Christmas Opening Times 2023


The festive season is almost upon us! With that in mind, we wanted to share more details about our opening times over Christmas and the New Year. During this period, there will be no courier collections unless specifically requested.

Opening Times

Day Opening Hours
Friday 22nd December 9:00-13:00
Monday 25th December Closed
Tuesday 26th December Closed
Wednesday 27th December 10:00-16:00
Thursday 28th December 10:00-16:00
Friday 29th December 10:00-16:00
Monday 1st January Closed
Tuesday 2nd January Open as Usual

Please be aware, we will be running with a reduced number of staff between Christmas and New Year which may increase wait times.

Delivery Times

Avoid delays; The cut off time for collection on 22nd December is 12:15, orders places after this time will not be collected until 2nd January unless specified otherwise.

There will be no scheduled courier collections between Christmas and New Year. However, if your order is urgent, order collections can be arranged during this period; please speak with a member of our team to discuss your requirements.

On behalf of the whole Alliot Team, we would like to wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

An Important Notification: Temporary Service Disruptions

UPDATE: 18/10/23 – 12:53
Our emails are now up and running again and we are starting to receive emails which have been sent during our downtime. Our team are working their way through these and will begin to action/respond accordingly soon.

We are currently experiencing some technical issues within our system which is currently affecting our ability to send and receive emails. Our team are busy working to resolve these issues and are actively addressing the situation to restore normal operations as swiftly as possible.

For now, our friendly team remain available by our main contact number; 01484 599544. If you have any queries, please don’t hesitate to call us.

Stay Updated:

To keep you informed and updated about our progress, we will be providing regular updates on this blog post. We encourage you to visit this post for the latest information and developments regarding the system restoration process. Our Sales and Technical Support teams remain available for you to contact by telephone.

We apologise for any inconvenience caused.

The Alliot Team.

Updates to Wattsense’s Intelligent Building Management Devices

You may have noticed some recent updates to the Wattsense range. In this blog, we will cover these changes and what they mean to you. Read on to learn more about what’s new with the Wattsense intelligent buildings management devices.

What’s Changed?

Out with the old, in with the new! The Hub and Box have had a bit of a refresh as has the Wattsense brand. These devices have now been replaced by the Bridge and Tower.

Hub -> Bridge
Box -> Tower

These new devices offer all of the same unique features and functionalities you’ve become accustomed to with Wattsense, with some new, more advanced improvements.

Unlike their predecessors, the Bridge and Tower are now the same device which are then purchased with either a license of subscription depending on whether you’d like a hosted or on-premise solution.

Technological Improvements

With their refresh, Wattsense has also released a number of new features including bulk editing of properties and webhooks.

LoRaWAN® Improvements

In order to help you make the most of what LoRaWAN® has to offer, Wattsense has applied the following changes:

  • Optimal Spreading Factor: Wattsense has adapted the way their server connects to a device to maximise its battery life by using Optimal Spreading Factor (SF). This is achieved by optimising the transmission power of the LoRa sensor.
  • Downlink Management: With a class A sensor, only one downlink per device is buffered before being transmitted to the sensor. With class C devices, there is a first-in-first-out queue per device. Downlinks are transmitted to the equipment as they are received with a 13 second delay.
  • An additional new feature available free of charge on the Wattsense Tower is frame counter. This can be used to ensure the Wattsense Tower receives frames correctly. Simply add this feature to your device through your configurations in the user console.

Bulk Editing of Properties

It is now possible to mass edit the properties of a single device or gateway to activate, deactivate or delete them through a new interface.

Create Webhooks in the Console (Tower Only)

A feature which was only previously available through an API connection. Users of the Wattsense Tower can now retrieve property values or be alerted to an alarm directly in the user console. Through the user console, you can also now create datastreams.

*A datastream us a connection between Wattsense servers and your servers, which can either be by a webhook or a cloud-to-cloud MQTT connection.

Other Enhancements…

  • It is now possible to edit a schedule in BACnet format through a user interface accessible in the live data screen.
  • Download your equipment’s configuration and properties in one click from the ‘Download button’ on the configuration screen.
  • Under the ?? icon, to the right of your device name, you can see the number of properties counted in your subscription.
  • Nearly 100 additional LoRaWAN® devices have been added to the Wattsense catalogue of supported devices.

Our expert team are on hand to help you create an intelligent Building Management System which is retrofit to work alongside existing equipment and protocols. Speak with us today to get started with transforming your BMS system.

Please note: These new features are only available on devices operating on firmware version 5.10.5 and above.

IoT For SMB’s; How We Transformed Our Operational Efficiencies

IoT is transforming businesses around the globe but how can it be used in a small business environment? Discover how we have transformed our own operational efficiencies in our IoT for SMBs blog post.

When we think about IoT, we often think about large enterprises who are using the internet of things to optimise their buildings and premises and automate their processes. While this rings true, IoT is not exclusive. In fact, it is very accessible and can offer a whole host of benefits to small businesses.

Here at Alliot, we are a small business with just 16 employees (& a dog!). Our ‘home’ is located in a beautiful renovated 150-year-old mill, in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire.

We share this space with our sister company, ProVu Communications. Back in December 2022, we decided it was time to create our very own ‘smart office’, here’s an insight into what we have found so far…

Transformation

The beauty of many LoRaWAN® IoT solutions is that they operate on Low Power Wide Area Networks. Just one Kerlink gateway is all that is needed to cover our offices which equates to a floorspace of approximately 783 m2.

With solid stone walls throughout, some technologies such as WiFi, BLE or ZigBee could prove difficult to avoid blackspots. LoRaWAN® however, is capable of penetrating glass, metal and concrete which is a key differentiator in creating IoT for SMBs. Another benefit to mention is that all of the sensors used are wireless which doesn’t only make installation a lot faster, it’s also much simpler!

Thanks to the simple installation requirements, our smart office was up and running in just 2 days.

The Solution Itself

When creating our Smart Office, our first port of call was to consider what data could offer the best returns in a small office environment. There are a huge number of benefits IoT can offer SMBs.

The key areas we decided to start with are:

  • Energy monitoring – this is a big topic for businesses of all shapes and sizes.
  • Monitoring our conditions and CO2 levels.

The key sensors used within our office include:

All of this data is brought together using Novacene‘s intuitive dashboard.

These sensors were placed throughout the building with a temperature sensor in every office/meeting room. We selected the Elsys sensors as they are unobtrusive and offer multiple sensors in one device. The motion sensor was utilised to show us if there was presence within a room.

CO2

The correlation between C02 and productivity has long been associated. As per the WELL guidelines, buildings should be properly ventilated, with Carbon Dioxide levels at an average of 800 ppm or less. Luckily for us, our offices are compliant with these levels.

People Counting

This sensor is located at the entrance to our offices. By counting people in and out of the office, you can see when our busiest days are. As you can see from the screenshot below, Mondays and Fridays are our quietest days.

When looking to reduce operational costs, this kind of information is useful in supporting decisions like what areas of the building we may want to heat or, if we should introduce mandatory work-from-home days. The more information we can gather, the more informed decisions we are able to make.

Lighting – Warehouse

Our warehouse is located in the lower ground floor of our offices. It’s often darker and cooler than other areas of the business. Now we don’t need a sensor to tell us that, but through IoT, we have been able to identify two key things.

  1. The lighting in our warehouse should be improved. According to guidance from the HSE, the recommended LUX for areas where work requiring a perception of detail is being undertaken is 100 LUX minimum/200 LUX average illuminance. The average LUX in our warehouse is approximately 70 LUX over a 24-hour period. This is likely due to the fact that our lighting is on a sensor so will turn off if no motion is detected. Changing the whole lighting set up in our warehouse isn’t necessary and would be costly, but we have installed local lighting to improve conditions above work stations.
  2. Over the period we analysed, the highest average temperature was 13.48°C which is within the recommended guidelines for areas where strenuous work us carried out, but we appreciate it’s still a bit chilly, so have installed more heaters in this area too.

Energy Monitoring

We have a number of quiet rooms in the office, these are areas where staff members can work on projects or hold meetings away from the hustle and bustle of the main office.

The results we found from this were quite astounding. On average our quiet rooms are only in use 70% of the time. When they are used, they are only used for around 76 minutes a day, yet they were being heated all day, every day. From the data, we can see specific times when people are entering one of these spaces and cranking the heating up to max, on occasion these rooms were reaching a tropical temperature of 30 degrees! Given that our energy costs have increased by 189% in the last 12 months, the cost of this is huge.

The Results So Far & Future Development

We are now working on installing MClimate thermostatic radiator valves throughout all of our quiet rooms and meeting rooms. These will enable us to remotely control the radiators in these rooms and for us to set a maximum temperature that the radiators can reach. By maintaining a constant temperature, this will help us to reduce costs and waste.

The second stage will then be to integrate our solution with a meeting booking system. This will enable us to optimise when a room is heated. With some development work we will be able to set the sensor to heat a room before a room is booked for use, again helping us to improve our efficiencies and reduce costs without any manual intervention.

Return on Investment

We’re already starting to see a return on our investment. The shear savings in energy costs alone more than pay for the cost of setting up our smart office. As an SMB, these savings are a clear example of the positive impact IoT can have on a business. To date, we predict our solution will help us to save between £1,800 – £2,000 per year.

Looking to get started on your very own IoT solution? Our expert team are available to discuss your requirements and help you to build the very best solution to deliver the data you require. Get in touch today to discover more about how IoT can transform your SMB.

Our experts are on hand to help you every step of the way
Lets talk

Narrowband IoT – What is it & How to Get Started?

Narrowband IoT coverage is now widely available throughout the UK, but what does it offer to your IoT solutions? Read on to find out what NB-IoT actually is and how we can help you to get started.

What is Narrowband IoT (NB-IoT)?

Narrowband IoT or NB-IoT as it is frequently referred to is a cellular LPWAN technology. Operating on low power wide area networks, it is designed to enable efficient communication across wide areas and busy urban infrastructure.

It works by periodically sending small packets of data from connected sensors via coverage from a mobile network.

Unlike 4G or 5G networks, NB-IoT enables devices to send data where standard mobile network coverage is inaccessible. There are no interferences with other devices, helping to secure reliable data transfers.

NB-IoT devices operate on a simple radio waveform, helping to optimise battery efficiency. Many narrowband IoT devices feature a long battery life of up to 10 years. This significantly reduces the need to replace batteries. Consequently lowering maintenance and operational costs.

Where can NB-IoT be useful?

In short, NB-IoT can be useful wherever devices need to be connected. It can be used in a wide variety of areas ranging from smart cities to smart farming, smart metering or asset tracking – and anything in between! Its suitability for use in inaccessible areas also makes it a good fit for underground modules.

Getting Started with Narrowband IoT

There are a number of components needed to get your NB-IoT solutions off the ground. These include:

  • Connectivity/Access to an NB-IoT network
  • Sensors
  • An IoT Middleware Platform to translate your data
  • A dashboard/Analytics platform to visualise your recorded data

Lucky for you, Alliot can help supply each of these elements, simplifying the delivery of your solutions.

Connectivity

Vodafone are currently the only NB-IoT network provider in the UK. With coverage for around 98% of the UK, they support more than 100 million IoT connections around the world.

As an official Vodafone IoT Business Partner, we offer a range of low-cost data packages. Looking for a full solution? We’ll even offer discounts for bundled packages.

Sensors

When it comes to NB-IoT sensors, there are new developments coming all the time.

Whether you’re looking to track valuable assets, monitor fill levels in tanks or bins, or analyse footfall in retail environments. There’s a sensor to deliver the data you require.

Two particularly popular sensors at the moment are; the Efento temperature and humidity sensor and the IMBuildings NB-IoT people counter.

Efento Temperature & Humidity Sensor

Well suited to areas where you want to monitor atmospheric conditions. The Efento temperature and humidity sensor can be useful to monitor conditions in:

  • Museums to protect delicate, perishable artefacts
  • Office environments to optimise conditions
  • Maintaining optimal conditions in food storage and transit
  • Reducing medicinal waste in healthcare environments

 

IMBuildings People Counter

Utilising horizontal infrared, this smart NB-IoT device counts people crossing a horizontal line.

 

 

Ideal for:

  • Restricting access to busy areas
  • Optimising visitor experiences at attractions
  • Gathering information around the number of people who enter and leave a building

This people counting sensor can be useful to predict information such as: average visitor time, wait times and queue times.

 

Middleware Platform

Cellular IoT operates under a wide variety of formats and protocols. With no standard for how data is sent at application level, adding new devices to your solutions can be difficult. Without a Middleware platform, you will need to add a whole new range of protocols every time you add a new manufacturer to your solution.

Our purpose-built IoT middleware platform, Symbius is designed to simplify your IoT deployments. It sits between your NB-IoT sensors and dashboard or data analysis platform. Symbius will take the data from your sensors and decode it into a common format for you. Making it easy for data to be understood and shared across your applications and business processes.

 

Dashboard

Now you have the items required to collect your data, your final piece to the NB-IoT puzzle is your dashboard. This is where your solution will come to life.

Our team has worked with numerous clients to deliver platforms alongside Daizy.io which present data in a way that is most useful to you. We offer a range of options from ready to use systems, to custom built branded dashboards. Speak to us today to discuss your requirements.

The NB-IoT Buffet

We’re proud to offer a one-stop shop for all your cellular IoT needs and offer discounted pricing for bundled solutions. We have a flexible offering allowing you totake the components you require; take as much or as little as you need.

Looking to find out more about using NB-IoT for your next project? Contact our friendly, expert team for free impartial advice on your next solution.

Looking for NB-IoT Connectivity?
Let us connect you

Top Considerations When Selecting Your NB-IoT Connectivity Partner

We know selecting your NB-IoT connectivity partner can be an overwhelming task. Whoever you decide to go with, chances are you will be entering a partnership which will last at least 12 months.


To help with your selection, we’ve compiled our top tips to help you identify the key considerations when selecting your NB-IoT connectivity partner.

When it comes to data packages, there’s a lot to choose from. Everyone seems to be offering ‘the best price or package’, but what else should you be taking into account?

Roaming Agreements & UK Contracts

If you’re going to be deploying sensors throughout the UK & Ireland, you’re going to want to make sure you have a UK agreement in place, not a roaming agreement. These are two very different things.

A UK contract will ensure you have NB-IoT connectivity for the duration of the agreement. This is vital to any IoT project.

A roaming agreement, on the other hand may offer a low-cost alternative in the interim, but there’s nothing stopping the provider from ending their agreements with the company whose network they are piggybacking on. Such agreements tend to stand for around 30 days. Outside of these agreements, additional charges may be applied. Since Brexit, there has been a lot of instability in roaming agreements which could leave you without any NB-IoT connectivity at all.

With many NB-IoT devices offering battery lives of up to 10 years, you want to ensure your connectivity is as robust as the sensor life!

Network Experience & Reliability

No one wants an unreliable network, especially when it’s collecting important data. Vodafone supports in excess of 100 million IoT connections across over 400 networks, in 180 countries. They are currently the UK’s only NB-IoT network provider, offering coverage for around 98% of their existing networks throughout the UK. In this instance, it’s worth checking the relationship your provider has with Vodafone – are they a direct partner or are they reselling their services.

Scalability

Will your provider be able to offer the same connectivity package and migrate your billing into one consolidated sum?

As your projects scale, you will want to simplify your NB-IoT connectivity and billing as much as possible.

Support

When signing up to an agreement, it can be wise to consider where your provider is located and that their operating hours suit you.

Security

Data security is incredibly important. Vodafone offers additional protection including SIMLock, Private APN and automated usage alerts at no extra cost.

Ready to talk more?

Alliot are proud to be an official Vodafone IoT partner. Get in touch today to discuss your NB-IoT connectivity requirements and check coverage in your area. We offer bespoke packages and discounted pricing to suit your projects. Find out more about getting started today.

Looking for NB-IoT Connectivity?
Let us connect you

Join us at IoTLDN’s Meetups!

We’re excited to announce that we are the new co-sponsors of IoTLDN events for Q1 of 2023.

We’ve teamed up with Kerlink to support the upcoming meetups, with the first event due to take place next week!

Join us on 20th December at 6:30pm for a festive virtual meet up. Our Sales Director, Craig Herrett and Vincent Blanchard, Sales Manager Kerlink will be giving a brief overview of who we are, what we do and what to expect from us. Then it’s over to you! We want to hear what topics you want to hear about at future events and what projects you’re currently working on.

We hope you’ll be able to join us!

Alliot Become Vodafone IoT Partner

Alliot Technologies named official Vodafone IoT Partner

Looking for NB-IoT Connectivity? Look no further!

We’re delighted to announce we are now an official Vodafone IoT Partner! Find out more about what our new agreement means to you and how we can support your connectivity requirements.

WHAT WE OFFER AS A VODAFONE IOT PARTNER:

  • The very best connectivity from the UK’s only NB-IoT network provider
  • Competitive pricing with no hidden charges
  • Customised data plans to suit your requirements
  • Access to the very best Technical Support backed by Vodafone themselves
Vodafone IoT Partner benefits

 


CONNECT WITHOUT BARRIERS

Paired with our extensive hardware offering and expert support packages, we’re excited to be your new NB-IoT enabler! As an official Vodafone IoT Partner, we can now offer a range of data plans to bring your solutions to life.

Whatever you’re looking for in your NB-IoT solutions, we offer everything you need – take as much or as little as you like.

Talk to us today to get started.


WHAT IS NB-IOT?

Like LoRaWAN®, NB-IoT sits under the LPWAN umbrella. It’s optimised for low power consumption devices which record and transmit small packets of data over long distances. Unlike LoRaWAN® however, NB-IoT does not require the use of a gateway and the mobile provider is responsible for the network management.

 

With coverage for around 98% of their existing networks throughout the UK, Vodafone support more than 100 million IoT connections, across 400 networks, in 180 countries. Get in touch today to check coverage in your area.

Whatever stage you’re at in your IoT journey, we’re here to help you every step of the way.

Christmas 2022 Opening & Shipping Times


The festive season is almost upon us! With that in mind, we wanted to share more details about our opening and shipping times over Christmas and the New Year. During this period, we will continue to ship orders via APC.

Opening Times

Day Opening Hours
Friday 23rd December 9:00-13:00
Monday 26th December Closed
Tuesday 27th December Closed
Wednesday 28th December 10:00-16:00
Thursday 29th December 10:00-16:00
Friday 30th December 10:00-16:00
Monday 2nd January Closed
Tuesday 3rd Jan Open as Usual

Please be aware, we will be running with a reduced number of staff between Christmas and New Year which may increase wait times.

Delivery Times

Avoid delays; orders placed on 23rd December will not be collected until 28th December. If it’s important for you to receive your orders before Christmas please make sure they are placed by the 22nd December at the latest.

Order APC Cut off APC Expected Delivery
23rd December No collection 29th December
28th December 14:00 29th December
29th December 14:00 30th December
30th December 14:00 3rd January*
3rd January 14:00 4th January

*Delivery can be arranged for New Years Eve on a specfied Saturday delivery. This will need to be arranged at the point of placing your order. Please note; no deliveries will be made to addresses in Scotland on 4th January due to a public bank holiday.

Please note: Christmas is a busy time of year for our couriers and therefore may lead to delays. If it is important that your orders are delivered on a specific day, we would recommend considering selecting a pre 12:00 service with APC – please contact a member of our team to discuss your requirements.

How does Air Quality affect our Health?

Air quality can affect a number of parameters in everyday life. From crop yield to water quality and buildings. It has a profound effect on our lives. But how does air quality affect our health? Find out more in our short blog.

There are many reasons to make air quality monitoring a top priority. Research has shown that poor air quality can have a significant effect on our health. It’s been reported by the WHO that nine out of ten people now breathe polluted air, this contributes to the death of around 7 million people each year1.

These alarming figures illustrate the seriousness of the situation and the stark reality that poor air quality is hard to escape.

How does outdoor air quality affect our health?

Outdoor air quality is closely linked to climate change and the effects of our use of fossil fuels.

Cancer Research recently published their findings on how air pollution can cause lung cancer in people who have never smoked2. As part of the TRACERx Lung Study. The programme found that exposure to air pollution promotes the growth of cells carrying cancer-causing mutations in the Lungs. Particulate Matter, particularly PM2.5 (tiny pollutant particles) have been identified as causing inflammation to the lungs which can lead to cancer.

This isn’t the only potential health implication which can arise as a result of outdoor air pollution. Other conditions that can be caused by this include; Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), heart disease and Dementia.

While there are lots of contributing factors to outdoor air quality, many of which are outside an individual’s control, monitoring PM levels with low cost LPWAN sensors can be a good place to start assessing outdoor air quality. Through careful monitoring, information recorded by deployed sensors can be used to identify trends and build up data to allow you to make more informed decisions as to how you can improve outdoor air quality. In order to maximise your project’s effectiveness, it is essential for data to be monitored before and after measures are put in place.

How does indoor air quality affect our health?

Indoor air quality on the other hand is more within our own control. We’ve outlined some potential implications which can come as a result of poor indoor air quality.

Mould & Dampness

Not only is mould unsightly, it can also cause harm to your health. Following the tragic news of the death of 2 year old Awaab Ishak, the implications of mould exposure are sadly very real.

The increased cost of energy is likely to increase the risk of mould inside buildings too. With cold weather comes condensation. Ordinarily putting the heating on would help to dry out the air indoors, but with significant rises to the cost of energy, more and more people are turning their backs on their thermostat.

The most common causes of mould are:

  • Humidity
  • Condensation
  • Rising damp
  • Poor ventilation

Caused by excess moisture, moulds emit spores which can cause a variety of health issues. For babies, young children and those with underlying health conditions including allergies or respiratory conditions such as asthma, these spores can be even more harmful. Monitoring indoor air quality is a simple, yet effective way to alert Landlords, Housing Associations and homeowners of high moisture/humidity levels which can be used to identify the dew point and the need for ventilation.

How does air quality affect our health in the office and schools?

The WELL building standard has helped to transform health and wellbeing in buildings. It’s estimated we spend around 90% of our time in enclosed spaces. During this time, we inhale pollutants which can be detrimental to our health and wellbeing. Elements such as Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), Carbon Dioxide, Carbon Monoxide and Nitrogen Dioxide can all contribute to the overall indoor air quality.

We recently completed a project installing CO2 sensors throughout schools in Scotland. There have been numerous studies over the years about the effect CO2 levels has on our cognitivie performance. Read more about how using LoRaWAN® technology has helped to transform the overall performance and wellbeing in the classroom.

Why use IoT to monitor air quality?

LPWAN devices are ideal for monitoring air quality. With a long battery life of 5+ years, once deployed you can access recorded data from wherever you may be. Devices can be configured to your parameters. If readings fall outside of your set parameters an automated alert will be triggered from your software platform to notify you that an action needs to be taken i.e. open a window to improve ventilation. Data recorded by deployed devices can also be used as evidence of regulation compliance.

How can Alliot help?

While the impact of air quality can be serious for our health, IoT devices can be used to minimise the long-term effects and empower us with more intelligent data to make better decisions. Alliot offer a wide variety of indoor and outdoor air quality sensors and associated software. Whatever parameters you are looking to monitor, we can help you deliver projects of all sizes and locations. Whether you’re looking to monitor indoor air quality conditions in Social Housing across the country or optimise your office environments to improve staff wellbeing and productivity, our expert team are here to help. Contact us today to discuss your air quality monitoring requirements.

1 World Health Organisation 2018, How air pollution is detroying our health, accessed 30th November 2022, <https://www.who.int/news-room/spotlight/how-air-pollution-is-destroying-our-health>

2 Cancer Research UK 2022, Scientists reveal how air pollution can cause lung cancer in people who have never smoked, accessed 30th November 2022, <https://news.cancerresearchuk.org/2022/09/10/scientists-reveal-how-air-pollution-can-cause-lung-cancer-in-people-who-have-never-smoked/>