Actility announced this week availability of a comprehensive geolocation and tracking solution platform offering breakthrough network-based location capability enabled by LoRaWAN network gateways and infrastructure.
The ThingPark Location Service will be available to all IoT solution providers and enterprise developers through a single API in ThingPark X, the company’s data mediation and enrichment platform.
The signal from any LoRaWAN enabled device in the Port is received by several of the Cisco Interface Modules for LoRaWAN mounted throughout the facility.
By precisely measuring the time it takes for that signal to reach each of the modules, the network is able to compute the distance to the device from each gateway and then “triangulate” its position. Since this solution does not require the connected device to be fitted with GPS, and the location calculation is done in the cloud, network-based geolocation carries no power penalty, and the lifetime of the device in the field is unaffected. Trackers capable of up to ten years in the field without maintenance are possible.
Many applications need to alternate between high-frequency tracking (geofencing) where power efficiency is key, and on-demand location where accuracy is key. Actility’s Geolocation platform provides revolutionary performance in any use case. For theft prevention, for example, it is important to be sure that an asset is within a specific depot or site area withan accuracy of 50 to 100m, and Actility TDoA geolocation capabilities provide this service without significantly affecting the device battery life.
When on-demand location is required, Actility geolocation platform leverages WiFi SSID based, GPS based or Bluetooth based geolocation. LoRaWAN bidirectional nature allows the platform to use the optimal tracker mode at all times, optimizing the battery life.
When GPS is used, Actility also integrates a new patented Assisted GPS (AGPS) technology optimized for LoRaWAN networks, which offers much longer battery life than other GPS trackers using mobile cellular modems.
The complete Location Service will be available through a single ThingPark X API, which, coupled with the bidirectional capability of the LoRaWAN link, will allow developers to manage geolocation according to the needs of their application.
For example, in an asset tracking and theft prevention scenario, the application may use low-power consumption network-based location to geo-fence a vehicle, raising an alert only when it strays outside a defined area, and then providing a 50 to 100m estimate of its position. Finally, when the police need to find the exact location of the vehicle, the platform will leverage WiFi SSID and Bluetooth based location (indoor and in cities) and /or AGPS based location.
“Geolocation and tracking could possibly be the biggest use case in the whole of the Internet of Things, based on the amount of interest we’re seeing in our location service portfolio,” said Actility CEO Mike Mulica. “We are making asset tracking accessible to the global supply chain at very compelling cost and very long battery life for tracked devices, and of course with fine location granularity, all combined into a market-ready package with easy integration into existing enterprise management platforms and network solutions.”
“KPN believes localization is an important feature for a wide variety of LPWA use cases. Actility’s ThingPark Location Platform is as a very promising solution enabling geolocation, tracking and geofencing of assets in many industries,” said Jacob Groote, EVP of Service Platforms at Actility customer KPN.
Actility also launched this month ThingPark X, a data mediation and transformation platform. The first deployment will see RS Components (RS) combining LoRaWAN sensors with ThingPark X data connectors and IBM’s Watson IoT Platform and IBM Maximo Asset Management to enable predictive maintenance and process optimization in their Nuneaton warehouse.
ThingPark X extends the ThingPark IoT Platform, allowing data from any device connected to a ThingPark-powered network to be aggregated, transformed, analysed and exposed to applications by standard APIs or delivered onward to third party cloud platforms such as IBM Bluemix.
ThingPark X provides tools to make the data from sensors more accessible and easily used by applications and services. It provides translation services, which allow a single application to seamlessly make use of data from devices that use different IoT communication protocols such as Zigbee and MBus.