Semiconductor and advanced algorithms specialist, Semtech, and Australian Internet of Things solutions provider, Meshed, are collaborating to use the LoRaWAN protocol to help cities tackle the challenges brought by Covid-19.

In a separate announcement, Semtech also reports that Digital Matter, supplier of GPS and Internet of Things (IoT) hardware and device management software, has utilised its LoRa Edge asset management platform to develop a battery-powered tracking device for indoor and outdoor asset management.

People counting
Meshed has integrated the protocol into its nCounter solution to provide accurate and anonymised people counting data for cities. The integration increases the efficiency, range and effectiveness of the platform.

Meshed’s nCounter is a IoT solution that monitors population in a given space. The wi-fi device collects anonymous metrics on the number of smartphones in a given area and transmits this data over LoRaWAN networks, provided by The Things Network in real time.

This data, viewable on Meshed’s configurable IoT platform, enables cities to monitor activity at hotspots such as shopping malls, parks and gardens, public facilities, and major events. It also enables them to gain an insight into the success of social distancing and other public health guidelines.

 “Real-time data on population movement provided by our application leveraging the LoRaWAN protocol enables city governments to assess the immediate and ongoing effects of the pandemic on local businesses, the effectiveness of social distancing regulations and simplifies the recovery process for affected communities,” said Catherine Caruana-McManus, director of sales and strategy for Meshed.

Meshed, in partnership with the Smart Infrastructure Facility at the University of Wollongong,(UOW), utilised the nCounter platform to research the pandemic’s economic and social impacts and published the findings in the Covid-19 Pedestrian Index Research Report last year.

“Leveraging the LoRaWAN protocol enables city governments to assess the immediate and ongoing effects of the pandemic”

Meshed and UOW collaborated with 24 municipal Governments across Australia to collect data from over 90 nCounter devices deployed across metropolitan and major regional city centres, tourism and pedestrian hotspots. The project leveraged the data from the connected IoT solutions to measure the loss of pedestrian activity in cities as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

This provided researchers insight into the mobility, economic and social impacts of the pandemic on local communities and allowed the creation of a plan to foster continued public safety and economic success.

 “The LoRaWAN protocol’s long range connectivity enables flexible devices, such as those in dense cities, and Meshed’s nCounter IoT platform serves as an example of how these functionalities extend to help communities manage COVID-19,” said Marc Pegulu, vice president of IoT product marketing for Semtech’s wireless and sensing products group.

He added: “IoT solutions and Semtech’s LoRa devices continue to play a leading role in supporting effective public health practices amid the pandemic and allow municipal leaders to measure the safety of their community during this difficult time.”

Asset management
Semtech has also announced the integration with Digital Matter’s Yabby Edge, battery-powered tracking device for indoor/outdoor asset management.

The LoRa Edge platform claims to reduce the cost and complexity of asset management in key applications such as pallet and warehouse equipment tracking, inventory and shipment management, trolley, cart and container tracking, medical equipment management, and more.

“Battery life, device size and cost are the three biggest factors we see when deploying asset management solutions, particularly for low-cost assets such as pallets,” says Ken Everett, CEO and founder, Digital Matter.

Utilising Semtech’s multi-technology geolocation solution, Yabby Edge consumes less power, has a longer battery life (up to 12 years), and can be manufactured at a price point that enables large-scale deployments. Location data can be easily forwarded to any customer platform or system for simple integration and device settings can be configured to fit any tracking application.

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