The most easternly Sigfox base station is on Chatham Island

The Chatham Islands form an archipelago in the Pacific Ocean about 800 kilometres east of the South Island of New Zealand. They have officially been part of New Zealand since 1842 and includes the country’s easternmost point. So when world-leading Sigfox IoT global network comes to mind, you might not necessarily think of the Chatham Islands as part of it.

It consists of about ten islands within a 40-kilometre radius, the largest of which is Chatham Island where Thinxtra installed the base station as the sole wireless connectivity on the island for the 600 residents (excluding the birds!).

The Chatham Islands’ new network is a ‘game-changer’ for businesses and residents living on the islands. “The Internet of Things solution being trialled on the Chathams has potential to deliver considerable benefits in a wide range of environments,” comments Chatham Island Trust Enterprise CEO Iain Torrance says. “For example, we are piloting the vehicle tracking capabilities of the Wireless Nation’s GPS unit, the Fox Tracker, with a view to using it to help with safety of our lone workers.” This will also enable businesses and residents to track their assets such as boats for greater peace of mind.

Wireless Nation, Thinxtra’s partner in New Zealand,  Zariff Ali says the network will also offer new economic opportunities. “The IoT network deployment will change the way the locals live each day by enabling them to get feedback from the natural resources they rely on as their main source of income,” Ali explains. “Things like temperature sensors, humidity sensors, soil moisture probes, and rain gauges can become invaluable tools to smart resource management and efficiency when they’re connected to the internet.”

“The rollout on the Chatham Islands is a great demonstration of the work we can do to bring rural New Zealand into the 21st Century,” Miro Sudzum, Wireless Nation marketing manager, says.

Whether it’s for farming or fishing, the Chatham Islands have now entered a new era of productivity and safety thanks to the Thinxtra’s Sigfox IoT network.

Special thanks to Sarah Baker from Channel Life NZ for contributing to this story.


About Thinxtra

Thinxtra is empowering the Internet of Things by operating the first nationwide LPWA networks in Australia, New Zealand and Hong Kong (based on Sigfox connectivity technology) as well as enabling and promoting a full eco-system of partners that provide IoT solutions and services to increase efficiencies, accelerate decision making, improve quality of service and quality of life (to humans and animals), and find more economical solutions to common problems.

Thinxtra is leading this IoT revolution, by connecting the un-connected, for a more sustainable future.

PR Contact: Renald Gallis – VP Marketing +61 404 894 960 renald.gallis@thinxtra.com

Xtrap, saving the kiwis around Dunedin

sigfox on a pole wind solar energy harvestingThe Conservation Minister, Eugenie Sage, launched Predator Free Dunedin this morning (as part of the Predator Free New Zealand 2050 program) and Thinxtra is immensely proud to support this project to primarly protect kiwis and other native birds.  

For that purpose, Thinxtra has developped a solution, designed and manufactured in New Zealand, to efficiently monitor those predators.

 

The solution is made of:

  • The Sigfox network coverage, which is already covering over 30 % of the New Zealand land and will be further deployed in those specific areas of interest such as in the case above for Dunedin region.

For this specific project, with areas to be covered by the eradication programme in remote areas, with no existing network infrastructure, Thinxtra designed and helped install, with the support from Fulton Hogan company, an autonomous solar and wind powered Sigfox-on-a-Pole (SoaP) wireless gateway to provide full coverage (up to 40km away) in the Halo region of Orokonui Ecosanctuary (Dunedin, South Island of New Zealand) as part of the Halo Project.

 

  • The Xtrap, a high RF performance wireless motion detector device with long battery life of 10+ years. The Xtrap has been specifically designed and built to easily retrofit to any approved Department of Conservation (DoC) trap. It is optimised to work in very remote locations over long distances, including forestry areas, covered by the Sigfox network.

 

  • A smart IoT cloud platform and App (for volunteers) with many insights: which areas are trapping the most pests, total number of pests which have been caught in which trap, which type of pest caught in each trap, total number of pests caught per zones and per species, as well as alerts triggered when a trap is activated, saving up to 70% in paid or volunteer time.

Now, that Halo region of Orokonui Ecosanctuary is ready to eradicate those pests, let’s replicate that project and save those kiwis.


About Predator Free NZ 2050

New Zealand Department of Conservation has adopted the “ambitious goal” of eradicating its soil of weasels, pests and feral threats (rats, possums, stoats and all other invasive mammals) by 2050 under the name: Predator Free New Zealand 2050 . It is an aspiring programme to protect New Zealand of the most damaging introduced predators that threaten its natural taonga, its economy and primary sector.

Predator Free 2050’s objectives are to:

  • remove the major threats to native wildlife
  • enhance economic return from agriculture and forestry and reduce risk of disease
  • create new opportunities for regional development
  • reinforce New Zealand’s trade and tourism brand
  • provide a legacy for future generations

About Thinxtra

Thinxtra is empowering the Internet of Things by operating the first nationwide LPWA networks in Australia, New Zealand and Hong Kong (based on Sigfox connectivity technology) as well as enabling and promoting a full eco-system of partners that provide IoT solutions and services to increase efficiencies, accelerate decision making, improve quality of service and quality of life (to humans and animals), and find more economical solutions to common problems.

Thinxtra is leading this IoT revolution, by connecting the un-connected, for a more sustainable future.

PR Contact: Renald Gallis – VP Marketing +61 404 894 960 renald.gallis@thinxtra.com

Wyndham (VIC) en route to deploy City wide IoT solutions

The City of Wyndham is a suburb located on the western edge of Melbourne (Victoria state, Australia) that has seen a massive growth in population, doubling in the last 10 years and now reaching more than 240,000 inhabitants.

For that reason, Wyndham City Council’s Smart City Office is working with internal departments to identify IoT based solutions that could be used to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of council-delivered services and improve the quality of life of their growing community.   These type of solutions would also allow council to gather granular data across the city to provide support for better decision making.

Wyndham City is rolling out a number of initial projects including: water tank level monitoring, sewer pump monitoring and pedestrian counting. Further projects being considered include: waste bin monitoring, dog monitoring, shopping trolley tracking, air quality monitoring and noise monitoring.

To undertake these projects, a low power wide area network (LPWAN) that forms the IoT connectivity backbone for an array of such smart cities applications was installed.  The availability of a dedicated IoT network offers reduced connectivity costs for council applications and its constituents. The specific requirements of sensors – extended battery life, wide geographic coverage and relatively minor data transmission requirements make LPWAN much more suitable than 3G/4G/5G and WiFi connectivity.

Wyndham City Council worked closely with Thinxtra – the Australian network operator for Sigfox, a world leader in IoT – to install low power wide area (LPWA) antennas on council structures across the city. Overall, 17 base stations have been installed to provide complete outdoor coverage across the city.

With the IoT network now in place, Wyndham City can start rolling out a range of IoT devices such as air quality sensors, water pressure monitoring, temperature monitoring and asset tracking. The collected data will be used to improve their understanding, management and utilisation of city assets and facilities. Furthermore, the network will be promoted across the city so that schools, institutions and businesses can make use of the network to deploy IoT solutions.

Councillor Aaron An, Wyndham City’s Smart City portfolio holder, commented “Given that Wyndham is home to large agricultural and manufacturing industries, we anticipate that these types of businesses will be able to gain significant advantages by deploying IoT solutions which will allow them to improve the efficiency and profitability of their businesses. For example, IoT solutions to measure light, humidity, temperature, soil moisture, etc can be deployed and manufacturers will be able to improve visibility across their operations, refine utilization, and reduce waste and costs.”

Wyndham was supported by Thinxtra to fast track such solutions towards more efficiencies via the Smart Council Program.

Regis Berdaa, added: “Local businesses and organisations could also leverage this IoT network to create new business opportunities and operational efficiencies, that could be replicated on a national or even global scale.”

As a Council, you can take part in this program by simply contacting Thinxtra at smartcouncil@thinxtra.com to request a meeting with our smart-council team to tailor our approach to your IoT strategy.

On a last note, Thinxtra was the 2018 winner of The Communications Alliance Acomms Award as Best Marketing Initiative for this smart council program.


About Thinxtra
Thinxtra is empowering the Internet of Things in Asia Pacific by operating the world-leading Sigfox LPWA network as well as enabling a full eco-system of IoT solutions and services partners to connect the non-connected, to increase productivity, to accelerate decision making, to improve quality of service and quality of life, and to find more economical solutions to common problems.

Sigfox is the world’s leading provider of connectivity for the Internet of Things (IoT). The company has built a global network to connect billions of devices to the Internet while consuming as little energy as possible, as simply as possible. Sigfox’s unique approach to device-to-cloud communications addresses the three greatest barriers to global IoT adoption: cost, energy consumption, and global scalability.

Thinxtra is backed by the CEFC (Clean Energy Finance Corporation), an Australian Government fund with a mission to accelerate local transformation towards more efficiencies.

PR Contact: Renald Gallis – VP Marketing +61 404 894 960 renald.gallis@thinxtra.com

Thinxtra is an active member of the Australian Smart Communities Association.

Thinxtra was also the 2018 winner of The Communications Alliance Acomms Award as Best Marketing Initiative for its smart council program.

 

RMIT hackathon – City West Water team won with Xkit

RMIT’s IoT Hackathon saw industry challenges tackled by student problem solvers over 3 days.

RMIT is training the IoT experts for the fastest growing IT and Engineering sectors. To accelerate the process they brought together the leading technologies and brightest minds to tackle some of industry’s biggest and toughest challenges.

They invited RMIT student hack teams to use devkits, connectivity options and platforms such as ThingWorx Industrial IoT platform & Thinxtra Xkit IoT devkit to take on real world problems presented by industry partners.

The Internet of Things (IoT) is a concept that continues to rapidly transform the way we live, work and learn – from revolutionising simple day-to-day errands to enabling the re-creation of cities. IHS forecasts that more than 30.7 billion devices will be connected to the Internet of Things by 2020 and 75.4 billion by 2025. In fact, emerging technologies could constitute one- third of global GDP by 2025.

With these astonishing figures in mind, and in response to this tremendous growth, RMIT’s School of Engineering and LEAP Australia brought together Australia’s brightest minds to tackle some tough business challenges, leveraging the latest technologies in IoT in the RMIT Hackathon which was run over three days in late August 2018.

Showcasing the importance and growing role that IoT plays in Australia, the hackathon formed part of the Victorian Digital Innovation Festival, and was officially launched by the Minister for Innovation and the Digital Economy, the Hon. Philip Dalidakis. The Minister congratulated the RMIT teams on their dedication and highlighted the tremendous opportunity that they had to “experience real-world problem solving” with industry using new technology and tools. “Even if you don’t succeed with the task that is before you, failure is part of the journey. It’s not a destination,” he said.

Breaking down long-held assumptions that IoT was confusing, expensive and complicated, student Hackathon teams were invited to use the PTC ThingWorx IoT platforms to take on real- world problems presented by nine industry partners including Lendlease, City West Water, Wilson Transformers and SEA Electric. Other real-world problems that were tackled over the three-day hackathon included using IoT to monitor laser cutting machine conditions and leverage machine learning solutions for predictive maintenance.

Event co-convenor and Business Development Manager for the School of Engineering, Mark Raphael, said teams “moved beyond vanilla IoT to drive high-value solutions” that integrated real-time IoT data with Augmented Reality (AR), advanced analytics, machine learning and Artificial Intelligence (AI).

The hackathon was representative of real- world team environments and involved 54 participants across 10 multi-disciplinary teams and 100 connected Things. Each participant was provided with preliminary expert industry-level training in the use of the ThingWorx platform and was coached on how to examine problems, build sound and compelling business cases and deliver solutions that delivered real commercial value. Judging criteria included the value that the solution delivered; adaptability to other use cases; integration of advanced analytics; effectiveness and useability of IoT and relevance of the solution to the core industry problem.

The final day of the hackathon was Demo Day, where each team presented their solutions to a panel of industry judges using a combination of IoT dashboards, digital tablets and the mixed reality platform, the Microsoft HoloLens. When the dust settled on a vivid array of live IoT demonstrations, AR experiences and business case presentations, the judges announced their determinations on the best three solutions.

And the winners were…Team ‘Supernova’ who received the $7,000 first prize. Team Lendlease came in second, taking home $4,000 for their work building smart documents, analysing contents and delivering results via AR. Third place and $3,000 went to team City West Water for their IoT vacuum sewer system servicing solution using the Thinxtra Xkit as part of the solution.

The third placed ‘City West Water’ team comprised five students from Civil Engineering and a student from the Master of IT program: Abraham Kurtoglu , Shani Abrahams, Vince Turcarolo, Austen Dupleix, Claudia Valle and Sumit Kumar. Renald Gallis from Thinxtra was happy to mentor such an enthusiastic team.

Claudia Valle commented: “IoT/AR are growing industries and as civil engineering students have no exposure to coding or AR/IoT within our programs, Mark Raphael, a Business Development Manager from the School of Engineering, contacted the Civil Engineering Student Association (CESA) to get more civil engineering students involved. Despite our inexperience and even though we were up against students from computer science and software engineering degrees, we’re super proud that two teams of civil engineering students placed and received awards on the day! I think hackathons like these are great initiatives for students to supplement their studies. Students get to develop key skills in multidisciplinary teams, whilst working on real life problems, and gain an exposure to the industry.”

Special thanks to Shelley Brady, RMIT News, for contributing to this story.


About RMIT
RMIT is a global university of technology, design and enterprise.
One of Australia’s original educational institutions founded in 1887, RMIT University is now the nation’s largest tertiary institution with more than 84,000 students, including 13,000 at postgraduate level.
RMIT University enjoys an international reputation for excellence in professional and vocational education, applied research, and engagement with the needs of industry and the community.
RMIT is a world leader in Art and Design; Architecture; Education; Engineering; Development; Computer Science and Information Systems; Business and Management; and Communication and Media Studies.

More info on RMIT and the event
For more information on the IoT Hackathon, please contact Mark Raphael at mark.raphael@rmit.edu.au or 0432 752 646.


About Thinxtra
Thinxtra is empowering the Internet of Things in Australia, New Zealand and Hong Kong by operating the world-leading Sigfox LPWA network as well as enabling a full eco-system of IoT solutions and services partners to connect the non-connected, to increase productivity, to accelerate decision making, to improve quality of service and quality of life, and to find more economical solutions to common problems.

PR Contact: Renald Gallis – VP Marketing +61 404 894 960 renald.gallis@thinxtra.com