At Mobile World Congress, we met Alban Hoxha of BeWhere Wireless, a company that's working on wireless sensors that companies can use to track and monitor their shipments and get alerts of adverse events that could happen en route.
Hoxha said, "[Our] product that integrates a number of sensors like temperature, humidity, pressure, accelerometer and a location service, which is GPS. All these modules are integrated and communicate through a low power wide area network module. It's powered on two AA batteries. Depending on the user requirements, the batteries can last for 10 years.
"So let's say a new customer would like to monitor goods during shipping and they have [unknown factors] in terms of the impact. For example, very expensive cars. They want to make sure that they don't get damaged. And quite often, when the impacts are high, most likely the goods will be damaged and the customer wants to know if that happens, they would like to get a notification. Now quite often, this one traditionally has been recorded only by the shipping companies and that information is very difficult to obtain. So now it's very simple. Customers who are very interested to monitor their goods during shipping, they can buy the service from us. It's very simple. There's no installation fee. There's no installation requirements. They just mount the device with the goods and they can monitor in real time."
SEE: Internet of Things policy (Tech Pro Research)
Hoxha added, "An alert can be a high impact, high G-force impact. It can be for use cases in the cold chain [refrigerated goods] industry—can be a low temperature or a high temperature. It can be a long light exposure of goods. Or it can be a water flood. It can be a water level.
"[It's] a low maintenance device. Very low fee in terms of the service, and they get real time notifications when things happen so they can manage their operations by exceptions. At the same time, very long life of batteries. Two AA batteries, they can run for as long as 10 years. Small amount of data, small amount of power, and very deep penetration. For example, traditional technologies, they don't provide the extent of coverage that these [low-power network modules] provide today."
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Jason Hiner has nothing to disclose. He doesn't hold investments in the technology companies he covers.
Jason Hiner is Global Editor in Chief of TechRepublic and Global Long Form Editor of ZDNet. He's co-author of the book, Follow the Geeks.