Connect a Pycom SiPy with thethings.iO

On today’s post we’re going to show you how to connect a Pycom SiPy to thethings.iO. The newest Pycom SiPy supports multiple networks such as Sigfox, Wi-Fi and BLE. The SiPy it’s great for prototyping products for it’s small size, development tools and enormous possibilities. At thethings.iO we worked internally in several projects with the SiPy and we have the first customers prototyping with this board, using thethings.iO IoT platform to collect, visualize and analyze the data.

Configure the Pycom SiPy

Before following the next steps, make sure that you have the required hardware:

  • A SiPy with the expansion board.
  • A micro USB cable.
  • An active internet connection.
  • A thethings.iO account. If you still don’t have an account, please register at thethings.iO IoT platform.

Now it’s time to start configuring the device.

  • Visit the Pycom Getting Started portal in order to download and configure all the necessary software for your SiPy.

Register the device with Sigfox network. If you need any help with the Sigfox account, feel free to contact us.

  • In order to allow the device to send messages throw Sigfox, we need to activate it at the Sigfox backend.
  • Please, follow the steps mentioned in the Pycom documentation about Registering a device.

It’s time for flashing the software of the Pycom SiPy.

  1. We already have a Github repository with the code that sends the 2 strongest Wi-Fi MAC addresses and the temperature, divided into 2 payloads.
  2. Download the repository  and open it with the Atom editor configured with the Pymakr plugin.
  3. Plug your Sipy with the computer using the USB port and connect to its wifi network.
  4. Having opened the code in the Atom IDE, click on Connect down in the Pymakr plugin.
  5. Once the connection is established, Sync the code with the device. Once its send the device will reboot and start running the flashed code.

Connect the Pycom SiPy with thethings.iO IoT platform

Once you have a thethings.iO account, if you don’t have a Sigfox product to use, follow this steps:

  1. Enter to your account and click on Things.
  2. Press on Create new IoT product.
  3. Select Sigfox as Serialisation format.
  4. Give a name and choose Akeru for the board.
  5. Click on the previously created product and copy the subscription URL.

Now it’s time to register thethings.iO Callback at the Sigfox backend. Once you have copied the previous URL, navigate to the Sigfox backend.

  1. Click on your device.
  2. Navigate to callbacks.
  3. Create a new callback. Make sure you choose DATA as the type of callback and UPLINK as the type of service.
  4. Copy the URL inside the URL pattern.

The url should look like this:{device}&data={data}&radius={radius}&seqNumber={seqNumber}&snr={snr}&time={time}&station={station}&rssi={rssi}&lat={lat}&lng={lng}

Update the sigfox parser at thethings.iO

Back into thethings.iO, move to the cloud code area. You’ll see that a new function called sigfox_parser is created.

Copy the contents of the sigfox_parser of the previous Github repository and make sure you get your GOOGLE API KEY to change it on the code.

Available resources & Dashboard creation

Once the device sends its first messages, the following resources will be shown:

  • Geolocation: Google geolocation based on 2 strongest wifi’s.
  • Google Accuracy: Accuracy of the previous geolocation.
  • Temperature: Temperature taken by the device.

If you also want to add the Sigfox Geolocation service, make sure to read our last post about the Sigfox Geolocation!

Feel free to use thethings.iO widgets in order to create awesome IoT dashboards!

Connect your Pallets to the Internet and don’t waste more material

Is Your Company Losing Thousands of Pallets Each Year? Do you need to manufacture or purchase dozens or hundreds of new Pallets because you loose most of your existing Pallets? At thethings.iO partnering with Sigfox, we provide a solution for this leak of material on your company. Now you can track your assets in a very low cost way in order to have all your assets geolocated and understand your operational insights in (almost) real-time.

Pallet Delivery & the Problem

Pallet delivery is important because this method of delivery is highly efficient and cost effective. Many delivery companies have millions of pallets moving through supply chains throughout different regions of the world. So what is the problem? It is extremely difficult to keep track of such a large number of pallets and therefore they are often lost or mishandled and the benefits of efficiency and cost are repudiated.

Companies are losing thousands of pallets each year. They are sometimes lost in transport, but often they are also misplaced while being stored in huge warehouses. Additionally, it’s not rare for pallets to be stolen. People steal pallets that are made of wood, plastic, and metal and then sell the materials for money. The goods in the pallets are also often lost making this problem even worse for companies making deliveries. There are have been scenarios where truck drivers even sell palettes to make some side money. Clearly, losses are potentially huge.

Location Tracker Solution

thethings.iO offers a solution to end this costly problem. The Location Tracker enables companies to connect their pallet’s to the Internet in order to track there whereabouts in real-time.

The tracker is so simple to set up. Companies just have to install a small, portable sensor to the pallet’s wit long battery life (up to 3 years of battery) and then they can begin to monitor and manage there locations. Alerts can be sent according to the settings set by the company. For example, if a palette leaves a specified location range, the company can be sent an immediate alert. This Location tracker is the key to preventing mishandled and lost palettes while maintaining the systems high efficiency and low costs.

With thethings.iO solution, based on Sigfox technology, your company will be able to identify the leak of pallets and materials during your delivery chain. That means that your company will reduce considerably the pallet losses in short time with a real low-cost technology with connectivity in almost 60 countries all around the world that will make the payback easy to achieve in several months. The installation process only take 3 minutes for pallet and the technology is secured on the wood or plastic for long time.

thethings.iO will provide an operational dashboard with real-time information about the location of your pallets and relevant information about them.

Contact us at thethings.iO in order to have a free demo about our newest location trackers for Pallets.

thethings.iO is Featured as one of the Top 10 IoT Solution Providers by Insights Success magazine

Insights Success has recently published a special issue, “The 10 Most Innovative IoT Solution Providers”. Insights Success is the Best Business Magazine in the world for enterprises. In this issue, they talk about how IoT is changing the world by changing people’s everyday lives. thethings.iO is excited to be featured as one of the top 10 most innovative and prominent IoT solution providers of 2017!

Insights Success features thethings.iO as the most simple enterprise platform. This slogan comes from our ability to allow companies to focus less on the cloud and more on their products. The services we provide are unique and very simple to use. Here at thethings.iO customer satisfaction is our number one priority and that is why we make the adoption of IoT as quick and easy as possible. Despite some challenges, thethings.iO and the IoT market have a very promising future.

Go to to find out more about thethings.iO and other innovative IoT solution providers.

Webinar – Build Apps and dashboards with thethings.iO

Most of the times Internet of Things connected devices complements the user experience of the product with beautiful mobile applications or web interface. Usually it is a native app sometimes a website, having in mind that the UX is essential for the success of the connected product.

At thethings.iO IoT platform we help companies who are connecting their products to the Internet to collect data, analyze it and visualize it. We are working with dozens of companies giving them support to build their own mobile apps or frontend on the top of thethings.iO API (or websockets). On the other hand, we have several customers using thethings.iO dashboard composer (Apps Manager) in order to give access to 3rd parties or their final customers to the data of the devices (or subset of data).

During this webinar, we will explain how to connect a mobile application with thethings.iO API or how you can build a dashboard with thethings.iO dashboard composer.

If you are connecting a product to the Internet and you want to reduce your time to market. Don’t waste more time and contact us at thethings.iO. thethings.iO is the most simple enterprise IoT platform.

Locate your luggage during your holidays with thethings.iO

Has your luggage ever been lost while traveling or been traveling with someone whose did? If so, you know it is a nightmare that can ruin your trip. The situation is extremely frustrating and stressful for travelers. Imagine traveling to a ski resort with no ski apparel or having to go to an important business meeting with no business suit. That would definitely be a downer on your trip. Often, people never see their lost luggage again and it is donated to charity or auctioned off for a bargain price.

In 2016, about 6 bags per 1.000 passengers were lost. This number translates to around 20 million suitcases that were lost that year. Surprisingly, this number was low compared to previous years. The number of travelers has been on the rise over the past years and trend is expected to continue. This challenges airlines ability to handle everyone’s luggage properly ever further. Airlines have made a lot of improvements to their luggage transit systems, but despite their efforts they are still losing many bags each day. Most often, connecting flights have the highest rates of lost luggage.

Don’t let lost luggage ruin your trip whether it is for work or vacation! With thethings.iO Location Tracker you can travel stress-free and hassle-free. The tracker allows you to monitor your luggage while it is in transit. It is very user-friendly and allows you locate your luggage in real-time right from your phone with a dashboard, e-mail and SMS alerts.

The thethings.iO Location Tracker is a connected sensor that you connect inside your luggage and allows you to locate them. Each of the geolocations corresponds to a moment so you know when and where the asset is, in real-time.

This Location Tracker is one of the first thethings.iO IoT devices connected with Sigfox in an open, scalable manner, operated with Sigfox connectivity and ready to deliver between 4 to 6 weeks. The low power consumption of this Location Tracker makes that your luggage can be tracked during up to 3 years without changing AA batteries.

Contact thethings.iO for further information about the Sigfox Location Tracker.

You don’t need to be an IoT architect to connect your things to the Internet

A lot of times when we meet a customer, they tell us that they want to run their IoT solution with Microsoft Azure or AWS IoT or whatever other big company offers for IoT. The most interesting part here is that they are not our competitor. thethings.iO is not competing with Microsoft Azure, AWS, IBM Bluemix or Google IoT, among others. thethings.iO is usually competing with the consulting firms or engineering companies who are making from scratch an IoT solution on the top of Microsoft Azure IoT, AWS IoT, etc. These are our competitors, and usually they are making the IoT more slowly. Why? Because with thethings.iO IoT platform our customers can have the software that these consulting firms make (in 3, 6, 9 months) in minutes or days running on any IaaS.

Since the first day, our focus at thethings.iO has been to become the most simple enterprise IoT platform and we are making it happen. We are helping big companies to reduce their time to market and going from prototypes to a big number of connected devices. thethings.iO aims to democratize the Internet of Things by making the technology accessible to business decision makers. thethings.iO is the IoT platform which is abstracting the complexity involved in implementing frameworks such as AWS IoT and Azure IoT, among others.

Democratizing the IoT means that every Internet of Things company should be able to reduce their time to market when connecting their products to the Internet. As you know there are a lot of platforms and confusion on the IoT.

So what differentiates the thethings.iO from AWS and Azure?

With AWS, IBM and Azure services, they provide the infrastructure but you have to build and maintain your own platform for your IoT devices. This means you need another company or inside team making software on top of the infrastructure they provide.

On the other hand, thethings.iO builds the IoT platform on top the infrastructure for you! This encompasses all the steps of developing the new hardware including designing, prototyping, manufacturing the thing, building the app, and developing the cloud platform to store all the data. With thethings.iO taking charge of this process, your company is able to save ample amounts of time and money so you are able to focus on building and selling your ‘things’. Companies should not have to spend extra time and money to have a separate team developing the IoT platform.

In addition, the platform built by thethings.iO includes the coding analytics and maintenance of full interoperability. Interoperability allows all your different devices to communicate and collaborate so the IoT devices and services which are able to reach their maximum functionality. Communication is vital to the operation of multiple IoT devices.

thethings.iO offers a tiered pricing model just as AWS and Azure do. Therefore, the more devices you connect the cheaper the price per device will be. Your company is able to connect hundreds of thousands of devices for a very affordable price. The price is set at a monthly rate so you always know exactly how much you will be paying with no hidden fees. Each tier  comes with more features and abilities such as the number of API calls/messages and cloud executions. thethings.iO offers regular support with the ability to upgrade to higher levels of support to best meet the needs of all customers. This flexible pricing allows us to adapt to your changing business needs in the simplest way. Finally, you can try out any of thethings.iO services completely free for 15 days!

SCADA is dead! Long live to IoT

We still meet industrial companies who talk about SCADA solutions. We do agree with them, SCADAs are great solutions nowadays, but with the introduction of the Internet of Things, the game for SCADAs is coming to an end. At thethings.iO we are workings towards the end of SCADA and the rise of the Industrial IoT.

Scalability, flexible protocols, new connectivity networks, users management and access into advanced algorithms are converting the industry into the new realm of the IoT. There is even a marketing name for this, the Industry 4.0.

Actually, the industry remains to us what the connected home was few years ago. Speaking about the connected home few years ago, was a synonym of speaking about home automation and domotics systems. If you wanted to have everything connected at home you needed to rely on a unique solution for all the devices at home, or at least all of them speaking the same proprietary protocol.

Domotics are dead! Long live to IoT

Several years ago, I listened an expert explaining how home automation and domotics were necessary to have a smart home. At that moment, I asked about what protocols were available to achieve interoperability, and the only solution available was KNX, LonWorks, among few others. Having said that, once you install a domotics system at your home, cables, fiber were needed to be in place. If you needed to move home, it was (almost) impossible to move the domotics system to a new home.

With the IoT introduction and products such as Nest, Philipps Hue, LIFX among others, showed the world the good parts of IoT- simplicity, WiFi connectivity, flexibility and could be moved anywhere. At that point, Domotics were dead! IoT was the new kid on the block ready to replace home automation systems.

SCADA is dead! Long live to IoT

SCADA systems are not scalable. The Internet of Things has the ability to bring in and process large amounts of data from things and machines. IoT allows any company to connect any device and third party services. All the data is collected into an IoT platform, accessed securely with login credentials. Several people from companies and industries can access to the data (or subset of data or subset of devices). Even in the cloud, new resources can be generated, for example, with cloud code from thethings.iO

SCADA is a system used for a day-by-day operations in a control room or similar. Nevertheless there is no data analysis to check the performance, integration with CRMs or ERPs and finally there is no contextual information connected to the SCADA. On the other hand, IoT is all about data analysis, Big Data processing on the top of the data, such as AI algorithms, ML and predictive.

Protocol such as OPC, OPC-UA and others are the standards today on the industry. On the top of that, on IoT there are a dozen of other protocols that can help industries to get connected or to get real-time notifications. MQTTS, HTTPS or CoaP with TLS can help industries plus bring a security layer needed to encrypt the messages and information.

Integration among devices and manufacturers are not easy on SCADA systems. Usually in domotics, you need to have devices from the same manufacturer with the same version. If that does not happen, it’s usually almost impossible to easily integrate devices on the current SCADA. There is no presence of horizontal platforms that are operable across devices. On the other hand, on IoT this is one of the most beneficial features for an industry. Standard protocols such as MQTT enables platforms to communicate with each other even if there is a different vendor.

Does IoT replace SCADA?

Well, probably not yet. Nowadays more and more industrial companies are understanding the benefits to move to the IoT. So, if you want to digitalise your factory, contact us at thethings.iO.

To find more information on this link, that inspired this post, go to 4 main differences between SCADA and Industrial IoT.

Monitorize Your Cold Chain With a Cold Chain Tracker

thethings.iO Cold Chain Tracker is an innovative device that monitors the temperature of any assets you would like to in real-time. Connected with Sigfox and monitoring temperature, humidity and light is a ready to go solution for your business, made by thethings.iO.

Cold Chain Tracking opens up many new opportunities for advancement in the market. It is very important for certain businesses to employ the latest technology in order to stay competitive in the market. Cold Chain Trackers are especially vital to the temperature-controlled supply chain of the perishable food and pharmaceutical industries.

thethings.iO Cold Chain Tracker offers many advantageous features including

  • Real-Time Tracking – Always know the current temperature and humidity of your assets
  • Real-Time Alerts – Receive immediate SMS or email alerts if the acceptable temperature is out of range
  • Fast and Easy Installation – Start monitoring your assets in no time
  • Long Battery Life – Battery Life up to 2 years and ability to monitor battery in real-time
  • Sigfox Connectivity – Offers maximum global scalability and flexibility
  • Live Dashboard – Track all your assets explicitly and simply
  • Portable – Compact, convenient to transport
  • GPS and WIFI Reader (optional) – Improved data accuracy through advanced location tracking

Supermarket Use Case

Perishable foods in transit often go to waste due to improper temperature control. With the increment of food delivery and food trade in general, the cold chain is becoming a main problem to warranty that is maintained. There is still not a common law for cold chain on food delivery, but it will exist soon. On the other hand, the amount of waste from perishable foods has increased over time and contributes to a huge portion of waste that is harmful to the environment and can be potentially dangerous for us. A large percent of supermarket inventory is made up of perishables. Perishables include, but are not limited to, meat and poultry, dairy, fruits and vegetables – clearly they make up a large portion of supermarket sales.

And Vaccines

Vaccines are a regulated good that is mandatory to send with refrigerated control, all around the world since some years ago. The cold chain is a critical part of the vaccines. Once the cold chain is broken in a vaccine, it becomes completely useless. In addition some countries require specific documentation during the transportation of medical goods that need to accomplish the cold chain. With thethings.iO we can help you to monitor in real-time the cold chain for vaccines and medical goods, sending alerts every time there is a risk to break it.

thethings.iO Cold chain tracker solution

thethings.iO Cold Chain Tracker offers a solution to efficiently transport all these goods while minimizing product inefficiencies, customer experience, waste and offering the real-time notifications for the trader in case there is a problem with the cold chain.

The tracker will send a real-time alert to the company so they are able to regulate the temperature before the good in transport becomes garbage. And the customer’s company will have a dashboard to understand in real-time how is their food delivered and transported, and even the customer (supermarket, distributor and even final customer) they will be able to see another dashboard to understand in real-time that the cold chain have been correctly executed.

If you would like to read more about thethings.iO Cold Chain Tracker and how it can benefit your business read our white paper on thethings.iO Cold Chain Tracking.