How can IoT help with Ventilation in the Workplace?

Ventilation in the workplace with Alliot Technologies

Ventilation has long been a requirement in the workplace. Now, as we head into winter ventilation is more important than ever in helping to create a COVID-secure workplace. We’ve taken a look at the latest guidance and how LoRaWAN air quality sensors could help.

It’s outlined by the HSE that all workplaces need an adequate supply of fresh air. This is often achieved naturally from doors and windows, or can be controlled through HVAC systems. But, as we enter into the colder months, having windows and doors open is not always practical (least not in the UK!). What’s more, with the added complication of COVID-19, there’s now even more reason to ensure air flow rates are maintained at the recommended rate.

The WHO has reported that HVAC systems can both positively and negatively affect the risk of pathogen spread. Re-circulation of air is not recommended. If air is being circulated, it is recommended that filters are cleaned regularly. This is where IoT can come in.

Meet the enLink Status-AF

Monitor ventilation in the workplace with the enLink Status-AF

The enLink Status-AF LoRaWAN air flow sensor is specially designed to monitor and ensure recommended air flow rates. It can be easily installed into the area you wish to monitor, with no interference to any existing equipment you may have running. Recorded data is then transmitted to your chosen dashboard via a LoRaWAN gateway. Alerts can be pre-configured to be automatically raised if ari flow rates are outside of your set parameters, enabling you to take quick action if it’s required.

Protection Against Your Investment

Despite its importance right now, ventilation in the workplace is here to stay. Using IoT in monitoring your air flow rates can help to create a COVID-secure workplace, but it can also be useful to:

Creating an Intelligent Building Management System with IoT

Our wide range of sensors can be applied to an endless variety of applications. In fact, sometimes it can be a little overwhelming deciphering what sensors to apply to your project. To help, we’ve created a case study to demonstrate how you may apply some of our LoRaWAN devices to create an intelligent business management system.

We often find that our customers know what issues they want to solves, but don’t always know how to address these. Our expert team are on hand to assist your with the planning, design and implementation of your IoT projects.

One of the beauties of LoRaWAN is that it can be implemented with minimal cost and disruption. LoRaWAN operates on its own network meaning you don’t have to disrupt any of your existing infrastructure. It also offers a scalable solution to enable you to expand your measurement points as/when your project expands.

Smart Buildings with Alliot

When creating this case study, we began by thinking about three key factors you may wish to address when creating an intelligent building management system, for this purpose we selected:

  • Workplace safety
  • Creating optimal working conditions for staff members
  • Optimising overall efficiencies

These three objectives are often at the forefront of many building/facilities managers agendas. Many want to improve the overall environment of their buildings for staff well being, as well as making savings by improving operational efficiencies. Whatever your objectives, we know that in order to be commercially deployable, your solutions need to offer a positive return on your investment.

The next step we made was to apply the objectives to our chosen application of intelligent BMS’. We put ourselves into the shoes of an office worker (we can just about recall being in the office!) and looked at the journey in and around the building. This lead us to select the following products.

  1. Elsys Desk Sensor: Monitors desk occupancy, temperature and humidity to create optimal working conditions.
  2. Netvox R72615A CO2 Sensor: Improve staff productivity by monitoring CO2 levels.
  3. Kerlink Ifemtocell Evolution Gateway: Transfer data from your sensors to your selected platform.
  4. Kerlink Wanesy Platform: Visualise your recorded data.
  5. Tekelek Waste Bin Sensor: Optimise waste collections.
  6. Kentix SmartXcan: Monitor the body temperatures of employees and visitors to create a COVID-secure workplace.
  7. Netvox R718CK2 Thermocouple Sensor: Remotely monitor your Legionella risk and automatically maintain records.
  8. Robeau Smart Water Meter: Make savings based on water usage and remotely detect leaks.

Find out more about how we applied the above devices in our BMS case study.

For assistance with designing your intelligent building management system solution of for information about creating a bespoke proof of concept kit contact our expert team today.

Sign up for our new Alliot Tech Support Portal

Support portal

Raise and manage your technical support tickets online with Alliot’s new Tech Support Portal. Simply register for a free account today to track the progress and manage your technical support requests.

Tired of hearing ‘have you tried turning it on and off again’? Want to get to the issue with an actual tech specialist not on a script? Alliot’s new Tech Support Portal is now available for all your support needs.

Dedicated IoT Specialists

Built with the latest ticket raising software, the new Alliot Tech Support Portal makes sure that your support issue is placed in front of an actual human! Meaning that you will have a dedicated IoT specialist looking into any issues you may have with your IoT set up.

Now we hope you won’t experience too many technical issues in your IoT system, however, you can rest assured that our experienced Technical Team are on hand to offer an exceptional level of support. With a collective 15+ years of experience between our team, there isn’t a query we couldn’t answer.

How it all works

On the rare occasion that we are unable to answer or fix your issue there and then, our crack team of boffins and tinkerers will work tirelessly to get to the root of the issue. With advanced equipment to attempt to recreate the parameters of the issue you are facing in house. Our team are fast, adaptive and responsive to your needs.

The easiest way to raise an issue with you IoT system is to use our Tech Support Portal. Easy to use and navigate, simply sign up and sign in to create your ticket. Within the Portal you are able to raise new tickets as well as check the progress of any existing support queries. Contact the Alliot Team today to bring your IoT solutions to life.

Stay Alert with IoT

As we continue to adjust to the ‘new normal’ we’ve been taking a look at hos IoT can help us all to stay alert and reduce the spread of COVID-19.

With social distancing still remaining a key focus in reducing the transmission of COVID-19, many businesses have now implemented robust procedures to help protect both staff and visitors. These new conditions can be time consuming to maintain and add additional pressure to staff. The beauty of IoT means that some processes can be remotely monitored and help to raise alerts if results are outside of the set parameters.

We recently took a look at three ways to kickstart your new normal using IoT. In this blog, we’ll be taking a look at some of the more specialist products and how they could be beneficial to areas such as retail, theatres and cinemas.

Smart Retail

Netvox R718PQA Toilet Occupancy Sensor

Netvox’s R718PQA toilet occupancy sensor can be useful in maintaining a one-in-one-out system in toilets. It can also be used to monitor changing rooms in smart retail environments.

Utilising a PIR sensor, this smart device differentiates between body heat and heat from other sources to monitor whether changing rooms are in use. This can help to maintain social distancing and paired with a visual signal it can simplify the availability of changing rooms.

Get in touch with a member of our expert team to discover how you can configure the Netvox R718PQA with a visual alert device.

Smart Seating Solutions for Theatres and Cinemas

Netvox R311WA Seat Occupancy Sensor

Based on advice provided by the UK Cinema Association, cinemas should maintain social distancing of customers in cinema auditoriums wherever possible and particularly while seated. The Netvox R311WA seat occupancy sensor could prove particularly useful in adhering to the current guidelines. Offering a flexible two-way solution, the R311WA enables you to set pre-configured alerts to your preferred platform. This could be to alert you to seats that are occupied which shouldn’t be helping you to virtually assess safe distancing between visitors.

IoT devices can offer some incredible advantages in helping to support the transition to the new normal. Regardless of your application, we provide a wide range of sensors which enable you to remotely monitor a variety of factors. Discover the power of IoT with Alliot today.

COVID-19 IoT Solutions
Find out more

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.

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.