Take Remote Control with NKE’s LoRaWAN Smart Plug

Remote Control Plug

We’ve had lots of requests for a UK variant of a LoRaWAN® Smart Plug. Up until now, these have been hard to come by… make way for the new NKE UK LoRaWAN® Smart Plug! Now it’s here, we’d like to share some of the key features and benefits of this hotly anticipated LoRaWAN® sensor with you.

What is the NKE Smart Plug?

Typically speaking, a Smart Plug is a small adapter that is plugged into a regular electrical wall outlet. Smart Plugs enable you to remotely control connected devices or appliances.

The NKE Smart Plug connects to a public or private LoRaWAN® network to enable you to remotely control connected devices. It also monitors power consumption and power quality measurements such as average/min/max voltage (rms/peak) and frequency.

Uses of Remote Control Plugs

There are many uses for remote control plugs. The NKE Smart Plug is CE certified and is ideal for both domestic and commercial environments. Some example use cases include:

  • Remotely manage the operation of common household electrical appliances
  • Identify areas for improving energy efficiencies
  • Reduce carbon footprints in large office environments by identifying and remotely controlling equipment which may be left running
  • Save money on energy bills in empty premises where appliances may still be connected to power
  • Remotely schedule the hours you want devices to be connected to power with remote power scheduling

We work closely with our partners to help you access the products you need. Our close working relationships with some of the world’s leading manufacturers enable us to help you source and develop the products you require. If there’s something missing from your project contact our expert team to find out how we can help.

A breath of fresh air?

In-person teaching is being reintroduced in the UK this month. We’re looking at ways to monitor and improve air quality in schools (and other workplaces) in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

monitor indoor air quality in schools

COVID-safe schools

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic we’ve been told that meeting outdoors is far safer than being inside. We’re looking at ways to bring people back inside, while minimising the risk of contracting or spreading the virus.

Monitoring CO2 levels can give a good indication of ventilation in an indoor space. There is increasing evidence to suggest that CO2 levels correlate with the risk of transmission of COVID-19. The majority of carbon dioxide in an indoor environment comes from breathing. This is particularly true in a classroom situation; with little computer equipment and a large group of students.

Improving indoor air quality in schools can be as simple as creating an alert when CO2 levels rise above a critical amount (e.g. 1000 ppm). When an alert is triggered, the teacher can open a window or door, and allow fresh air to circulate.

We stock a range of LoRaWAN sensors that measure CO2, temperature and humidity. This can be a great place to start for monitoring indoor air quality in schools.

Further health benefits

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, researchers had started to investigate the effects of indoor air quality on health. This is particularly important in schools, as children can develop conditions such as asthma through poor air quality.

To dive a bit deeper into factors affecting indoor air quality; we need to look a bit further than carbon dioxide. We can also look at VOCs (volatile organic compounds) and particulate matter (PM).

In a school environment, you’d expect to find VOCs in things like art and craft supplies, cleaning products and new carpets/vinyl flooring. Particulate matter is mostly from dust and smoke (including car exhaust fumes and cooking smoke). Ensuring adequate ventilation when children are exposed to VOCs or particulate matter is key to their long-term health.

Our indoor air quality sensors allow you to measure a wide range of different parameters. You can get a complete understanding of the air quality levels in your school or educational setting.

We also supply outdoor air quality sensors. These can give you an idea of other environmental pollutants such as ozone or NOx. These generally come from traffic or industrial sources, so would be more relevant to schools in urban areas.

A learning opportunity

Improved indoor air quality in schools is known to have positive health benefits for children. But why not build on your project by getting your students involved?

Our LoRaWAN sensors communicate with a centralised gateway. The information is then sent to an easy-to-use dashboard where you can access the data. Create a science project to monitor air quality in your classroom using real statistics. Invite them to make suggestions on how air quality could be improved.

We also offer proof of concept kits so you can quickly and easily get your project up and running. Create a custom proof of concept kit to include air quality sensors and get to grips with the technology on a small scale.

COVID-19 IoT Solutions
Find out more

To find out more about how you could use technology to make your workplace safer, visit our COVID-19 solutions page. Alternatively, contact a member of our team for help and advice on your IoT project.

Get Started with Alliot’s IoT Starter Packs

Here at Alliot, we know that it’s not always straight forward to adopt new technologies. The Internet of Things provides an endless amount of possibilities, but realising the actual capabilities can be a hurdle for some. We’ve developed a new range of IoT starter kits all designed to help you gain that all important seal of approval.

Created with local authorities in mind, our Smart Town and City IoT starter packs have been carefully constructed to enable you to illustrate the benefits IoT can bring to your applications. Covering areas such as air quality monitoring, irrigation, pest control and people/traffic counting our packs are ideal for those looking to get started in IoT, helping you to quickly demonstrate the possibilities LoRaWAN® can bring to your projects.

Available in three different variants, our IoT starter packs consist of the following hardware.

  Smart Town and City Bronze IoT Starter Pack
BRONZE
Smart Town and City Silver IoT Starter Pack
SILVER
Smart Town and City Gold IoT Starter Pack
GOLD
Occupancy
Air Quality
(Indoor)

(Indoor)

(Outdoor)
Pest Control
Smart Parking
Smart Utilities
Smart Parks
Smart Waste
Flood Alert
Asset Tracking
Legionella Monitoring
Gateway
(Indoor)

(Outdoor)

(Outdoor)

All of our Smart Town and Cities IoT Starter Packs are supplied with 3 months access to Kerlink’s Wanesy Management Centre and 3 months complimentary use of City Nexus’ visualisation tool*.

*Use of City Nexus’ dashboard service after initial 3 month introductory offer will be charged annually on a license-based service.

What does LoRaWAN® offer to Smart Towns & Cities?

LoRaWAN® networks are now widely available across many towns and cities throughout the world. These networks are accessible to all and offer a low power, wide area network meaning the sensors you deploy can transmit data to connected gateways over an area of up to 10 kms. This enables you to deploy various sensors throughout your area. Your deployed sensors could be monitoring different parameters, but they can all communicate to the same gateway. Recorded data is then transmitted via a LoRaWAN® network to your chosen analytics dashboard. From the dashboard, you can then visualise the data, identify potential issues and action the appropriate response.

What’s more, LoRaWAN® devices can be integrated with your existing infrastructure without the need to run expensive cabling – minimising disruption.

Data recorded by LoRaWAN® IoT Sensors can be used by local authorities to:

  • Raise alerts to unusual patterns in data eg. air pollution levels.
  • Improve operational efficiencies and streamline processes such as waste management programmes.
  • Make more informed decisions and allow different departments to collaborate and share information securely.
  • Create a reliable, automated process to ensure data records are always maintained and kept up to date.

The Benefits of IoT Starter Packs

IoT Starter kits are a great way to quickly demonstrate and test your IoT solutions before scaling them to fit your projects. Compiled of industry leading hardware and access to a visualisation platform, our proof of concept kits are an excellent place to get started. Along with our Smart Town and City starter packs, we also offer a range of proof of concept kits and can work with you to develop your very own bespoke solution.

Ready to Scale Your Solution? We’re Here to Help.

Our expert team are on hand to assist you every step of the way. From proof of concept, to sensor suitability and deployment, our specialists can help you to bring your IoT projects to life.

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

Using the Kentix SmartXcan with Access Control Systems

The Kentix SmartXcan has been helping to keep our team safe during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Paired with an access control system, you too can create a smart solution which can limit access for people whom’s body temperature may be higher, helping to reduce the risk of transmission. We’ve taken a look at access control systems and how the Kentix SmartXcan can integrate with your existing infrastructure.

Buildings have made use of access control systems for decades. Hospitals, care homes, apartment blocks, office buildings, public buildings, anywhere you can think of there is likely an access control system in place. These access control systems are in place to ensure that the right people can access the right areas of a building, and that the wrong people cannot.

However, with the rise of COVID-19, an access control system based only on access permissions may no longer be enough. This is where the new SmartXcan unit from Kentix comes in.

How can the Kentix SmartXcan help?

Because of the pandemic, not only is there now a concern of whether the correct people are allowed access to a building, there is also the concern of whether that person is likely to spread a disease that they are not even aware they are carrying. This is why Kentix have designed the SmartXcan to not only act as a stand-alone unit to advise the user whether or not they have a fever – the first symptom of a viral infection in 90% of cases – but to also integrate with an access control system through its multiple interfaces.

Using anonymous readings via its thermal imaging camera, and deleting them quickly after reading, allows the SmartXcan to be fully GDPR-compliant, and using contactless technology it removes the concern of itself being a surface for COVID-19 to spread.

The SmartXcan can either use webhooks to send a HTTP signal to a network-based access control system whenever it scans someone, or use its digital outputs to wire into a legacy system and say “this person is fine, let them in if they are authorised” or “this person has a fever, do not let them in, even if they are authorised”.

With stock readily available, the Kentix SmartXcan provides an ideal solution to help protect those who are unable to work from home. For assistance with developing your IoT solutions and integrating devices with your existing equipment get in touch to discuss your requirements.

Combat Legionella with IoT

Legionella compliance has long been a legal requirement in commercial buildings. With an increased number of unoccupied premises throughout 2020, it’s predicted that there could be a heightened risk of Legionnaires disease. Discover how we can help you create a remote Legionella monitoring solution with LoRaWAN.

What is Legionella?

Legionnaires, or Legionella disease is a bacteria that grows in stagnant water. A form of pneumonia with symptoms such as: cough, shortness of breath, high fever, muscle pains, and headaches. With many commercial buildings currently unoccupied due to Covid-19 Virus, facility and building managers run the risk of returning to contaminated water. Since the water left in the pipes of the building provides the ideal breeding ground for bacteria to grow. Legionella is typically contracted by airborne bacteria and testing for Legionella is a legal requirement for commercial buildings.

There are many factors to take into consideration when assessing the risk of legionella within a building system, say the HSE’s advice. One of which is monitoring the water temperature in all or some parts of the plumbing system. Guidance from the HSE states that water stored at temperatures between 20 – 45°C encourages bacteria growth.

How can IoT help combat Legionella?

Usually the testing for legionella requires manual human interaction, however with IoT you are able to remotely monitor your legionella risk through the use of specialist LoRaWAN sensors. With IoT you can keep accurate records without human error or gaps in the temperature monitoring. There’s also the added bonus that all monitoring and control can be carried out remotely helping to reduce the risk to onsite personnel, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Simply connect the LoRaWAN sensors to the equipment you wish to monitor. This is easily done because of their non invasive nature. Then connect the devices to your LoRaWAN gateway and your user dashboard and that’s it. The IoT sensor will send data straight to your dashboard in timed intervals you have set. These can be changed if your prefer more or less readings in a time frame. Allowing you to visual see the data being collected and take action.

NETVOX R718CK2 LORAWAN 2-GANG THERMOCOUPLE SENSOR

The Netvox LoRaWAN thermocouple temperature sensor measures two points simultaneously to gauge changes in temperature. Two probes are attached to the outside of the desired outlets you would wish to monitor. Readings are then sent to a centralised monitoring system via a LoRaWAN gateway at pre-configured intervals. Allowing you to remotely monitor the temperature to maintain records and monitor the risk of Legionella. Pair with the Strega Smart Valve to remotely control the flow of water.

STREGA SMART VALVE

The Strega Smart Water Valve uses LoRaWAN technology to give you remote control over the operation of valves. With the ability to remotely open or close connected valves, minimising waste and being Legionella compliant are some of the benefits to the Strega Smart Valve. Available in a variety of sizes to fit any and all existing pipe work, the Strega Smart Valve can also come with a separate emitter for difficult and hard to reach areas.

All of our LoRaWAN sensors feature ultra low power consumption as well as extended battery life. Once installed, the IoT system can be configured to alert you to any potential issues that arise in your workplace/premises.

For additional ideas as to how IoT sensors can help to monitor potential risks to your business, why not explore our Covid-19 & beyond solutions

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.

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.