can’t transmit as much data and information as the other two, but if you only need to send a message that tells you the status of the infrastructure, you don’t need that much power. This means LoRaWAN-enabled devices can run for years on a single battery.
Our water leak detector, Severn WLD, uses LoRaWAN technology. It only requires a single AA cell battery as a power source. This battery can provide up to three years of power.
The device sends a message once a day, reporting the status of its sensor. After that, it rests for the remainder of the day.
Once it detects a leak on its sensor, the Severn Board sends continuous messages until the leak is fixed. The power efficiency of our leak detectors helps us scale up these devices. This allows us to cover smart building infrastructures with minimal maintenance.
Also, as LoRaWAN communication can seamlessly interface with network servers, e.g. The Things Network, data from many devices can be simplified into a single dashboard for easy inspection.
LoRaWAN is the key to enabling IoT applications and we are excited to be part of this growing technology trend. We are creating printed sensors with LoRa and LoRaWAN capabilities. This will enable us to transform more surfaces into cloud-connected devices.