floLIVE Partners with Sony and Kigen to Introduce a New iSIM
By Abraham Joseph -
11 January 2022 - floLIVE, a leading IoT connectivity provider of advanced 5G network solutions and cloud-based global connectivity services, today announced it has collaborated with Kigen - a leader in eSIM and iSIM security, and Sony Semiconductor Israel (Sony) - a leading Cellular IoT chipset provider.
The three vendors have successfully developed an advanced, state-of-the-art solution based on Sony’s Altair cellular IoT chipset ALT1250 with an integrated SIM (iSIM) powered by Kigen’s iSIM OS and embedded with floLIVE’s global connectivity. The new solution leverages the benefits brought by iSIM technology of lower size, cost, and efficient communications, combined with an advanced LPWA chipset for NB-IoT and CAT-M and local breakouts - all contributing to improving latency and extending battery life - key requirements for modern IoT use cases.
floNET is floLIVE’s global connectivity service. Through a globally distributed array of core mobile network instances, it provides enterprise customers with localized connectivity that adheres to privacy and data sovereignty regulations (e.g., GDPR), and is permanent roaming safe.
“Our joint solution is a unique offering in the IoT space, and will be a model for other solutions in the market,” said Nir Shalom, CEO floLIVE. “We are proud to have the opportunity to partner with Sony and Kigen to leverage our highly-effective over-the-air multi-IMSI solution that is in line with Sony’s own target to extend battery life and optimize data usage, and Kigen’s advanced, highly-secure integrated SIM OS.”
This collaboration is a significant step in floLIVE’s growth as a global connectivity leader, and in the worldwide need for innovative, iSIM-based connectivity solutions that meet new business needs.
“Sony is at the forefront of the next generation of connected devices, and to make that happen, we collaborate with vendors who have new approaches to enabling IoT connectivity”, said Aviv Castro, VP Business Development at Sony Semiconductor Israel. “floLIVE offers broad global coverage in our target markets and can address local regulatory challenges. This not only encourages IoT adoption, but also supports specific customer requirements for privacy and scale.”
Having developed its own global software connectivity infrastructure, floLIVE can customize any element of the solution to meet specific customer requirements. The solution supports additional cellular technologies such as 5G, for future use cases.
“Kigen initiated the iSIM technology with a vision to simplify the manufacture of global IoT products and scale seamlessly,” said Vincent Korstanje, CEO at Kigen (above). “This collaboration with Sony and floLIVE combines the best of security through Kigen iSIM OS with out-of-the-box LPWAN connectivity on proven iSIM chipset so OEMs can focus on meeting regulatory and local market needs.”
Sigfox Partners with HT Micron and Nowi to Develop New Energy Harvesting Modules
By Abraham Joseph -
5 January 2022 – Sigfox, a leading IoT communication service provider and 0G network pioneer, today announces its partnership with HT Micron, a Brazilian expert in advanced semiconductor solutions, and Nowi, a semiconductor company specialising in the development of energy harvesting power management technology. This collaboration will aim to explore and unlock the benefits of integrating energy harvesting into Sigfox devices.
This collaboration marks the first step for Sigfox towards a commercial development of energy harvesting modules to equip IoT devices and contribute to more sustainability in IoT. Key use cases are applications in smart metering, industrial sensoring, asset tracking and air quality monitoring.
During the research phase, HT Micron worked on creating the innovative semiconductor solution for integration with Nowi’s Energy Harvesting PMIC (Power Management Integrated Circuit), specifically designed for low power IoT devices. Featured on Sigfox devices and powered by the 0G technology, this solution will not only help reduce battery consumption, but offer longer autonomy and reduce the total cost of ownership.
Nowi's PMIC is designed to efficiently extract power from ambient energy sources like light and vibration to charge a variety of energy storage elements such as rechargeable batteries and capacitors. The circuit is best suited for most low power applications such as distributed IoT sensors and TV remote controls for example.
“The low power consumption of Sigfox solutions are particularly well suited to being powered by ambient energy harvesting. As many Sigfox-based applications require intermittent communication intervals, this allows for trickle charging a storage element with energy harvesting in between transmissions,” explains Chris Juliano, CCO at Nowi.
As a key strategic partner of HT Micron, Sigfox has worked with the company for several years. HT Micron will play a key role in this project given their expertise in the creation of innovative modules and their focus on energy harvesting for IoT mass adoption with sustainability.
“We are glad to take this next step with Sigfox and explore energy harvesting solutions as a new way to create added value to our end customers and help them improve their environmental impact,” says Edelweis Ritt, CIO at HT Micron (above).
“This collaboration with Nowi and HT Micron is another proof point towards our ambition to create IoT solutions that will help our clients preserve the environment by greatly reducing their energy consumption. We are looking forward to the development of these new devices and to the positive impact they will generate” says Benjamin Jooris, Client & Ecosystem Success Director at Sigfox.
The project will initially see the integration of Nowi’s PMIC solution with HT Micron’s Sigfox system-in-package into a development kit to be used for testing purposes by R&D and product development teams. The next stage will see the three companies create a mass production module to be used by any type of device maker. More information will be presented at CES 2022 (5-7 January in Las Vegas) at Nowi’s booth (#51733) to gather customer and developers’ feedback.
Pod Group Launches a Single eSIM for IoT Applications in US Markets
By Abraham Joseph -
3 January 2022 – Pod Group, a Giesecke+Devrient (G+D) company and the world’s first Enterprise Network Operator (ENO) has today announced the launch of a new eSIM which has been specifically developed for IoT applications in the US market.
The ENO ONE SIM is based on a single SKU (Stock Keeping Unit) meaning enterprises no longer need to manage multiple SIMs and platforms. The eSIM can be enabled pre- or post-deployment with a choice of profiles, including US native tier one carriers, US multi-network and global coverage on the same eSIM. This allows enterprises to decide which profiles to use and download at any point during the device lifecycle.
The ENO ONE SIM is a new eSIM solution that Pod Group will be introducing together with G+D, who acquired Pod in July 2021. As a leader in eSIM technology and management, G+D’s portfolio complements Pod’s own core network which combines local native carrier profiles in key markets with global IMSIs covering 600+ networks in 185 countries.
As an Enterprise Network Operator, Pod runs its own dedicated IoT core network designed for enterprise IoT applications, including connectivity on both private and public networks and seamless roaming between the two. Network, connectivity and eSIM management as well as security and billing are provided as managed services via Pod’s IoT Suite platform.
Sam Colley, CEO of Pod Group (above) commented; “The key to Pod and G+D’s combined proposition for enterprise IoT applications is flexibility and simplicity. Combining G+D’s leading eSIM solution with Pod’s expertise in enterprise IoT connectivity enables delivery of a huge range of profiles via a single eSIM platform, catering for all requirements and allowing the broader IoT ecosystem to start seeing tangible benefits from this much acclaimed technology. The benefit for enterprises is a greatly simplified connectivity solution, ONE eSIM with a single SKU, and ONE platform to manage all their connectivity requirements, whether global or local.”
G+D’s leadership in eSIM also means that both consumer eSIM (SGP22) and M2M eSIM (SGP02) standards are available, giving enterprises choice not only in the coverage available to them, but in the functionality of the eSIM for different types of application. Using the cryptographic capabilities of the SIM card reduces the cost and complexity associated with installing device-based applications, making enterprise IoT deployments simple, secure and scalable.
Source: Pod Group
Karamba Security Receives $10 million in New Funding
By Abraham Joseph -
2 December 2021 – Karamba Security today announced it has secured $10 million in new funding in an extension to its B Round financing. VinFast, a member of Vingroup, the largest private conglomerate in Vietnam, led the investment with participation from SVIC and existing investors: YL ventures, Fontinalis Partners, Liberty Mutual, Presidio Ventures, Glenrock, Paladin Group and Asgent. This brings the total capital invested in Karamba Security to $27 million.
Investors in the round were motivated by Karamba’s strong customer base and leadership in IoT and automotive security. Other factors were the due diligence conducted with Karamba’s customers and the growing need for IoT and automotive compliance with new cybersecurity regulations.
Karamba Security is an industry-leading automotive and IoT security company providing cybersecurity solutions that secure the device’s entire lifecycle without interference of R&D or supply chain processes. Karamba’s IoT security enables automotive OEMs and suppliers, as well as IoT device manufacturers, to comply with industry regulations and differentiate their offerings without imposing costly changes on their product development schedules or requiring changes to legacy modules they use. Karamba’s recently launched, cloud-based incident analysis has been getting strong market traction, including securing and monitoring a fleet of 800K units in over 100 countries around the globe.
The company will use the new funding to accelerate development of its product roadmap to meet customer demands to comply with new regulations such as UN R155 and ISO 21434 for automotive cybersecurity and the U.S. Executive Order on Improving the Nation’s Cybersecurity.
“Based on our view of the market and extensive technical evaluation, witnessing first-hand Karamba’s core technology and learning from other OEMs, we see how well-positioned Karamba is to help our companies leapfrog ahead on their paths to cybersecurity,” said VinFast deputy CEO, Ms. Pham Thuy Linh. “We are particularly impressed with their product leadership and customer traction. In addition, they can help us–as well as other OEMs and IoT device manufacturers–to comply with the new cybersecurity regulations, such as UN and ISO/SAE automotive cybersecurity requirements and the U.S. Executive Order for Cybersecurity, something that is essential for our expansion plans into the European and U.S. markets.”
Regarding regulations, VinFast’s Ms. Linh was referring to the new cybersecurity regulation published under the auspices of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe, UNECE WP.29/R155. The requirements, based on the newly ratified global ISO/SAE 21434 standard, will become mandatory in the EU for all new vehicle types from July 2022 and all new vehicles sold from July 2024.
VinFast, which recently announced the establishment of its headquarters in California, will make more than $200 million in capital investments and create at least 1,065 new full-time jobs. Because of this, VinFast was awarded a tax incentive of $20.5 million from the State of California.
“National and individual risks of cyberattacks on IoT devices and connected vehicles have driven strong regulatory requirements. IoT device manufacturers and automotive OEMs are in an urgent need to comply with such regulations, without changing R&D processes, delaying time to market, or increasing product manufacturing costs. Karamba’s one-stop-shop offering of products and services has driven strong market traction of such OEMs and IoT device manufacturers, who are attracted to Karamba’s seamless security throughout the device lifecycle,” said Ami Dotan, Karamba co-founder and CEO (above).
Karamba's cybersecurity portfolio for IoT devices will be available for viewing at CES 2022 in Las Vegas from January 5 - 8 at CES Westgate Suite 730. For more information, please visit www.karambasecurity.com
Source: Karamba Security
Workz Introduces New Biodegradable SIM Card
By Abraham Joseph -
23 November 2021 – SIM card provider, Workz, has introduced a new biodegradable SIM card to its product range to help mobile network operators reduce their environmental footprint. The SIM card, titled EcoSIM, completely biodegrades at the end of its usable life, either in landfill or compost conditions eliminating its plastic waste.
In 2019, 5.5 billion SIM cards were produced worldwide. The Covid-19 pandemic saw production reduce in 2020, but tens of thousands of tons of plastic are still needed every year to manufacture the SIM cards the world needs. The sector has made strides in recent years to deal with its high use of plastic. The Workz biodegradable EcoSIM is intended to further this progress.
Workz is recognised as one of the world’s top ten SIM card producers supplying SIMs to mobile network operators (MNOs) in over 70 countries worldwide. EcoSIM is the company’s latest of many sustainable initiatives. The company, which is ISO 14001 certified for Environmental Management, has reduced the average plastic consumption for each customer by half through modified designs as well as introducing virtual alternatives such as eSIM. It also uses recycled materials for packaging and has optimised its supply chain to reduce emissions, energy use, and unsustainable materials. These changes have led to a significant reduction in the impact to the planet for Workz and its customers, in some cases, leading to a reduction in emissions by over 90%.
The Workz EcoSIM is environmentally friendly and made from an oxo-biodegradable plastic that breaks down into small pieces and slowly degrades in the presence of oxygen and UV light. Whilst the card also contains a stabiliser to ensure consistent performance over the usable life of the SIM, when placed in a landfill, the degradation process takes 18-30 months. The plastic, which is approved by the American Society of Testing and Materials (ASTM), can also be safely recycled with other oil-based plastic. This offers a significant improvement when compared to the estimated hundreds of years normal plastics take to decompose.
Commenting on the new eco-friendly SIM card, Tor Malmros, Workz CEO (above) said “MNOs need planet-safe solutions to achieve their sustainability objectives, as well as to maintain consumers who are more environmentally aware than ever. With EcoSIM and eSIM, we’re delighted to be able to provide more sustainable alternatives to the traditional SIM that can make a real difference for network operators and their environmental footprint.”
Cellnex UK Awarded 10-Year Contract to Build 5G Private Network in Basingstoke
15 November 2021 – Cellnex UK has been awarded a contract by Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council to design and build a 5G private network. The proposed network will consist of a 5G core network and a Radio Access Network, in Basing View, Basingstoke's central business district.
The council hopes to create a comprehensive 5G ecosystem focused on commercialisation, where businesses can access 5G connectivity to develop, trial, and bring new products, services, and applications to market. The project is supported by the Enterprise M3 Local Enterprise Partnership and the University of Surrey 5G Innovation Centre.
The proposed 5G private network will provide indoor and outdoor connectivity in Basing View, home to over 100 companies primarily from the professional and financial services, digital tech, cybersecurity and life sciences sectors. The project will also support a 5G Living Lab, where industry partners can showcase technology expertise and foster innovation by providing a range of use cases, including smart city and Internet of Things applications, mobility and transport, and digital health. Through its strong focus on commercialisation and business engagement, the project will also support innovative start-ups and businesses, helping to develop further 5G innovation and capabilities.
"I am delighted that Cellnex UK has been given the opportunity to support Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council's vision of a fully connected business community in Basing View," said David Crawford, Managing Director, Cellnex UK (above). "Cellnex UK, through its Edzcom business, has deployed over 35 private networks across Europe, including ports, airports, mines, manufacturing plants, refineries and is the ideal partner to deliver Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council plans for economic growth and digital innovation in the area."
Leader of Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council Ken Rhatigan comments: “5G technology is going to transform the way we all live our lives and deliver significant benefits for our borough’s businesses and encourage more businesses to come and grow here. I am delighted that we have been able to continue our strong track record of partnership with the private sector to attract significant investment and ensure our borough remains a great place to live and cement our reputation as a top tech town. We look forward to working with Cellnex and Enterprise M3 to bring our 5G vision to reality.”
Kathy Slack, Chief Executive of Enterprise M3 Local Enterprise Partnership said: “I’m thrilled to see the 5G Living Lab come to fruition with funding from Enterprise M3 LEP, bringing a step-change in digital infrastructure to business in Basingstoke. We’ve all had experience of using innovative new digital systems during the pandemic and this new ultra-fast network will enable more businesses in Basing View to build, test, demonstrate and ultimately commercialise new, innovative products, further enhancing Basingstoke’s thriving high-tech economy.”
Source: Cellnex UK
AT&T is in the Field to Deliver a Smart Solution for the Dairy Industry
2 November 2021 – Austrian-based technology company smaXtec is using AT&T IoT expertise to operate its smart sensor, enabling dairy farmers to better understand their cows and reduce costly veterinary bills. Already active in 25 countries including the United States, Germany and the UK, the company is planning to expand its operations over the next 12 months with the goal of having more than 1M connected cows ‘in the field’.
By swallowing the smaXtec sensor, data can be provided on a cow’s inner body temperature, rumination, movement activity, and pH levels. This is extremely helpful to maintaining the health and improving insemination success within a herd.
In addition to early detection of diseases, the smaXtec solution, enabled by AT&T IoT connectivity, supports farmers with reliable calving detection and automatic heat detection. The technology informs farmers about imminent calving 36 to 6 hours prior to young being born, allowing for monitoring and potential intervention to help the safe arrival of a healthy animal.
The smart sensor provides farmers with valuable insights and actionable recommendations in near real-time on simple to use software applications. Users can access cow and herd data via the web or by using the smaXtec app.
John V. Slamecka, AT&T region president–EMEA & LATAM (above) comments: “The IoT applications which can be enabled by AT&T’s global network never ceases to amaze me. In this case the smart solution developed by smaXtec is delivering priceless data from inside the cow. Animals that had to be inspected and monitored in person can now be checked remotely, saving farmers time and money. It’s a fantastic example of what can be done when a customer harnesses the scale of AT&T’s IoT connectivity.”
Stefan Rosenkranz, CEO, smaXtec notes: “As one of the founders of our company, I have been involved in every step of the journey from concept to commercialisation of the sensor technology. The feedback we get from farmers deploying the service is fantastic: making their lives easier and their farm business more profitable while improving the welfare of their animals through the use of data.
“As we prepare for the next phase of our development as a business, it was important we worked with a company which could offer us global connectivity and in particular a strong U.S. presence as we are building our market presence there. Our aim is to have 1M connected cows and I am delighted to be working with AT&T as we move forward.”
Verizon Business Introduces IoT on 5G Nationwide
26 October 2021 – Verizon Business today announced a powerful combination of customer-facing network, hardware and intelligence offerings for Internet of Things (IoT) applications across various industries, including manufacturing, healthcare, and transportation.
In addition to Verizon-certified IoT devices now having access to Verizon’s 5G Nationwide network through current compatible data plans, new Intelligence capabilities combining network and device analytics on a single dashboard are now available for customer trials via Verizon ThingSpace. IoT devices and plans compatible with 5G Ultra Wideband are expected by Q1 2022.
“Verizon Business is a single-provider destination for IoT, with solutions spanning broadband and narrowband, 5G and LTE, intelligence, hardware, and management, for applications across industries,” said TJ Fox, Senior Vice President of Industrial IoT and Automotive, Verizon Business (right). “But it’s not just the expanding breadth of offerings -- it’s the lowered costs, power-efficiency, and heightened accessibility. Broadband IoT on 5G Nationwide and new narrowband IoT hardware in the sub $4 range, with plans under $1, can help open up IoT for new customers, new use cases, and innovative developers.”
The ThingSpace Intelligence suite includes new capabilities and a bundle of existing IoT services, which together allow customers to protect against, detect, and respond to device and connectivity issues and threats. These features are available for customer trial now, with commercial availability expected later this year:
Wireless Network Performance – An advanced analytics-as-a-service offering for coverage, outage, event, service notifications and performance metrics. Customers can view network status and service/maintenance tickets during powerful weather events such as hurricanes.
Anomaly Detection – A service that leverages machine learning to alert users to atypical device behavior (coming in Q4 2021). For example, customers are able to see that a device is using unusual amounts of data, an indication that it might be compromised.
Network-coordinated firmware-over-the-air (FOTA) management – A software management feature for 5G massive IoT devices that performs reachability checks when managing firmware upgrades, resulting in higher device compliance ratios. Users will know that firmware could not be upgraded in some devices because they might have been powered off or experiencing a similar interruption, allowing users to better coordinate and manage upgrades.
ThingSpace Analytics engine – A tool that puts network and device analytics side by side for insight into predictive maintenance and performance notification and alerting. By monitoring and analyzing the millions of signals on Verizon’s networks, this tool generates predictive visualizations of devices and access to the health and performance of IoT connections to rule out connection issues. Customers can visualize data usage trends and adjust data plans, budgets, or device configurations to be more efficient.
Quectel’s new BC660K-GL module achieved certification from Verizon, making the carrier the first in the U.S. to enable the module on its nationwide narrowband IoT network. The module is powered by the Qualcomm 212 LTE IoT modem and supports multiple frequency bands with extremely low power consumption. It’s ultra-compact profile of 17.7 mm × 15.8 mm × 2.0 mm and low cost of sub $4 makes it a good choice for new narrowband-IoT device launches. Connectivity plans from Verizon will start at less than $1. The module offers vital low power consumption for applications that expect to operate for 15 or 20 years without being touched (e.g., smart meters, HVAC units, air and water quality monitors, manufacturing controls), at a price point that significantly lowers barriers to entry and opens up massive IoT possibilities.
“We’re delighted that our BC660K-GL module has been certified with Verizon so it can be enabled on their nationwide narrowband IoT network and form part of its single-provider offering,” said Patrick Qian, the Chief Executive Officer of Quectel Wireless Solutions. “The ability to supply Verizon customers with the module at a very cost-effective rate alongside connectivity plans from Verizon for $1 is transformative and will make a huge variety of IoT use cases possible for the first time. We’re proud to be playing our part, along with Verizon and Qualcomm Technologies, in helping IoT innovators build a smarter world.”
“Qualcomm Technologies is continuously optimizing and developing industry-leading technologies with high-performance, power-efficiency, and low-latency at the core. The Qualcomm® 212 LTE IoT modem – the world’s most power-efficient NB-IoT chipset – supports the creation of new, global smart IoT devices and applications, equipped with cutting-edge power efficiency and LTE connectivity capabilities. We are pleased to see that Quectel’s module – BC660K-GL – based on Qualcomm Technologies’ 212 LTE IoT modem has received this important validation by Verizon to support the proliferation of next generation, low-power global IoT devices,” said Jeffery Torrance, Senior Vice President, Product Management, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc.
AND Technology Research & University of Essex join forces to develop Self-powering, Battery-less IoT Device
23rd September - Purpose-led technology company, AND Technology Research, is today announcing a new partnership with computer scientists from the University of Essex to explore new ways of reducing the amount of power a device needs, while at the same time using energy harvesting techniques to produce truly self-powering devices.
Part-funded by Innovate UK, the combined project team will develop a completely self-powering, battery-less IoT device, that uses AI at its core. The algorithms will orchestrate the intelligent management of energy sources available, using multiple sources to harvest power.
Built on AND’s c2 IoT platform, and Renesas’ new SOTB technology, the device will overcome many of the technical challenges that have previously halted the wide-spread use of energy harvesting techniques, including lowering the in-rush current required, reducing charging times and increasing performance. By utilising multiple power source along with the AI algorithm, the device is set to make intelligent decisions on when to charge in different environments paving the way for many use cases, such as wearable devices, well-being tracking, smart cities, remote monitoring and more.
Commenting on the new project, CEO of ANDtr, Dr Nicola Thorn (above) said: “This project will open up a whole new world of possibilities of AI and energy harvesting. It brings together a myriad of innovations, to tackle one of the growing problems with our industry. Being able to collaborate with the fantastic team at the University of Essex is an excellent bonus; their knowledge and insight in this project will be invaluable.
“We believe self-powering, battery-less devices will be the next game-changing technology to be unlocked in the world of IoT, and we aim to position ourselves at the forefront of the market. Self-powering, battery-less systems have potential applications in any industry where continuous monitoring is required – from medical and agriculture to fleet management, but we are particularly interested in the potential health care benefits. Wearable devices which do not require charging will encourage individuals to monitor their own health and wellbeing, transforming Britain into a healthier ‘smart society’.
“For example, remote continuous monitoring of patients with chronic health conditions will reduce patient morbidity, enable patients to better understand their conditions and seek intervention at an appropriate point and reduce the need for face-to-face interactions with clinicians - thereby reducing resource implications for the NHS. Long term predictions foresee wearable technology to contribute to global cost savings in the order of $200 billion in the health care sector. But it doesn’t stop there, there are also many applications to improving sustainability.”
Using AI to boost sustainability in the IoT
With billions of IoT devices now in operation, the dependencies on batteries are growing. The latest battery technology has taken great leaps in the past five years. Battery life has improved significantly, and energy density has been boosted to new levels previously thought unreachable. But these advancements have come at a cost. These improvements were only possible thanks to an increasingly exotic list of new compounds; these compounds come from across the world and are considered dangerous to mine, and even more dangerous when out of the ground. Lithium, in particular, has incredibly explosive properties, and other key metals such as cobalt, cadmium and manganese are also hazardous when handled.
However, this is not the only problem. Battery life is still an issue (despite improvements), especially for those with high discharge rates. Non-rechargeable batteries, on average, can’t last longer than three years and rechargeable versions struggle to go beyond 10. Disposal of these batteries then becomes a serious difficulty and risk to the environment, especially if that process isn’t handled properly. Replacing these retired batteries then brings further costs and repeats the cycle of risk and waste, and in many cases danger for workers. Energy harvesting at the source of where we need power is one of the keys to remedying this problem and will play a crucial role in ensuring a viable and sustainable IoT industry.
The University of Essex team
Working closely with the AND Technology Research team will be Dr Anisi, head of the Internet of Everything laboratory at Essex. Dr Anisi is no stranger to working with businesses, as he is already involved in several KTP projects.
Commenting on the project, Dr Anisi said: “My main focus is on developing systems capable of reliable and seamless generation, transmission and processing of data.
“For us it is important to build systems which make a positive difference to people’s lives – helping them to do things more easily. Self-powering devices are the way forward, but although there has been some progress in making them a reality, we are not quite there yet. This partnership has potential to make a real difference to the way we all use the internet, sensors and electronic appliances, from wearable health monitors and smart buildings to intelligent trackers for perishable foods.”
While AND specialises in hardware and software development, it will draw upon the university’s expertise to help develop the self-powering systems. Contributing specifically in this area will Dr Morteza Varasteh and Dr Hossein Anisi, from the School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering at Essex. Both have extensive experience of tackling the dual challenge of developing low-power IoT devices and exploring alternative sources of energy from using the sun, vibrations within our own body or radio waves to provide power. They will supervise a full-time researcher, who will work on the project at the AND offices in Theydon Bois.
The combined AND Technology Research and University of Essex project is due to start in autumn 2021 and continue to 2023. Whilst, for now in its feasibility stage, this project is just the start of the new suite of energy harvesting devices; more will follow.
Source: AND Technology Research
Vodafone Introduces New Solution for Pet Owners as part of its Award-winning Curve Range
7 September 2021 – Vodafone is evolving its award-winning Curve range with the launch of its Pet tracker pack – comprising of Curve, the smart GPS tracker, new pet features in the Vodafone Smart App, and a Pet tracker clip. Owners can now securely attach the Curve tracker to their pet’s collar or harness and continue to track them in real-time from the Vodafone Smart App.
The Pet tracker pack is the latest extension of Curve, which has received five awards for innovation since its 2020 launch, including its most recent ‘Best Connected Consumer Device’ in the Annual Global Mobile Awards at Mobile World Congress Barcelona 2021.
As part of the enhanced pet tracking solution, existing Curve users can enjoy the two new pet features – Pet Walks, which logs past walks and their distances, and Pet Profile, which stores important information such as breed and characteristics at no extra cost.
The specially designed Pet tracker clip includes different sized adaptors to ensure a comfortable, secure fit. Made for the most adventurous pets, the device is durable, compact and waterproof rated-IP67. The Curve tracker is connected to the Vodafone IoT network using the built-in Smart SIM and combines GPS, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and cellular technology, enabling pets to be tracked from a distance.
Curve tracker continues to allow users to set ‘Zones’ such as ‘Park’ or ‘Home’ through the Vodafone Smart App and receive a notification if their pet enters or leaves these for added reassurance. Using the Vodafone Smart App owners can also share access to their pets’ location with other family members and dog walkers.
Pets have become an even more central part of people’s lives with an estimated 88million European households now owning a pet. In a recent survey 86.5% of owners stated that their pets provided emotional support during the pandemic. Developed with this insight and feedback, Pet tracker pack signals Vodafone’s continued commitment to connecting people to what matters most in their lives.
Curve Pet tracker pack has been designed for pets by pet owners and built on Vodafone’s scalable IoT platform. With a single app and consistent design language across the Vodafone Smart Tech range, the global platform enables products, experiences, and services to be built once and deployed across markets and categories, enabling a seamless customer experience.
Lutfu Kitapci, Global Managing Director, Vodafone Smart Tech (above), says “With pet ownership growing and our customer insights showing that people want to stay connected to what matters most more than ever, Curve Pet tracker pack has been developed to give pet owners that all-important feeling of reassurance wherever they are. Intuitively designed, and connected through Vodafone’s global network, we’ve developed an enhanced experience based on our customer insight for one of the most popular ways to use Curve today – to keep track of our pets’ .
 European households owning a pet 2010-2020, Statista 2021
 Source: Ratschen E, Shoesmith E, Shahab L, Silva K, Kale D, Toner P, et al. (2020) Human-animal relationships and interactions during the Covid-19 lockdown phase in the UK: Investigating links with mental health and loneliness. PLoS ONE 15(9): e0239397. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0239397