Sigfox in the IoT Lab
In last month’s Lab Happenings post we introduced the BlueFletch IoT Lab and discussed our participation in the TAG IoT Symposium Hackathon. During the Hackathon we used the Sigfox network to record small data events, which has become something of a theme in the Lab. And so in this post I wanted to delve deeper into the Sigfox network and how we’ve capitalized on it to bring many of our projects to fruition.
Sigfox, the world’s largest IoT networking company, is bringing it’s uniquely agile approach to connectivity to Atlanta. At the BlueFletch IoT Lab, the Sigfox network is the cornerstone of many of our projects. By transmitting small amounts of data over its collaborative network, Sigfox devices connect to the internet without any external hardware, while conserving and extending battery life. From secure homes to smart cities, the SigFox network is compelling our IoT projects forward.
Our first project in the Lab was to create a door sensor using a Raspberry Pi, magnetic sensors and the Sigfox network. The Raspberry Pi acted as a microcontroller to communicate with the Sigfox network. When the door was opened, the Raspberry Pi and magnetic sensor would send a signal through Sigfox and we would get an email alerting us to the fact that the door had been opened. The Raspberry Pi gave us extra computing power to communicate with the Sigfox base station and their network. Sigfox would interpret the signal and send a message to us over email.
Once we knew when the door was opened, we incorporated BlueTooth sniffing tell us WHO was entering the Lab. So here’s the drill – the magnetic sensor breaks when someone opens the door, the Raspberry Pi sends a signal to Sigfox, Sigfox sends an email to alert us. The Bluetooth sniffer is always running. It is learning what devices are usual and, therefore, “OK” and alerts us when a “New or Unknown” device is in the area. Once it detects a device, it sends a message to Sigfox, which then sends an email to us. Branon created a dashboard to capture events – when the sensor detects the open door, Sigfox sends an API call to update Branon‘s dashboard in real time.
In my next post, I’ll go into detail on how we’re implementing facial recognition technology to our door sensor project, allowing us to welcome you by name as you enter the BlueFletch IoT Lab, log your entry and exit time and your BlueTooth device(s). The next step in building a secure system for access to the lab.