Last week, I went to SIGFOX to take part in a training program for one of my customers. Most of the presenters discussed interconnectivity, specifically that all things eventually will be connected to the Internet. The predicitions were hard for me to believe, since current technologies (Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GSM, etc.) make it complicated and expensive to connect several objects in a home.

What could be an inexpensive and easy-to-use method to make widespread interconnectivity possible? SIGFOX may be the company with the solution.

Internet of things

Broader interconnectivity, or the Internet of things, will be the next big market in the next decade, as seen at last year’s International Consumer Electronics Show. By the “Internet of things,” here’s what I mean: What if you needed to use your phone to manage or check on something at your home? Which is more important: receiving a large amount of unneeded, data-burning information, such as via a webcam, or receiving only the information that you need to manage the situation? Receiving too much information could be a hindrance, but what if the device transmitted only relevant information? Imagine this –

  • a fire detector that provides daily updates on the life of its battery and sends notice of an emergency.
  • an alarm system that does not need wires or a GSM module.
  • a meteorological measurement device that only provides figures.a healthcare device that populates a patient’s database with daily metrics.

These are just a few examples of situations that could become common and require a network connection that requires significantly less bandwidth than usually provided through the Internet or a dedicated GSM connection.

Filling a need

SIGFOX has a novel idea for facilitating increased interconnectivity. While other Internet providers and tech companies may focus on increasing Internet connection speeds over current bands, SIGFOX is working on free bandwidth (which it calls Ultra Narrow Band) with a specific signal format that would provide high reliability, low energy consumption, low cost, and low bandwith, with only a few bytes a time. The connection would work over radio bands.

Why is it so relevant?

When the discussion is about connected devices, the tendency is to think about Internet connections. But for more than 80 percent of objects, a broadband connection is unneccesary; they require only a few bytes per hour.

Let’s think about marketing opportunities

What if tomorrow, every product was able to send statistics to the manufacturer without need of the Internet? The information could include:

  • When and how long do you use your TV each day?
  • Which programs do you watch?
  • What is your location?
  • Such information could help the manufacturer make product improvements.

I venture to say that will be the case no more than three years from now, and SIGFOX is on track to be the one that provides the best connectivity solution for the development.

How do you feel the Internet of things?

How do you think technology will develop? Do you think low bandwidth should be one of the biggest innovations in terms of connectivity?Investors seem to think so, because they have invested 115M€ in SIGFOX.

Feel free to share your thoughts and comments or ask question.

Social Media Sentence :

They bet 100M€ on the slow-rate connection. Such nice and smart positioning.