Identifying Challenges and Addressing them with Solutions
Various IT and operations teams struggle to introduce a true IoT solution that connects multiple complicated systems without doing a lot of research and testing. We wanted to put together a company that could combine the best hardware and software solutions together into a true out-of-the-box, end-to-end solution for our customers. We also wanted to demonstrate an emphasis on security, the end-user experience, and the business ROI. So, we started our IoT project in early 2017, looking at low-power technologies that, when implemented properly, could solve the needs of the enterprise sector. Carnegie’s IoT platform—The Longview platform, based on LoRa Low Power WAN technology, allows customers to track assets utilizing an array of sensors and can be implemented across various verticals. We have developed both the hardware and the software for the product and are currently rolling it out to customers. These low-power technologies, including LoRa, require low-cost hardware and can run smoothly on unlicensed spectrum with uniquely expandable architecture. Besides the Longview IoT platform, Carnegie operates several other businesses; each with a shared focus to expand and promote connectivity. Our cutting-edge, Network Convergence Platform, transfers calls from cellular to Wi-Fi to ensure a smooth customer experience and to deliver greater network quality analytics.
As newer technologies become available in the IoT arena, we will incorporate them into our platform and offer multiple ways to connect the myriad of ‘things’
The foundation of the platform is an enterprise-grade LoRa outdoor gateway, which is waterproof graded to a code of IP67. The completely engineered-from-scratch gateway can be fully solar-powered and can handle multiple types of backhaul. We have also developed our own end-point sensors, for monitoring a diversity of environmental data. The first sensor we built is the Asset Sensing Sensor that is equipped with GPS as well as Time-Difference of Arrival technology (TDOA). This sensor makes asset location much more accurate than current sensor location technologies on the market today. We also develop our own end-user software and applications to collect and view the data outputs from the hardware and present it to managers and operators. We currently have a range of other sensors under development, including temperature sensors, which can tell a customer if a boiler has gone beyond its specific boiling point, or if a freezer is chilling respectively. A key advantage of our platform is that it requires very low power. The battery life is truly phenomenal, with some units projected to run in the field for up to six years. We use off-the-shelf AA batteries instead of special batteries, as we wanted to have long-lasting, yet easy to find batteries that could be easily replaced for under $1.00 compared to $5.00 or more for similar IoT batteries.
Customization of the Product
We have built a very flexible and configurable software solution that allows our customers to quickly add and change the sensors and assets tracked by a solution without reprogramming. We can add new parameters to the dashboards and also add third-party sensors for any application; the entire process is exceptionally straight-forward.
Having an end-to-end hardware-software combined solution is the key differentiator for us. There are companies that provide software with hardware built by another company and vice versa. We are perhaps one of the very few combined software-hardware organizations to have built them both as a standalone product. And because we build everything ourselves, we have cut out many of the vertical supply chain costs often associated with device management or security. We’ve applied enterprise-grade security at every layer of the solution.
Roadmap for the Future
We are also working on an exciting new Level Sensor that can measure the physical level of supply tanks or the top-off point for waste bins so a business can optimize janitorial workflows. We are looking at new vertical applications, especially at the local level, where we feel there is huge opportunity for IoT as it is only now beginning to penetrate the mid-market. Our corporate offices are expanding fast in Austin, Texas. We have major plans to roll out additional hardware and software teams this summer and we’ll be introducing upgraded sensors to our catalog later this year. We are also listening to our global customers at industrial facilities, smart cities, and smart campuses where we have the opportunity to deliver truly evolutionary solutions. As newer technologies become available in the IoT arena, we will incorporate them into our platform and offer multiple ways to connect the myriad of “things.”