IoT round-up: Esri wins award, Sigfox extends IoT network, EnOcean’s battery-less standard


International geospatial technology company Esri picked up an award at the TM Forum Catalyst InFocus event for its IoT solutions toward creating a more connected world.

The company was acknowledged at the event held late last year in Dallas, Texas, for its work with French telecommunications company Orange and Dutch management and technology consulting firm BearingPoint on a proof-of-concept ‘Smart Energy Catalyst’.

According to a company statement, through the project, Esri demonstrated how a smart home, smart electric vehicle and smart energy system can work together in an IoT ecosystem with location as a “key interaction point”.

Esri’s project aimed to show how geospatial technology is critical to enable IoT applications. For example, when an individual leaves home or work, mobile devices trigger the geographic information system to begin a series of notifications and actions.

Sigfox partners up to connect smart meters

Cellular connectivity provider for IoT Sigfox has partnered with US smart meters company Glen Canyon to connect 1m meters to the Sigfox network in 2016.

The two companies will work together, bringing together Glen Canyon’s NEXGEN Smart Meters to provide two-way transmission of data over the Sigfox global network.

The smart meters provided by the Californian firm are Sigfox-certified and will enable end consumers to closely monitor energy usage and allows customers to moderate their consumption according to cost at the time of use.

Stuart Lodge, Sigfox executive vice president, global sales & partners, added: “Glen Canyon offers electricity providers an inexpensive, low-energy and multi-functional smart meter that can rapidly expand implementation of smart grids on every continent.

“This is the beginning of a partnership that we expect to help establish smart grids in many countries, as the SIGFOX network is deployed worldwide, and it demonstrates how the network can help innovative companies grow their business.”

Battery-less standard for IoT

Building automation body EnOcean Alliance showcased its latest innovation in IoT technology at the recent 2016 International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

The alliance, which promotes wireless building automation standards for home, industrial buildings and public service organisations such as schools and hospitals, demonstrated battery-less sensors that communicate directly with household appliances and multimedia via internet protocol.

EnOcean has partnered with the ZigBee Alliance to develop a “specification for energy harvesting wireless communication technology” aimed at meeting increasing demand for interoperable, self-powered IoT sensor solutions, reports MarketWired.

Commenting on the new development, Graham Martin, chairman of the EnOcean Alliance, said: “Thanks to our cooperation with strong partners, we build the basis to directly connect battery-less sensor solutions to ZigBee 3.0 or the Internet and thus to open IoT platforms.

“The user doesn’t need to care about the technology used by the single components but can benefit from a seamless connectivity in his smart home – the main concept of the IoT.”

The collaboration between the two organisations suggests that households and other users of IoT devices can run maintenance-free connected smart devices powered without wires or batteries.