Tag Archives: Sigfox

SmartEverything is like the Swiss Army knife of IoT boards

The SmartEverything dev board is an Arduino form-factor prototyping platform that combines SIGFOX, BLE, NFC, GPS and a suite of sensors.

Announced earlier this year, SmartEverything is an IoT development platform from Arrow Electronics. Living up to its name, the latest iteration of the SoC, dubbed the SmartEverything Foxboasts a familiar Arduino form-factor with an array of factory-bundled I/O ports, sensors and wireless connectivity.


Impressively, the kit combines SIGFOX, Bluetooth and NFC technologies with GPS and a suite of embedded sensors. An Atmel | SMART D21 at its heart is used to integrate the featured devices, while a SIGFOX module provides IoT enablement.

The SIGFOX standard is energy efficient and wide-transmission-range technology that employs UNB (Ultra Narrow Band) based radio and offers low data-transfer speeds of 10 to 1000 bits per second. However, it is highly energy-efficient and typically consumes only 50μW compared to 5000μW for cellular communication, meaning significantly enhanced battery life for mobile or portable smart devices.


A Telit LE51-868 S wireless module gives design engineers access to the rapidly expanding SIGFOX cellular wireless network and covers the 863-870MHz unlicensed ISM band. It is preloaded with the SIGFOX network stack and the Telit proprietary Star Network protocol. What’s more, the Telit cloud management software provides easy connection up to the cloud.

Truly like the Swiss Army knife of the IoT, the SmartEverything board is equipped with: an Atmel Crypto Authentication chipset; an 868MHz antenna; a GPS module with embedded antenna for localizations applications, which supports the GPS, QZSS and GLONASS standards, and is Galileo ready; a proximity and ambient light sensor; a capacitive digital sensor for humidity and temperature measurement; a nine-axis 3D accelerometer, a 3D gyroscope and 3D magnetometer combination sensor; a MEMS-based pressure sensor; an NTAG I2C NFC module; and a Bluetooth Low Energy transceiver.


The SmartEverything measures only 68.8mm x 53.3mm in size, and includes USB connectors, a power jack and an antenna extending that extend the board. The unit can be powered in one of three ways, either through two AA 1.5V batteries (1.4V to 3.2V), a 5 to 45V external supply or a 5V mini-USB connector.

For quick and easy software development, the SmartEverything Fox board is fully supported by the Arduino IDE and Atmel Studio. Can it get any better than that? If you’re looking for an IoT board that does just about everything, you may want to check this SoC out.

Thanks to SIGFOX, San Francisco now has its own IoT network

SIGFOX has completed its rollout across San Francisco, with 10 other U.S. cities planned by the first quarter of 2016.

The Golden Gate Bridge. Cable cars. Rice-A-Roni. The Giants. These are just some of the things that San Francisco is known for. Next on that list: its own IoT network.


As part of an ongoing project to implement a wireless network throughout the Bay Area, SIGFOX has officially completed its citywide rollout of San Francisco. What’s more, the French startup plans to do the same across 10 U.S. metropolitan areas by the first quarter of next year, including New York, Boston, Los Angeles, Chicago, Austin, Houston, Atlanta, Dallas and San Jose.

Whereas employing a conventional cell modem to connect everyday objects to the physical Internet would consume a tremendous amount of energy, SIGFOX enables millions of low-power devices with minimal data streams to communicate with one another in a slower but more efficient way. The company’s LPWAN (low-power wide-area network) only transmits a minute amount of information at a mere 100 bits per second, but can support millions of connections.

The use of UNB (Ultra Narrow Band) based radio technology is key to providing a scalable, high-capacity network, with very low energy consumption, while maintaining a simple and easy star-based cell infrastructure. Not only is building out SIGFOX’s infrastructure much less expensive than an entire phone network, it runs on the unlicensed wireless band of 900MHz in the U.S.

For its flagship rollout in the Bay Area, SIGFOX has partnered with the city’s Department of Technology, the Mayor’s Office of Innovation and critical leadership to place 20 of its briefcase-sized base stations on the top of libraries and city buildings, each covering a radius of 12 to 18 miles. Instead of the smartphones and tablets we use to stream video, this particular network is catered towards all the other “things” you might want to link to the Internet that only need to send a few packets of data periodically, such as parking meters, fire hydrants, utility panels, traffic sensors and even wearables.


In order to achieve scalability, the startup partners with existing cell tower owners and uses off-the-shelf hardware. With an annual subscription of approximately $1 per year per device, SIGFOX’s connection price will still be much lower than those of other mobile operators. Meanwhile, device makers will have to integrate an inexpensive SIGFOX-Ready radio chip like the Atmel ATA8520 SoC.

SIGFOX tells Forbes that a geographical region the size of the entire state of California only calls for around 1,500 microcells, in comparison to a 20,000-somwhat for a conventional cellular network. Take Spain for instance, which took just one year to be entirely covered.

“If the last 10 years of technology development were about making it easier for companies and people to exchange information with one another—Google, Skype, Dropbox, and so on—the next 10 years will be about making it possible, cost effective and easy for the unconnected physical world to transmit data to the Internet,” explains Allen Proithis, president of SIGFOX North America.

In November, SIGFOX and the city of San Francisco will jointly sponsor a hackathon, in order to allow developers and Makers to use the technology and generate new ideas for how the network can be utilized to create innovative smart city solutions. Intrigued? Head over to SIGFOX’s page to learn more.

Denmark becomes the fifth full-country supporter of SIGFOX’s IoT network

SIGFOX and IoT Denmark have unveiled plans to roll out the low-cost IoT network in the Scandinavian country.

SIGFOX, a French company that has developed a network tailored for electronic sensors and a host of other smart devices, has announced plans for its network to arrive in Denmark next year. Through a partnership with Copenhagen-based startup IoT Denmark, the Scandinavian nation will join France, Spain, Portugal and the Netherlands to become the fifth full-country supporter of the network, which is also available throughout a number of cities in the U.S., Germany, UK, Italy, Poland, Ireland, Chile and Colombia. These include San Francisco, Mumbai, Santiago, Medellin, Milan, Warsaw, Dublin and 10 British metropolises.


Unlike systems that are still in the development stage, SIGFOX’s Ultra Narrow Band (UNB) technology for connecting devices is already providing scalable, long-range, two-way communication and very high capacity. IoT Denmark will bring partial Danish support for the network this summer with complete coverage expected by May 2016.

Through its SIGFOX Ready program, the startup ensures that compatible devices have optimal radio performance and are promoted in the global SIGFOX Ready solution catalog. Moreover, the company has partnered with Atmel, among a number of other chipmakers to give IoT users a wide selection of transceivers, systems-on-chips (SoCs) and modules for connecting their devices with its network. No other system offers this truly open approach. In fact, Atmel’s ATA8520 transmitter IC became the first certified system-on-chip (SoC) solution after achieving the SIGFOX Ready stamp of approval back in November 2014.

Earlier this year, the French startup had raised $115 million from various industrial, telecommunications and satellite companies and has lined up a long list of partners who will employ its network for a spectrum of solutions, from deterring auto thefts and  managing parking spaces to tracking medical patients and monitoring water consumption.

As a SIGFOX network operator, IoT Denmark will manage deployment of the network, work with Danish entrepreneurs and engineers to grow the IoT ecosystem and spur new innovation, and provide cost-effective connectivity subscriptions to customers.

“Demand for SIGFOX’s low-cost, energy-efficient connectivity and its unmatched data capacity and reliability is very strong in Denmark, and we are in discussions with several future partners who are eager to begin using the network,” explained Daniel Bachman, CEO and founding partner of IoT Denmark. “We compared a variety of IoT network solutions, and determined that SIGFOX is the only one that is truly open to device manufacturers, and that can reliably handle the very large number of devices that will be connected across Denmark.”

HidnSeek is a tiny GPS tracker that’ll help you locate just about anything

HidnSeek uses the SIGFOX network to provide users with accurate geo-localisation updates every five minutes.

Developed by French entrepreneurs Stéphane Driussi and Xavier Torres-Tuset, HidnSeek is a smart GPS tracking device that connects to the low-cost SIGFOX network and provides users with accurate geo-localization updates.


The solution is comprised of a palm-sized, open source unit that attaches to any object in need of being monitored and a smartphone application. Based on an ATmega328P MCU, the lightweight tracker packs an accelerometer, a battery and a micro-USB port for recharging. Whereas most gadgets use GSM networks which tend to consume quite a bit of energy and heavily limit tracking capabilities, HidnSeek employs the ultra low-power SIGFOX network instead. Meanwhile, its accompanying app (available for IOS, Android and Windows) lets users easily manage the number of HidnSeek devices being logged, customize geo-fences and configure alert messages.

The system works by determining its position through GPS and transmitting up to 140 geo-localization updates per 24 hour period to its servers via the network. SIGFOX permits two-way communications with HidnSeek, giving users the ability to change their settings up to four times per day and to facilitate geo-localisation updates every five minutes, if necessary.


To get started, a user simply drops HidnSeek inside a suitcase, a child’s backpack or even a car’s door panel, then keeps tabs through its mobile app. Thanks to an embedded accelerometer, the tiny gadget boasts a range of additional features including a “Body Guard” mode that sends an alert if a device remains stationary for an extended period of time and a “Motion Sensor” security system that can inform a user if an doorway has been opened.

“Perhaps you can’t check on an elderly relative as often as you would like or you want to ensure your loved ones are safe during their sporting expeditions. By sharing your tracker ID and with ‘Body Guard’ mode activated, anyone you trust can be alerted directly and notified of the exact location should there be no movement observed for a period of time from 1-15 minutes,” its creators explain.


HidnSeek goes beyond just revealing the whereabouts of one’s belongings. With its built-in geo-fencing technology, users can predefine a set of boundaries, such as a school, neighborhood or workplace, and if a HidnSeek gadget enters or exits the area, a notification will be immediately sent to their phone. This function will be come in handy should a drone go out of reach as it will be able to assist the flier in retrieving their UAV when it goes down.

“HidnSeek determines its location accurately with GPS technology and broadcasts your data using SIGFOX network connectivity, meaning its range extends as far as the SIGFOX network coverage. SIGFOX have committed to rolling out their connectivity across the globe; Europe is nearly fully covered and America is on the way,” the team writes.


“This makes HidnSeek so versatile you can find just about anything, anywhere! Other tracking devices use Bluetooth or cellular tower technology to locate their devices, both of which have limitations. Bluetooth has a limited detection span of 40 meters maximum, and cellular tower technology has limited geo-localization accuracy, which may be greater than 500 meters.”

Whether you’re a worrywart or actually prone to losing things, your car or even grandma, head over to HidnSeek’s Kickstarter campaign to get a tracker of your own. Stéphane Driussi & Xavier Torres-Tuset are currently seeking $13,688. Shipment is expected to begin in October 2015.

SIGFOX is bringing the IoT to fire hydrants

TALIS has tapped SIGFOX’s Internet of Things network for real-time fire hydrant monitoring. 

Envision this: Your house catches on fire and you dial 911. The fire trucks arrive, the firefighters hop down and immediately throw the hose over their shoulders and rush around the corner to the nearest hydrant. Uh oh, the hydrant isn’t working. The hydrants of today can break, leak and freeze, something which can prove to be costly in a live-or-death situation. Luckily, the Internet of Things is here to help because with the advent of smart cities, comes the rise of much smarter water hydrants.

Talis - Fire hydrant

Most recently, water flow equipment provider Talis announced that they will be tapping into SIGFOX’s rapidly growing IoT network to bring their fire hydrant monitoring technology, called COPERNIC, to connected cities. The solution will enable utility companies and other city officials to track and analyze the status of smart fire hydrants to ensure they are indeed functioning properly and to prevent other issues such as water theft.

The two companies note that COPERNIC allows for real-time monitoring of fire hydrants by time-stamping all data related to hydrant functioning. An electronic module installed on the hydrant sends SMS or email alerts via the SIGFOX network when the hydrant is being opened, closed, tampered with, or malfunctioning. What’s more, all of that data will be made instantly available on a web-based portal, while a mobile app can also access, receive and read alerts.

As previously reported on Bits & Pieces and demonstrated throughout many of our trade show booths, SIGFOX’s cellular, ultra-narrowband (UNB) network has been exclusively designed for small messages that will meet the needs of the vast majority of objects connected to the IoT. The use of UNB is key to providing a scalable, high-capacity network, with very low energy consumption, while maintaining a simple and easy to rollout star-based cell infrastructure. The company’s Atmel based connectivity solution uses license-free frequency bands (runs in the unlicensed 902 MHz band in the U.S. and the 868 MHz band in Europe).


The French IoT startup’s UNB network has been specifically designed for small communications within IoT applications in order to greatly improve the battery life of connected objects. COPERNIC, incidentally, runs on lithium batteries that have an estimated lifetime of 10 years.

“The SIGFOX network, with its ‘plug-and-play’ connectivity, low cost and low power consumption will enable the COPERNIC solution to efficiently deliver a wide range of essential data to water-management officials in real-time,” explained Stuart Lodge, SIGFOX EVP of Global Sales.

This is just one of many bits of news to come out of our friends at SIGFOX in recent weeks. Last month, network operator Narrownet brought SIGFOX to Portugal to enhance the country’s IoT ecosystem for device manufacturers and service providers. Want to learn more? Head here.

​Sigfox shows off partner solutions for its growing network

The French IoT startup is launching 902 MHz network nationwide in United States.

While a vast majority of the mobile carriers are focused on super fast networks for their smartphone subscribers, our friends at Sigfox are tapping into an entirely different trend, a slow network. While that concept may seem like a bit of an oxymoron in today’s constantly-connected world, the French startup has found a significant customer base and some pretty big partners along that way, given its advantages like low cost and low power consumption.


Sigfox utilizes UNB (Ultra Narrow Band) radio technology to connect devices to its global network. The use of UNB is key to providing a scalable, high-capacity network, with very low energy consumption, while maintaining a simple and easy to rollout star-based cell infrastructure. The company’s Atmel based connectivity solution uses license-free frequency bands (runs in the unlicensed 902 MHz band in the U.S. and the 868 MHz band in Europe), and don’t go more than a few hundred bits per second, but cost as little as $1 per connection per year.

The result is a simple, low-power network that can be deployed at a fraction of the cost of a traditional cellular network – without any risk of collisions or capacity problems. Due to power-emission regulations in the unlicensed band, Sigfox customers can only receive 140 messages per day from their devices, however. What’s more, those messages can only contain around 100 character and customers can send only four messages per day.

(Source: CNET)

(Source: CNET)

As CNET reports, the company showed off a number of these partnerships during Mobile World Congress, including a device from Securitas that detects if a car has been stolen and another from Traqueur to track it afterward, a monitor from Seur that ensures the “cold chain” is intact for refrigerated shipping, a solution from Air Liquide that helps analyze the condition of the gas tanks it sells, as well as a parking space tracker that sends alarts when a spot is empty or occupied. (You can find pictures of each of the new partner solutions here.)

“The mainstream mobile industry caters to mobile phone users watching video and posting selfies, pumping as much data as possible over today’s 4G network and racing to pump even more data with tomorrow’s 5G. Sigfox, though, limits network message length to just 12 bytes,” CNET’s Stephen Shankland writes.

At the moment, the startup is in the process of rolling out its slow-speed IoT network in San Francisco with greater aspirations of covering 90% of the U.S. population within the next three years. Want to continue reading? Head over to the company’s official page here. Meanwhile, don’t forget to explore Atmel’s ATA8520 device, which recently achieved the Sigfox-ready certification, making it the first Sigfox Ready-certified system-on-chip (SoC) solution. You can learn more about that here.

SIGFOX raises $115M to expand Internet of Things network globally

New funding will help accelerate SIGFOX’s worldwide network rollout in Europe, Asia and the U.S. with the support of leading telecom operators.

French startup SIGFOX, which has quickly become one of the world’s premier provider of cell networks dedicated to the Internet of Things (IoT), announced that it has secured a record $115 million round of financing from strategic and financial investors in Europe, the U.S. and Asia.


Incorporated in 2009, SIGFOX has pioneered the Low-Power Wide-Area (LPWA) connectivity space and has become a reference player in IoT. The company builds low-energy, low-cost wireless networks to connect objects, such as electricity meters, smartwatches and appliances, providing the infrastructure that makes the IoT possible. And it couldn’t come at a better time either. In fact, analysts predict anywhere between 20 to 40 billion new smart devices to become embedded with sensors and microcontrollers to be Internet-enabled in the coming years.

“This funding will demonstrate that we can work with other partners to provide a network that will help us achieve our vision of a world with more connected devices,” Sigfox CEO Ludovic Le Moan told VentureBeat in a recent interview. “It was not easy when we started to raise this round because we didn’t know what the market would be like.”

According to Reutersthis is the third time since its inception that the startup has turned to investors to finance its growth, as it looks to rollout its network in 60 countries within the next five years. This strategic investment, which includes leading mobile network operators, clearly demonstrates how SIGFOX’s two-way low-throughput network complements existing high-bandwidth networks. The company sees a clear path towards unifying them into a single network, enabling always-efficient connectivity from both energy and throughput standpoints.

Following the deployment in France, Spain, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and soon the United States, SIGFOX will use this new equity round to accelerate its worldwide network rollout in Europe, Asia and the Americas with the support of international telecom operators like Telefonica, SK Telecom and NTT DOCOMO Ventures, as well as a leading financial sponsor and a number of industrial partners.


“This record $115 million round is a significant step in the development of our network’s coverage all around the world. The trust of our investors and the dynamism of SIGFOX’s team allow us to strengthen our position as the world leader in IoT communications,” explained Anne Lauvergeon, SIGFOX’s Chairman.

SIGFOX’s network technology is inexpensive, consumes little power and works over long distances. While they may be able to undercut mobile operators, who are counting on billions of connected objects to justify their investments in new cellular networks, the French startup tells the Wall Street Journal that it hopes to instead make telecommunications companies its allies.

“Since creating the LPWA space three years ago, SIGFOX has become the leading global solution for IoT connectivity,” added Le Moan. “This investment round recognizes those achievements and highlights the company’s potential to become the worldwide standard for small-message-based connectivity.”

This is certainly an exciting time for our friends at SIGFOX, who have been present in a number of our event booths over the last couple years. What’s more, the startup recently teamed with Atmel to name the ATA8520 device its first SIGFOX Ready-certified system-on-chip (SoC) solution. The combination of the new ATA8520 SoC and SIGFOX’s scalable, high-performance network offer industry-leading wireless performance and ultra-low power consumption in a cost-effective solution for wireless networking applications operating in the sub-GHz band.

Interested in learning more? Head over to the company’s official page here.