Digi International launched Monday its battery-powered, enterprise-ready, cellular gateway solution for wireless connectivity at locations with either no power or low power, called Digi Connect Sensor.
In offering a plug-and-play solution, Connect Sensor allows for remote sensor monitoring to be deployed in environments previously considered too harsh, remote or not economically viable. With versatility and flexibility to accommodate off-the-shelf sensors, such as flow, level, pressure and environmental conditions, the cellular gateway solution will help make sensor use ubiquitous.
As it provides remote monitoring without the need for additional infrastructure, power supplies or third-party applications, Digi Connect Sensor is ideal for energy, water, industrial and government installations that need to expand monitoring capabilities due to oversight requirements, or to increase operational efficiencies, as well as implement industry 4.0 or smart city initiatives.
Featuring integration with Digi Device Cloud, Connect Sensor allows individual companies, systems integrators and IoT solution providers to offer expanded monitoring capabilities and deliver new levels of visibility. With cellular connectivity at each sensor and low cellular data usage rates, Connect Sensor also eliminates the need to configure local wireless networks and makes it cost effective for data backhaul.
Providing an optimal combination of incorporating low-cost sensors capable of multiple uses, data transport via global cellular networks and power available wherever it is needed, Digi Connect Sensor features a long-lasting, non-rechargeable battery with two to three-year average life, sleep mode to conserve power between sensor readings and the option to power from an external source using the internal battery as backup power. As a result, users have the flexibility to make the device self-powered, or take advantage of existing power supplies, including solar. For global connectivity, Connect Sensor is available in 3G HSPA+ with 2G fallback. North American users can also choose an LTE CAT 1 version.
With support for LTE CAT 1, the band created for IoT and M2M (machine-to-machibe) communications, Connect Sensor devices are highly efficient, require less power and are optimized for data transfer. It also delivers multiple I/O options and simultaneous connections offer solution flexibility to address multiple sensor-based environments. Connect Sensor can work with virtually any 4/20mA, Analog Out, Digital Out or Pulsed Output sensor, and can power multiple external sensors, eliminating the need for external supplies or batteries.
Security may be implemented at the device, transport and platform level. Its features are weather-proof NEMA 4 enclosure to protect sensors from the elements, as well as ATEX Group 2 and UL Class 1 Division 2 ratings. It also blends with Digi Device Cloud to deliver visibility and centralized management for all Connect Sensor devices; Device Cloud also serves as the platform for sensor data collection, while delivering configurable read/report intervals and customizable alarms provide alerts when sensor value is above or below threshold levels.
“There’s an insatiable appetite for data along with an increased need to extend operational visibility,” said Joel Young, chief technology officer, Digi International. “With Connect Sensor we’ve created a practical, self-powered, remote monitoring solution that takes advantage of existing cellular data transport networks. Enterprises can now place sensors in locations where it simply wasn’t previously possible in order to obtain valuable feedback and better manage their operations in remote or harsh environments that lack power.”
Connect Sensor also works with Digi’s Connect Wizard, its mobile application for this type of battery-powered gateway. The application uses a Bluetooth connection to provide local installers, technicians or drivers with instant feedback on sensor values via Android and iOS smartphones or tablets. This provides local personnel with immediate status on possible actions and replaces the need for outdated LCD displays.