Sigfox - Why all the fuss

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Slides of my presentation at the Paris Hackers meetup (Oct 2014)

Overview of what Sigfox is about, its benefits & constraints. Use cases, alternatives, et al

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Sigfox - Why all the fuss

  1. 1. Sigfox Why all the fuss ?
  2. 2. What is Sigfox ?
  3. 3. not only a buzzword
  4. 4. more than a buzzword
  5. 5. Buzz Buzz Buzz •Raised €15M this spring (3rd round) •Anne Lauvergeon appointed as head of the board of directors in april
  6. 6. Anne Lauvergeon ? •Former CEO of Areva •Member of the board of EADS, Total, .. •Good political connections
  7. 7. Anne Lauvergeon ? •Former CEO of Areva •Member of the board of EADS, Total, .. •Good political connections •#bigcompanies #bigmoney #influence
  8. 8. So, what is it ? A radio communication network.
  9. 9. Technology
  10. 10. Ground-breaking technology ?
  11. 11. Ground-breaking technology ? No.
  12. 12. Basics • Radio waves • Free-to-use frequencies : 868MHz in the EU, 902MHz in the US • Ultra Narrow Band • Upstream only
  13. 13. Basics • Radio waves • Free-to-use frequencies : 868MHz in the EU, 902MHz in the US • Ultra Narrow Band • Upstream only for the moment
  14. 14. Basics • Subscription model • 140 messages per unit per day • 12 bytes per message
  15. 15. Basics • Broadband • Broadcast • Polling • NONE OF IT
  16. 16. Basics • Broadband • Broadcast • Polling • NONE OF IT
  17. 17. Pros / Cons
  18. 18. Bandwidth A message contains up to 12 bytes Definitely not suitable when you need to transmit heavy loads of data
  19. 19. Quantity Standard contract allow up to 140 messages per day (~1 every 10 mins) To be discussed with them if you need more frequent transmissions
  20. 20. Transmission Ack There is none.
  21. 21. 2-way communication Should be coming *very* soon. ! Won’t be a real 2-way communication, as it would ruin the energy-saving model. ! Basically, your device will keep “listening” for a few minutes after emission instead of getting back to sleep mode instantly. This will allow to send back a Ack or a tiny piece of info
  22. 22. Energy Chip is not active unless a message is sent. Great deal when battery life is an important concern.
  23. 23. Subscription costs Up to €15 per unit per year
  24. 24. Coverage • France • Spain • Netherlands • UK • München, Milano, Warszaw, .. • San Francisco (coming soon ?)
  25. 25. Coverage • France • Spain • Netherlands • UK • München, Milano, Warszaw, .. • San Francisco (coming soon ?)
  26. 26. Coverage Rely on Sigfox’s own network/ antennas, or on the implication of a partner (SNO) Range ~15km
  27. 27. Callback When registering on the Sigfox platform, you can provide a callback to be called when a message is received Quick to set up & plug to your own backend.
  28. 28. Security Radio communications are not secure by nature. Man in the middle can read your communications.
  29. 29. Security Replayed messages should be rejected by Sigfox’s platform A device private key is used to sign messages
  30. 30. Security If your message bears a strong value, you must implement some encryption on your side before sending it.
  31. 31. Alternatives ?
  32. 32. Wifi • High bandwidth • No added cost • Important energy consumption • Availability unknown • Configuration is not user-friendly
  33. 33. Wifi • High bandwidth • No added cost • Important energy consumption • Availability unknown • Configuration is not user-friendly
  34. 34. BLE • Buzzwords fight • Low Energy, but consumption is still higher than Sigfox • No added connection cost • Needs a smar tphone, with BLE compatibility
  35. 35. GSM / GPRS / M2M • More advanced coverage • Similar network reception issues • More expensive • Energy • Subscriptions • Relative complexity
  36. 36. Zigbee • Local radio communications • Mesh networks • 2.4GHz (crowded ..) • No internet access
  37. 37. LoRa • Local radio network • Mesh networks • No internet access
  38. 38. Competitors
  39. 39. Competitors • Not so much … yet • Latest announce : Orange POPS, using the cellphone network, with low-power devices. Don’t know much more than that right now :)
  40. 40. Use cases* *That I was able to think of
  41. 41. Where to use • Low-powered devices • TinyData (pending ©) • No need to “listen” the network • Frequent communications, but no permanent broadcast
  42. 42. Where to use • Low-powered devices • TinyData (pending ©) • No need to “listen” the network • Frequent communications, but no permanent broadcast
  43. 43. Sensors / Monitoring • Pretty straightforward.. • Whatever you need to monitor • Pressure • Light • °C/°F • Volume • Humidity • Presence • Gas / Smoke • Name it
  44. 44. Get me a manager ! • Think ”Hotel Bell 2.0 IoT edition” • Ask to be called back by Brand Customer Service • Contact emergency services right after an accident (be it first aid, cops, your insurance..)
  45. 45. After-theft • Lots of Kickstarter projects around BLE Locks • Nice to prevent theft.. but useless after • Coupling a GPS with a Sigfox modem make a great after-theft solution, monitoring the location of the bike, car, pet, whatever..
  46. 46. Getting started
  47. 47. Large companies only ? • www.sigfox.com is just a corporate website.
  48. 48. Large companies only ? • www.sigfox.com is just a corporate website. • developer.sigfox.com ?
  49. 49. Large companies only ? • www.sigfox.com is just a corporate website. • developer.sigfox.com
  50. 50. NO. Keep trying ! Really easy to set up & start using … once you managed to get a dev kit
  51. 51. Dev kit ? Check out : • Snootlab’s Akeru : Arduino clone + Sigfox modem (~€100) • TelecomDesign : Evaluation Board ~€150
  52. 52. How to Sigfox TelecomDesign’s user guide is a good starting point
  53. 53. How to Sigfox 1.Register a user account on Sigfox platform (or TD’s own) 2.Plug using a FTDI cable
  54. 54. Transmission test #Send two hex bytes: 0x54 & 0x44 ! AT$SS=54 44<CR> OK
  55. 55. Message reception http://backend.sigfox.com
  56. 56. Message reception http://backend.sigfox.com
  57. 57. Stats
  58. 58. Location (unreliable)
  59. 59. Demo * *May be not

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