Sigfox is a  cellular style system that enables remote devices to connect. It is a technology which lets your devices communicate just like 3G or 4G on your phone. It allows you to send 140 messages per device per day, payload size is 12 bytes and throughput up to 100 bits per second, has a very low energy consumption and has excellent coverage around the world. All in all a good communication solution for many use cases. There are many devices/sensors on the market which communicate using Sigfox. We have used several of these Sigfox devices for customers and have also tested a few of them, see for example the posts on 1608 and Sense’it.

How easy is it to integrate a collection of different devices into one application?

To answer this question let’s have a look what needs to be done:

  1. You need to tell your application what kind of information it will collect and how it will be collected
    • What sensors are being used, how do they communicate and how do you translate the information from the sensor so the application understands it
    • What sources of information do you invoke when, if you want to reason about the weather when does the application ask for the weather and who does it ask
  2. You need to tell your application what you want to reason about and collect information for
    • If you are a machine builder, re-seller of equipment, rent out equipment or a fleet owner you might want to reason about machines or devices
    • If you are a facility manager you might want to reason about a room, a building or the people in the building
    • If you are a farmer you might want to reason about your crop, stock or farming equipment
  3. You need to connect the collected information with the things you want to reason about
    • If you reason about a room in a building with three different sensors and using the outside weather you need to organize your application such that all these four information sources are collected for a single room. Once this is done you can easily organize your dashboards, deploy your actions and execute your analytics.

Simply stated, what things are we going to reason about, what sensors are my things using and how do the sensors connect to my things.

In the MEUNGO platform you model the sensors (node types) that collect information by defining what they collect (attributes). Next you define how it is communicated (connectivity) and finally how you translate the information that is communicated to an attribute (conversion). In this blog we show how to do this for Sigfox. The platform has a secure connector to the Sigfox back-end and will monitor the sensors once they have been provisioned. Other connectors for other communication protocols also exist.

 

In the MEUNGO platform you model your things (device types) by defining what attribute types they have and if the information comes from a sensor and if so what attribute of that sensor. So if you model a room where you are going to collect outside temperature and inside temperature you make two attribute types, one matched with the sensor collecting inside temperature and one matched with the sensor of the outside temperature.

 

Once you have defined your device types you create instances of them (device instances) and connect the sensors to the instances by providing identifiers.

 

Once this is done your data will be stored and is accessible for dashboards, actions and analytics.

Real world applications have to deal with a changing world. New devices will enter your world, new versions of your current devices will be released. Over time you will have to maintain a hybrid collection of devices in the field. Your technology stack will have to be able to deal with this fact of a changing world.

MEUNGO is designed to easily connect a collection of sensors into one object, device or thing. MEUNGO makes it easy to connect, collect and react and allows you to define and share dashboards. It is not limited to Sigfox and supports other communication protocols.

If you have one or more Sigfox devices and you want to start drag and dropping your own application feel free to contact and see what is possible.

For a list of devices using Sigfox see https://partners.sigfox.com/products/device