Through the rise of the Internet of Things (IoT), devices can now easily communicate between each other and the cloud using a number of protocols. Increasingly, these devices are evolving to be wireless, low-power and battery operated.
The number of these devices is growing exponentially. In fact, the number of IoT devices is expected to grow from 26.66 billion in 2019 to over 75 billion by 2025. Weak range and penetration of existing protocols means we can no longer rely on old technologies. These changes have increased the opportunity for the development of new wireless protocols that focus on transmission of small packets of data from many devices.
Currently, one of the most popular protocols for this use is LoRa. LoRa is a low-cost, long-range and secure wireless technology that connects IoT devices to the cloud. It provides greater range and penetration than cellular networks, making it perfect for transmitting sensor data.
LoRa is available in two versions - LoRa RAW and LoRaWAN. Nube iO has chosen to implement LoRa RAW into our hardware. Here’s a few reasons why!
Good distance vs. power consumption of the device
LoRa raw can transmit around 1km line of site, and LoRaWAN can transmit over 10km. Considering LoRa transmission messages are very small, around 50 bytes, less power is required than say to make a phone call or upload a photo. Using LoRa, our sensors can achieve a 5+ year battery life when pushing data once a day. Alternatives either cannot transmit the required distance, or are too costly to do so.
Good network coverage within indoor environments
LoRa runs on a low radio frequency, such as 915, which is what we use. This enables the transmission to penetrate common building obstacles such as furniture, walls, pipes and even concrete. Our LoRa Raw devices can transmit around 100m in a commercial building, which is impressive considering the weaker penetration of WiFi. This means less gateways are required to pick up the signals, and lower overall costs for the facility manager.
Active & open community
The LoRa community has developed significantly over recent years and continues to do so. This community is very active and open, comprising of companies and individuals who are further developing LoRa and LoRaWAN. Because of this, the technology is constantly improving and there is lots of available support online and through forums.
Fun technology to use
Last but not least, according to the development team at Nube iO, LoRa is a fun technology to play around with 🤓