Smart Energy Monitoring with IoT

Revolutionise energy monitoring with the new EAGLE Smart Meter. Utilising LoRaWAN technology, there are many benefits to using this new device, we’ve summarised the key takeaways of using IoT energy monitoring in this short blog.

Many energy providers implement Smart Meters with their services but these can sometimes fail to provide effective coverage. The EAGLE Smart Meter utilises LoRaWAN technology to accurately monitor energy consumption. By connecting to your chosen LoRaWAN network, the Smart meter is able to transmit data over a range of up to 10 km enabling you to avoid the additional charges that may be incurred on a SIM-based service.

EAGLE Smart Meter

What is the EAGLE Smart Meter?

Designed by Andrea Informatique the EAGLE Smart Meter is a compact single phase DIN rail device. Designed to monitor energy consumption this IoT energy monitoring solution is incredibly easy to integrate with existing equipment.

Data recordings gathered by the Smart Meter can be sent at pre-defined intervals to help you build up a reliable picture of energy usage.

What are the benefits?

  • Clearer billing:- The EAGLE Smart Meter helps to estimate your daily energy consumption
  • Improved understanding:- The data recorded by the EAGLE Smart Meter can help to build up a better understanding of energy usage and how certain habits and lifestyle may affect this
  • Renewable energy:- The EAGLE can help you to manage the energy produced by solar, geothermic or wind sources giving you a better idea of consumption and a clearer financial exchange with your provider
  • Remote breaker:- The EAGLE has a disconnector which can be controlled remotely. This device can also be used as a powerful relay for controlling equipment with a large power consumption.
  • Tariffs:- The EAGLE Smart Meter is class 1 MID certified enabling you to accurately calculate tariffs based on absolute power consumption

Our team is on hand to help you build your Smart Energy solutions. Get in touch today to get started and reap the rewards of IoT.

Three ways to kickstart your “new normal” using IoT

The Internet of Things (IoT) is at the forefront of our fight against Covid-19. Connected devices can help us to minimise contact points and reduce the likelihood of spreading the virus. Find out which IoT sensors could help your business return to a new normal.

Over the last few weeks, businesses have started to reopen with social distancing in place. Additional risk assessments have been carried out and steps have been taken to ensure that employees and visitors stay safe and well.

Many of these safety measures mean that extra staff members are on hand to monitor capacity, keep things clean and ensure that everybody is following the government guidelines. Having more employees working, and fewer customers allowed into venues at any one time, could be a problem for smaller businesses.

We’re taking a look at some of the ways that IoT can help your business adapt to the new normal:

1. Capacity Monitoring

Many indoor businesses, such as shops, bars/restaurants and gyms now have limited capacity based on social distancing rules. For larger companies such as supermarkets, having a person standing at the entrance to manage the queue isn’t such a big deal. Yet Aldi have already rolled out a traffic light systems across all of their stores.

aldi capacity monitoring

But what about the corner shop? What about the independent boutique clothes store? What about the local chemist? And our cozy pubs and bistro restaurants?

You might not be able to monitor every single person going into and out of your premises at any one time. And you probably can’t afford to pay somebody to stand at the door.

new normal iot parametric people counter

We stock the Parametric People Counter, complete with colour-coded light pole. Place it inside the entrance. The light will show green when you can enter and red when there’s already too many people inside.

At only £960 +VAT, this could be a cost-effective solution to ensuring social distancing. It could also be used at the entrance to certain areas, such as toilet facilities or different floors of your building.

2. Occupancy sensors

One of the key risk areas identified for leisure facilities and the hospitality industry is public bathrooms and toilets. Where possible, the advice is to adopt a 1-in-1-out policy. But it’s often hard to know if the bathroom is occupied without trying the door, or going in! Depending on the layout of your building, customers and visitors might not be able to see whether the toilets are occupied or not.

Introducing the Netvox R718PQA – a toilet occupancy sensor that works using LoRaWAN technology. A combination of door open/close sensors and PIR means that the toilet sensor is completely private – no cameras!

This small device can be attached to the toilet door and connects wirelessly to a centralised system.

You can then add in a traffic light system that will alert customers or employees to whether or not they can enter the area.

3. Air Quality Sensors

Air quality has a big impact on the spread of coronavirus. This is why we’re encouraged to meet others outside, rather than in close quarters inside. The HSE recommends that good ventilation can reduce the transmission of COVID-19 in the workplace. It suggests that preventing pockets of stagnant air collecting is important to keeping your workplace safe.

You can monitor air quality both inside and outside your workplace using our specialist LoRaWAN sensors. The enLink Air range from Synetica allows you to monitor a selection of different air quality parameters; from VOCs and particulate matter, through to temperature and humidity. Syntetica also manufacture the enLink Status-AF; a LoRaWAN device that allows you to measure the flow of air through a given area.

These air quality sensors can be added in to your existing LoRaWAN smart building network. We can also help you to set up and test them as part of a proof of concept kit.

For more information about any of our products, and how IoT can help you to move forward into the “new normal”, get in touch with our team. Our experts are on hand to help you make the most of your LoRaWAN technology.

How to Select an IoT Gateway Solution

Gateways are a vital component to any LoRaWAN IoT solution. With so many options it can be hard to know which one to choose. To help you with your selection we’ve prepared a short blog to highlight some of the key factors you may want to take into consideration when selecting your IoT gateway solution.

What does an IoT Gateway Solution do?

LoRaWAN gateways play a critical role in your IoT solutions. Regardless of your application, an IoT solution will typically consist of sensors, a gateway, a network server and an application server. Your sensors will collect data and monitor the specific parameters they are designed for. The data collected is then passed to the gateway which bridges the gap between the connected IoT sensors and the network server. From the network server, the data is then transmitted to an application server for visualisation. By connecting the field to the cloud IoT gateways are a key access point for network connectivity.

The Things Network

Things to Consider

1. Indoor/Outdoor Gateways

The first thing to consider when selecting your IoT gateway solution is the vertical it’s going to be applied to. Smart Agriculture and Smart Utility solutions for example are likely to have very different requirements. One may require an outdoor gateway, whereas the other may only need to be used indoors.

2. Network Coverage

The second factor to take into account is the network coverage. Some areas may have coverage blackspots which can result in delays or a loss of data. Many gateways have integrated failover features, the type of backhaul however, differs between different gateway devices.

3. Suitability

The size of your application and the number of messages you will be recording will have an impact on the IoT gateway solution you require. As will the installation environment, it is important to assess the external factors and how they may effect the gateway you require.

4. Integration

While you can connect any of our IoT gateway solutions to your preferred LoRaWAN network server. Many gateway manufacturers have their own servers too. If you use an LNS from a gateway manufacturer you can expect tighter integration with their gateways which may help you to decipher your chosen gateway brand.

Alliot’s Gateway Range

We partner with some of the world’s leading gateway manufacturers including LORIXone, Kerlink and MultiTech. Whatever your requirements you can rest assured Alliot has an IoT gateway solution for you.

To simplify your selection we’ve put together a LoRaWAN gateway comparison chart.

Product Indoor Outdoor IP Rating Backhaul Suitability
LORIX One LoRaWAN Gateway

LORIX One

IP65 Ethernet Large Outdoor Space

Kerlink Wirnet Ifemtocell

Kerlink Wirnet Ifemtocell

IP30 Ethernet or WiFi Single Building

Kerlink Ifemtocell Evolution

Kerlink Ifemtocell Evolution

IP30 Ethernet & cellular Single Building
Kerlink Wirnet IBTS

Kerlink Wirnet IBTS

IP66 Ethernet or cellular Densely Populated Areas
Kerlink Wirnet IBTS Compact

Kerlink Wirnet IBTS Compact

IP66 Ethernet & cellular Densely Populated Areas
MultiTech Conduit® Gateways

MultiTech Conduit®

N/A Ethernet or cellular LTE Single Building
MultiTech Conduit® AP Gateways

MultiTech Conduit® AP

IP30 Ethernet or cellular LTE Single Building
MultiTech LoRaWAN IP67 Gateways

MultiTech Conduit® IP67

IP67 Ethernet or cellular LTE Large Outdoor Space

Get started with MultiTech’s Starter Kit

MultiTech offer a LoRa starter kit for those looking to get started with IoT. Ideal for testing, this kit includes everything you need to demonstrate your solutions.

Contact the Alliot Team today for expert advice on selecting the right IoT gateway solution for your projects.

Discover MultiTech LoRaWAN Gateways with Alliot

Alliot Launch MultiTech

We’re thrilled to announce that we are now an official distributor of MultiTech LoRaWAN gateways! Available for shipping throughout the UK and Europe, we’ve summed up MultiTech’s range and how they can help you to bring your IoT projects to life.

Who are MultiTech?

2020 marks MultiTech’s 50th Anniversary, so they’ve been around a while! Formed in 1970, MultiTech originally developed and sold acoustic couplers. Since then they’ve developed micro computers, modems and embedded products to name just a few. In 2008, they began to develop a new class of machine-to-machine applications which leads us to today where MultiTech have developed a wide range of industrial IoT devices.

As fellow members of the LoRa Alliance, it’s also great to know that MultiTech played a fundamental role in the development of the technology itself! For anyone looking to brush up on their LoRaWAN knowledge, check out MultiTech’s Resources.

Meet the MultiTech LoRaWAN Gateway Range

Available in multiple variants, MultiTech’s LoRaWAN gateway act as edge-computing devices. Many gateways in the range can be configured to your needs with the connection of MultiTech mCards.

Compatible with Multitech’s DeviceHQ platform, you can remotely configure and manage your gateways for simple deployment and scalability.

MultiTech LoRaWAN Conduit Gateways Featuring WiFi, Bluetooth, Bluetooth Low energy (BT, BLE) and GNSS, the Conduit modular gateways have 2 accessory card slots for the connection of MultiTech’s mCards.
MultiTech LoRaWAN IP67 Gateways An outdoor gateway range to support applications in even the harshest environments. Personalise your gateway functionality with the addition of MultiTech mCards.
MultiTech LoRaWAN AP Gateways Indoor connectivity for your IoT assets. The AP range can be purchased with an internal or external LoRa antenna and provides Ethernet IP backhaul or optional cellular backhaul via 4G/LTE.
MultiTech LoRaWAN Starter Kit Featuring everything you need to demonstrate your solutions. You can then add any LoRa sensor from our sensor range to bring your projects to life!

Bring your projects to life….

Many items are available for fast delivery throughout the UK and Europe. For expert advice on selecting the MultiTech LoRaWAN gateway for your project please get in touch today.

MultiTech Conduit AP MTCAP-868-001L Connect to Local Network

The gateway needs to be connected to a PC first not to local network, as it’s set to DHCP server by default, web-browse the device using its default address http://192.168.2.1

To enable WAN configurations which will allow remote access to the gateway, we follow below steps:

1-Setup–> Network Interfaces –> click on the pencil to edit etho interface–> Direction –> set to WAN, and then IPv4 settings–> Mode–>set to DHCP client.
2-Firewall–> Input Filter Rules–> Add Rule–> Add two Webaccess, Source: any, Destination: 443 & 80 which are for HTTPs and HTTP.
3-from Administration –> Access Configuration–> tick all HTTP Redirect to HTTPs boxes, and tick the Via WAN box in HTTPs.

4-Save and Restart, and wait till the gateway finishes rebooting.


Smart Capacity Monitoring with Parametric

The UK Government announced some of the biggest changes to lockdown restrictions in England since March yesterday. With many premises now set to reopen on 4th July, we’ve taken a look at how the new Parametric smart capacity monitoring solution can help monitor capacity and ensure customer safety going forward.

Over the last three months, we’ve all become accustomed to the 2 metre social distancing guidelines. As we approach stage 3 of England’s lockdown exit strategy social distancing is due to be lowered to 1 metre+ in areas such as bars, hotels and restaurants where the 2m rule is more difficult to apply.

Based on the latest Government guidelines (dated 23/06/2020), Restaurants, pubs, bars and shops should all calculate the maximum number of customers they can accommodate to reasonably follow social distancing. This is where the Parametric smart capacity monitoring solution can help!

Meet the Parametric PCR2-XIO

Smart Capacity Monitoring Post Lockdown

Paired with the new specially designed light pole, the Parametric outdoor people counter sensor can be configured to your capacity numbers to display a green or red light based on whether it’s safe to enter or not. This compact device can sit neatly in your venues entrance to help manage queues.

What does it do?

The Parametric PCR2-XIO is a bidirectional counting sensor which uses radar signals to monitor the number of people entering and leaving your premises. With an XIO extension board for digital outputs, the sensor can be configured to work alongside other devices to control equipment, lamps and/or access control systems.

We’re here to help

We have a wide range of sensors available to support businesses adjusting to the ‘new normal’. Get in touch to discuss your requirements with one of our experts today.

Kentix SmartXcan Fever Screener Review

We’ve been busy testing the new Kentix SmartXcan Fever Screening device, throughout this blog we’ll be sharing our findings and thoughts in our Kentix SmartXcan Review.

The Kentix SmartXcan (which we pronounce Smart Scan) is designed to quickly take a reading of human body temperature for the purpose of fever screening.

What is it?

The idea is that you have the device inside the entrance to your building and any visitors, staff etc. will scan themselves on entry before proceeding further. If their body temperature is above a certain threshold then a visual and audible alarm sounds and that person must then leave (and would probably be recommended to self-isolate).

I feel that this will play an important part in controlling the spread of COVID-19 as we learn to live with the virus in the longer term. I also feel that people’s attitudes towards the spread of illness will change forever and people will be more aware of bringing any illness into a workplace such as influenza.

The device is a compact unit in plastic casing, there are no buttons on it for normal usage so it is designed to be zero touch to avoid spreading germs. It contains a number of sensors used to take a reading. The main component is a thermal imaging sensor, there are also a distance sensor, ambient temperature and humidity sensors.

How it works…

How it works is, you hold your head roughly 30cm in front of the device, the distance sensor then activates the thermal imaging sensor and a thermal reading is taken. So there is no need for anyone to touch the device in operation at all. This is combined with the ambient temperature & humidity and ran through Kentix’s algorithms to work out a body temperature. It recognises the area around the eyes to do this so it is getting a body temperature rather than a skin surface temperature. In my testing, it is very accurate when compared with a digital mouth thermometer.

If the reading is below a certain pre-set temperature, then the LEDs on the front of the device light up green and a single loud beep sounds, you are OK to go. If the temperature is slightly above this level, some red LEDs will appear along with a prolonged and repeating beeping, if the temperature is above the highest set threshold then the alarm is more insistent. The device comes with sensible default settings for these levels but they are fully adjustable.

This is an image of my head from the Kentix SmartXcan web interface, looks like I don’t have a fever today

Installing the Kentix SmartXcan

To use the scanner stand-alone there’s nothing you need to do other than power it on. It is powered by standard 802.3af 15.4W PoE (Power-over-Ethernet) so can either be connected to a PoE enabled network, or an injector can be used (which we can also supply if needed). When powered on, the thermal sensor needs time to warm up which takes ten to fifteen minutes, the LEDs around the sensor will flash red until it is ready to use, so bear that in mind when testing, you do need to wait for it to warm up.

Going further, the device has a built-in API which you can use to remote control it and it can integrate with other systems using webhooks, either for logging activity (such as anonymous temperature readings, or non-anonymous if using the RFID version with tags for your staff), or integration with access control systems to actually stop people with fevers and high temperatures from going further into your building.

One thing to note is that the device must be used indoors, because it needs to be able to take an accurate temperature reading, direct sunlight and variable temperatures experienced outside will affect it’s performance.

The Verdict…

I have scanned myself with it many times and fortunately I appear to have never have had a fever. Amusingly though, my cat jumped on to my desk (since I’m currently working from home still) and looked at the scanner. It took a reading and decided my cat had a slight fever with a temperature of 38.5 degrees. This did worry me slightly but after a web search, I discovered that a cat’s normal body temperature is between 38 and 39 degrees. So it would seem it accurately read my cat’s temperature too!

A nuisance but fever free

I don’t think fever/temperature screening is the be-all and end-all of protecting work places and public places from COVID-19 but I do feel that it is an important part of it and this device when coupled with other measures can help us get back to some level of normality.

I know there are concerns with any device that is taking any kind of image of people, however this is fully GDPR compliant in that it is not obtaining any identifying information at all. That is unless you are using the RFID version and intentionally logging temperatures of staff, it is then up to you to handle that data correctly. It’s worth mentioning that the device doesn’t actually store the thermal images, it just displays them temporarily in the web interface. As you can see from above, it is not possible to identify a person from these.

We will have stock in very soon so please get in touch to find out more.

Returning to the Workplace after COVID-19

We’re ready to see all of our businesses and public spaces reopen after lockdown. But not at the expense of people’s safety. We’re looking at ways to minimise risk when returning to the workplace after COVID-19.

Over the last few months, Coronavirus has wreaked havoc on all of our lives. Across Europe and the world we have seen schools closed, businesses on hold and hospitals overrun. Now things are starting to get back to a “new normal” after lockdown. We wanted to share with you some of the best technology solutions for a safe return to the workplace following the pandemic.

One of the key symptoms of COVID-19 is a fever. Anybody with a body temperature above 37.8 °C is considered to have a fever. Under the current guidelines, if you do have an elevated temperature, you need to self-isolate along with other members of your household.

But how do we enforce this? How do we monitor body temperature in the general population? How can we make sure our friends and family are as safe as possible in the post-lockdown world?

Introducing the Kentix SmartXcan…

This little beauty is the new Kentix SmartXcan Body Temperature Scanner:

body temperature scanner returning to work after covid-19

This tiny piece of tech could help your business re-start in the post-lockdown world. By measuring people’s temperature on the way into your building you can make sure that nobody who has a fever (who otherwise feels well) is allowed in.

Non-contact body temperature scanning

At just 12 cm long, this small device can be installed next to your entrance intercom, your car park barrier or above your hand-wash station. Compared to handheld body temperature scanners, you’re reducing the risk to a single individual.

It’s quick – scanning your body temperature in 0.6 seconds. During testing, the total time for measurement (approach, scan, leave) averaged just 5 seconds. So no hold-ups or queues to enter a building.

You get instant feedback. One set of LED lights turns green when the test is successful. Another set indicates your body temperature range. This easy-to-understand approach will give visitors confidence that they’re healthy and safe to be out and about in public.

You can monitor visitors temperature in real time, and deny entry to anybody who’s body temperature is above 38 °C. The device could be connected to turnstiles or parking barriers to forcibly prevent entry to anybody who’s temperature is elevated.

It’s anonymous. Unlike using thermal cameras, there are no issues surrounding GDPR or recording children. These devices can be used in schools, hospitals or any business setting.

The best bit?

It’s affordable. At just £625.50+VAT, it blows thermal imaging cameras out of the water. Thermal imaging kits to measure fevers on this scale would cost in the region of £5,000. A more basic version would still come in at £2,000.

It’s available. Alliot Technologies are the only UK distributor of this German-manufactured product. The body temperature scanner is available for delivery from mid-June and we can help you to configure your device so that you can simply plug and play.

More information, including technical specification, is available on the Kentix SmartXcan product page. If you have any questions on installation, or whether this body temperature scanner is right for you, get in touch with our technical team.

Get Smart with Water

Having just launched the Strega Smart Water Valve, we’re taking a look at the various use cases this new product brings. Read on to discover more about our latest product and how you too can begin to minimise water waste.

Strega Smart IoT Water Valve

Developed by Strega, the Smart IoT Water Valve is a battery operated shut off valve that can be easily integrated into existing solutions without the need for any additional cabling. That’s right, you can remotely control your entire irrigation system without having to disrupt your existing set up!

Compatible with all leading IoT platforms, the Strega Smart IoT Water Valve is available in a wide range of sizes to suit existing pipe work. Once installed, the valve utilises LoRaWAN® technology to send data to the gateway which is then reported to your selected platform.

Example Use Cases

The Strega Smart Water Valve has a range of use cases. On the one hand there’s people who would like to minimise the risk of costly water damage from leaks in Smart Buildings and Smart Housing. On the other hand, there’s the people who want to minimise water waste. We’ve seen a varying demand for this product including Smart Agriculture, Smart Irrigation and Smart Golf Courses where users want to ensure they are only watering areas when needed. The use cases are virutally endless!

What are the Variant Options?

All Strega Smart Water Valves come with integrated tamper, pressure and humidity sensors and have an ultra low power consumption to provide 10+ years battery life. For easy installation, the valve can be purchased as an all-in-one version with the emitter attached of for harder to reach areas, you can opt for the emitter to be separately connected.

The Strega Smart Water Valve offers a fast, no fuss solution enabling you to remotely control entire water systems in no time. If you’d like more information on how we could help you to develop your IoT water solutions get in touch.

The Things Conference: Will You Virtually Be There?

Given the current climate, much of the world is now under strict social distancing measures and being asked to #stayhome. This has seen many industry events be postponed for the foreseeable future. Thanks to our friends at The Things Network and the fantastic tech available they will be bringing the IoT industry together on 16th April for a worldwide virtual conference which we’re delighted to be supporting!

The Things Virtual Conference - Register Now

What to expect from The Things Virtual Conference

Boasting 24 hours worth of online content, The Things Virtual Conference is a great platform for connecting with tens of thousands of LoRaWAN® professionals from across the globe. With a variety of virtual IoT conference rooms, attendees will be able to engage with industry experts while accessing premium content at the click of a button.

Over the course of the day, attendees will be able to:

  • Interact with IoT industry experts
  • Participate in hands-on workshops about Edge Computing, hardware secure elements, The Things Stack, battery optimisation, gateway configuration, cloud integrations and much more
  • Listen to panel discussions featuring top-notch technology providers
  • Hear more about LoRaWAN® deployments in the wild

…. and much more!

What will Alliot bring to the The Things Virtual Conference?

Our Technical Director, Paul Hayes will be presenting on the Mass Deployment of LoRaWAN® Sensors. Having developed our own set of provisioning services, in his session, Paul will be looking at the current state of play and what the future holds with regards to growing the LoRaWAN market.

Get Your Ticket

Registration for The Things Virtual Conference couldn’t be easier, simply register your details to secure your ticket!

Sit back, stay home and join us on 16th April for what’s set to be an incredible day for IoT.