Internet of Things, Sensors and a brief look at LoRaWAN

Evylina Antao

Until recently the internet helped people connect & interact with each other but now it can sense the surrounding to interact and collaborate with one another. In today’s hyper-connected world, the Internet of Things (IoT) is reshaping not just the way we live our lives but also the way we work. At the core of this technological revolution are sensors – these can be small, often invisible devices that gather and send data, making our environments smarter and giving us a better insight into the working of things around us.

So what is the Internet of Things?

In brief, IoT is a system of interrelated devices that connect to the Internet to transfer and receive data from one device to another. It’s mostly all about connecting devices like smart thermostats, lights, security alarms, smoke detectors, kitchen appliances, industrial machines and many more to the internet. Apart from what we can physically see, there is a lot that goes on in the background to ensure seamless functioning. From effective communication between devices to accurate processing of data received, there’s loads of components that are involved to make IoT seamless.

IoT devices are equipped with sensors, software and other technologies that let them communicate and share data. But what’s the goal? To blend the physical and digital worlds seamlessly, making everything from daily chores to complex industrial processes more efficient and convenient.

The hardware involved in IoT can be classified into 2 categories.

  1. General Devices
    • These are the main components of the data hub and information exchange.
    • They can either use wired or wireless connection.
    • Home appliances are a great example of General Devices.
  2. Sensing devices
    • These devices are made of Sensors and Actuators.
    • They manage temperature, humidity, light intensity and other parameters.

How Sensors Power IoT

Sensors are the heart and soul of the IoT ecosystem. They detect and respond to various physical inputs like temperature, light, motion, and humidity. Here are some key types of sensors you’ll find in IoT devices:

  • Temperature Sensors: These keep tabs on environmental conditions in smart homes, industrial setups, and farms.
  • Motion Sensors: They’re essential for security systems, automated lighting, and smart gadgets.
  • Proximity Sensors: Think automatic doors, parking sensors, and some smartphone features.
  • Environmental Sensors: These measure air quality, humidity, and pollution levels—key for smart cities and health applications.
  • Pressure Sensors: Used in weather forecasting, industrial processes, and even healthcare devices like blood pressure monitors.
Internet of Things and sensors

Meet LoRaWAN: The Game-Changer for IoT

LoRaWAN stands for ‘Long Range Low Power Wide Area Network’. It’s a wireless communication protocol that’s perfect for IoT, offering long range communication with low power consumption, making it ideal for battery operated devices spread over large areas.

Here’s why LoRaWAN is a game changer:

  • It’s Ultra low power requirements means devices can last up to 10 years on a single battery.
  • It has a very long range covering tens of kilometers with really basic affordable hardware.
  • It can be used across the world with no licensing fees.
  • You get Geolocation for free.
  • It comes with a certification program from LoRa Alliance.
  • Seamless public and private deployments.
  • A great ecosystem of hardware and software.
  • End-to-end security to put your mind at ease.

Imagine you have a dog that goes missing, now imagine your dog was fitted with a collar that tells you exactly where or who it ran off to, phewwww. LoRaWAN in action communicates via the LoRa wireless modulation technique with gateways. These gateways convert the LoRa messages to IP Traffic and sends it to a network server which can then be transferred to your end application. Now, all that’s left to do is go get your dog.

LoRaWAN devices can be categorised into 3 classes

  • Class A: These devices uses less power by spending majority of time in sleep mode and is only active to communicate and listen for a message from the network only for a fixed period of time.
  • Class B: These act quite similar to Class A devices except that it also wakes up on regular intervals (say same time each day) to listen to messages from the network.
  • Class C: These devices consume most amount of power as they are always awake and continuously listens for messages from the network.

Real-World Applications of IoT, Sensors, and LoRaWAN

The combination of IoT, sensors, and LoRaWAN is driving innovation across various sectors, such as:

  • Smart Homes: IoT sensors and LoRaWAN create smart homes where lighting, heating, and security systems are automated and controlled remotely, boosting comfort and energy efficiency.
  • Healthcare: Wearable sensors and medical devices monitor patients’ vital signs in real-time, enabling remote consultations and better patient care. LoRaWAN ensures reliable data transmission, even in remote areas.
  • Agriculture: IoT sensors and LoRaWAN help farmers monitor soil moisture, temperature, and crop health, allowing precision farming that maximizes yield and minimizes resource use.
  • Industrial IoT: Factories and supply chains use sensors and LoRaWAN for predictive maintenance, quality control, and inventory management, optimizing production and reducing downtime.
  • Smart Cities: Urban areas get a tech upgrade with IoT applications that manage traffic, monitor environmental conditions, and optimize energy use. LoRaWAN’s long-range capabilities support extensive sensor networks across cities.

Wrapping Up

The combination of the Internet of Things and sensors is driving incredible changes in our digital age, transforming how we live and work. As these technologies keep evolving, they’re set to make our world even more connected, intelligent, and automated. Embracing this tech revolution means tackling challenges head-on and fostering collaboration across industries, paving the way for a smarter, more interconnected future.

If you wish to find out more about IoT, sensors and LoRaWAN devices get in touch with our team here.

Latest Stories

Here’s what we've been up to recently.

Liked the article? Leave us a comment!

Your email address will not be published.