How to use the cloud to get the most from IoT

[Source: Cloud Pro, Author, Rene Millman]

What do organisations need from the cloud to power IoT projects?

Most Internet of Things (IoT) projects would struggle to be implemented without the cloud – it provides the backbone and brains needed to make a success of any IoT project. But how can the cloud be used in IoT projects and what can it do to improve a successful deployment and operation?

From a general perspective, IoT and the cloud are inseparable: without the latter, the former can’t work, argues Yann Guiomar, Sensing Labs’ CEO.

“The cloud is progressively structuring itself in order to absorb the growing flow of IoT data, to process it and to provide services based on IoT data,” he says.

Yann Guiomar says the big investments made by the likes of Google (Google Cloud IoT), Microsoft (Azure), Amazon (AWS Greengrass), GE (Predix), IBM (Watson) to develop their own IoT platforms that are able to collect and process data with more and more AI are the most relevant illustrations of this.

The requirements

Tim Hall, CTO of IT support firm Blue Logic, says it’s not easy to launch an IoT solution.

“First, you need to check if and how your hardware or machinery will function. This can entail working with sensors, connecting the hardware to the internet, potentially dealing with battery life and more.”

Then you should develop the software to facilitate all the communication and data collection. Finally, you must deploy all the back-end infrastructure to bring the moving parts of your IoT solution together. Cloud computing can help you deal with these technical issues.

“When you’re developing your IoT hardware and software, you don’t want to have to worry about setting up servers, deploying databases, configuring networks, and performing many other infrastructure tasks,” says Hall.

Cloud computing providers have all this ready at a moment’s notice. “You can easily spin up virtual servers, launch a database instance, and create data pipelines to help run your IoT solution,” he adds.

“What’s more, there are now services specifically dedicated to launching and managing IoT offerings. Not only will this help speed up your development process, but it can also cut down on development costs. You won’t have to spend money upfront to purchase and provision servers and other infrastructure, and you’ll only pay for the resources that you consume.”

The cloud is also vital to the security of IoT devices, argues Adam Brown, manager of security solutions at Synopsys.

“IoT ‘things’ run on software, software decays over time as researchers and hackers find new vulnerabilities to exploit, therefore it must be kept secure and safe for the life of the ‘thing’ it supports. Cloud connected ‘things’ can have software updates pushed to them automatically keeping, them safe and secure – assuming there is a DevSecOps operation continually delivering safe, secure software,” he says.

Use cases

IoT use cases are varied and there’s no one-size-fits-all approach. However, Richard Slater, principal consultant at Amido, says there are four models that he sees crop up most frequently.

First, off-loading data processing requirements to maximise battery life and minimise the amount of storage required in devices.

Second, providing long-term storage of data to track trends over time. “This is brought to life by AI and machine learning, which enable processing of historical datasets to identify patterns over time,” he says.

Third is aggregating information from multiple IoT devices to provide valuable insights. “As an example, I have both a FitBit watch and a set of FitBit scales – individually they tell me stats about my sleep patterns (watch), heart rate (watch), weight (scales) and body fat (scales), but collectively they give me a holistic picture of my personal and my families health,” he says.

Last is about delivering integration between disparate IoT platforms. He says that unfortunately, IoT devices communicate over a variety of protocols – Z-Wave, ZigBee, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth – and as a result they often can’t actively communicate with each other. “However, they can all communicate with the cloud – the cloud can then be used to bridge devices so that they can communicate with each other.”

Practice makes perfect

With all projects, it’s important to balance the attributes of the system so that you deliver the best value for money; this is no less true for IoT projects.

“Don’t assume that using the cloud is the best approach; cloud gives you unlimited power however at the cost of slower response times. You can mitigate this by performing some processing close to the device, ie when I press a button on an IoT light switch the light turns on instantly, however it then also updates the mobile app via the cloud,” says Slater.

He says it’s important to choose the right cloud protocol for the job. “There’s no place in IoT for FTP and Telnet – focus on protocols that are designed for the low-power, occasionally connected world IoT exists within – HTTP, MQTT, XMPP and AQMP are your friends,” he adds.

Future IoT developments

Because the IoT industry is still in its infancy, there are many companies trying to build their own platform with the goal of becoming the market leader, says Hall.

“This has led to a lack of standards where devices from different manufacturers can’t communicate with each other, devices that run on multiple operating systems can’t be integrated and data can’t be shared across platforms,” he says.

“This fragmentation is a big problem that’s holding back the true potential of IoT, but a few companies are working on cloud solutions that alleviate issues with interoperability.”

Hall adds that for the IoT to reach its full potential, connectivity and communication between things, people, and processes is needed, no matter who makes the devices.

“Cloud computing will play an important role in bringing it all together,” he says

Slater adds that there’s a well-known cyclical pattern in technology where compute tends to move from centralised resource out to the physical extents of a network and then back to centralized compute for the next iteration. “Edge computing is the natural extension of cloud and IoT, where the things on the internet become smarter and computation is pushed to the outer extents of the physical network,” he says.

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Sensing Labs continues expansion into IoT market and international deployment

After 3 years of development and marketing, Sensing Labs demonstrates success story at all levels: penetration on new growth IoT sectors, rapid international expansion, increase in workforce. At this new stage in its development, the company produced a new graphic.

Sensing Labs gaining access to new markets

With 20,000 smart sensors deployed by the end of 2017, the startup, based in Montpellier, supports IoT revolution with its Sensor to Cloud offer, on 4 markets:

Smart Building, Smart Metering, Smart Agriculture, Industry 4.0

« Energy efficiency in buildings is proving to be one of the most important areas of IoT use » says Yann Guiomar, co-founder and Sensing Labs’CEO. Indeed, in 3 years, the start-up launched several product lines, specially designed for energy efficiency and Smart Metering.

The partnership with the company Canal de Provence bring the opportunity to diversify the offer outside the core business: the team of engineers designed an intelligent remote irrigation control solution. Sensing Labs thus enters into the field of Smart Agriculture, «a rising sector with very high potential» according to Yann Guiomar.

Which growth objectives ?

Sensing Labs is only at the beginning of its success. After a first fundraising in December 2016, the startup prepares a second round to accelerate its international growth. After a successful implantation in Russia, thanks to a Distribution Agreement with Senlab Rus, Sensing Labs is preparing to go beyond Europe, in Middle East and Asia.

With a forecast of turnover multiplied by 2.5 in 2017, Sensing Labs aims to continue its growth at the same pace in 2018. Sensing Labs has invested in R & D and supports functions to enhance its technical expertise, by recruiting 7 persons in less than 1 year.

The 2020 target ? A turnover of 10 M € and a workforce of about 25 employees.


A new graphical visual identity to reflect the economic expansion of the startup

The new Sensing Labs logo is signed by B-To-B Design, Montpellier agency.

Thanks to the proven expertise of leaders, specialists of telecommunication technologies, Sensing Labs is a facilitator and expert on IoT. The customer commitment and the quality of the service provided, are the pillars of the success of the French startup.

The new identity of Sensing Labs had to reflect its values and promise to market.

Blue translates comfort and safety, Red for the ambition and dynamism of the start-up.

The « electronics chips » to establish the expertise of Sensing Labs in the field of long-range communicating sensors. Indeed, the accuracy of the data collected facilitates the control and optimization of energy resources and the predictive maintenance of equipment. The symbol favoring visibility and marking the successes to come …

About Sensing Labs

Created in 2014, Sensing Labs is a start-up specialized in IoT solutions for Smart City, Smart Building, Smart Agriculture and Industry 4.0. Senlab® range composed of intelligent sensors and intelligent data management solutions, enable the monitoring and reduction of energy consumption, the optimization of building maintenance and the predictive analytics.

Thanks to the proven expertise of leaders, specialists of embedded technology, Sensing Labs shows a significant growth since its foundation: the company made a first fundraising in December 2016 and is about to carry out a second round to accelerate its international growth and has more than a hundred customer references, in France and abroad, including Dalkia, SETEC, Digita, Enforta, Actility, Société du Canal de Provence.


Sensing Labs supports the IoT energy management revolution

Sensing Labs supports the IoT energy management revolution

[Press release Touleco-green published by Nathalie Sanselme]

“We could not have imagined the transformations induced by the Internet and we have little idea of the importance of the IoT wave. It will be a revolution!” says Yann Guiomar, one of the four founders of Sensing Labs. The CEO aligns growth charts with an impressive pace. For the building sector alone, the number of connected objects should increase by “tens of thousands of additional points in 2017 and several hundreds of thousands between 2017 and 2019.” Supported by its partnership with electronic manufacturer Eolane, the start-up created in 2014 is already “ready to respond to this growth.”

Its new range of minimalist and resolutely high-tech sensors, created with the designer Cabrera, targets the tertiary building where it achieves nearly two thirds of its turnover. Installed in an office, a shop, or a factory, they measure the ambient temperature, the air humidity, the luminosity of the premises, the presence or the movement of people…

15 to 30% savings in buildings

“Energy efficiency in buildings is one of the most important areas of IoT use,” says Yann Guiomar. Sensors installed on the meters immediately identify major anomalies, such as a water leak, as well as small ones, such as inefficient heating settings. Feedback of this information must induce new behaviors and generate between 15 to 30% of consumption savings. Beyond this, the information transmitted by the sensors should make it possible to rethink the use of buildings through a rationalization perspective. “Today, a large company that occupies a 1000m2 surface has an average of 50% empty offices that are heated unnecessarily,” says the CEO.

Straight out of Montpellier BIC, Sensing Labs is showing good growth and is already preparing its second round to speed up the pace. Its playground is Europe, where it already has 10 offices, but the gazelle is already targeting internationally, starting with Asia from 2018. The outlook is good: 20 000 points should be connected in 2017 alone. A new partnership with Carnet des Provence also introduces it to Smart Agriculture for the development of intelligent irrigation solutions: “A nascent sector with high potential,” according to Yann Guiomar.,22762

Securing the Internet of Things: Sensing Labs, SECURIOT project partner



Paris, Monday, April 3 – Cyberattacks, data dissemination… although by 2020 the number of connected objects could reach between 50 and 80 billion, 80% of objects do not currently use an identification and authentication mechanism

The SECUREIOT project, involving eight partners including Sensing Labs, responds to this challenge.

The 23rd call for projects of the Fonds Unique Interministériel aims to secure the next generations of connected objects.

Respond to the challenges of IoT security

Among the 55 innovative projects selected during this call for projects, SECURIOT brings together eight partners: Alpwise, Archos, IF, Inria, Sensing Labs, Tiempo, Trusted Objects, and Verimag.

The goal is to develop a microcontroller to secure the next generation of connected objects and equipment of the Internet of Things.

Inspired by technologies deployed for bank payment and government identification, this microcontroller will protect information against hardware and software attacks and take into account the constraints of the Internet of Things market (cost and energy consumption). They include applications such as smart building, smart metering, connected cars, and connected home or health.

Sensing Labs brings its expertise in communicating sensors

Sensing Labs, a start-up specializing in Data Service, particularly dedicated to energy efficiency, brings its expertise to the design of embedded systems.

“We are delighted to be an integral part of this project. We bring our know-how to the integration of the ‘secure element’ in long-range wireless and energy-efficient connected objects,” explains Nicolas DEJEAN, CTO and co-founder of Sensing Labs.

Sensing Labs serving the Smart City

Founded in 2014 at the Cap Omega incubator, Sensing Labs surfs the burgeoning market of big data and the Internet of Things in the sectors of energy efficiency of buildings, intelligent measurement, industry 4.0, and intelligent farming (greenhouses and breedings). The start-up is specialized in the design of low-consumption and long-range LoRaWAN™ sensors.

They collect and process field data. Sensing Labs then processes this information to make it available to its customers via the Internet. The start-up has raised € 900 000 to finance its growth, especially internationally.

Hosted within the Cap Omega incubator of Montpellier Métropole’s BIC (Business & Innovation Center), Sensing Labs was created in 2014 by four partners from Coronis, another Montpellier start-up that specializes in communicating sensors. “We use the experience gained to develop a strategy based on three areas,” explains Yann Guiomar, CEO: “1) simplify access to data by working throughout the chain; 2) lower the cost of data acquisition by industrializing sensor production; 3) retrieve enriched information by putting intelligence into the sensors.”

The Montpellier-based company has installed pilot sites in around a hundred customers. It is already present in more than ten European countries via seven distributors. After opening an office in Great Britain in 2016, it plans to set up in Germany this year. To finance this development, Sensing Labs completed a first round of funding amounting to € 400 000 at the end of 2016, supplemented by € 500 000 of bank loans. A second fundraising is planned in 2018. The company, which currently employs ten persons, aims for a turnover of € 10 million over three years, with a workforce of about 25 persons. In particular, it has initiated exchanges with Montpellier Méditerranée Métropole. “We are fortunate to be able to work with a community that is very involved in Smart-City projects,” says Yann Guiomar.

Sensing Labs raises € 400 000 and develops internationally


[Article by Marie Corbel – Objectif Languedoc Roussillon – February 10, 2017]

The start-up based in Montpellier announces having raised € 400 000 from five business angels, to accelerate the international commercial development of its connected sensors dedicated to water, energy, and temperature and humidity variables. A first office has been set up in the United Kingdom.

“In a very dynamic market of low-speed and long-range communicating sensors, this fundraising will allow us to accelerate the development of the company internationally,” said Yann Guiomar, CEO and co-founder of Sensing Labs.

The amount of € 400 000 was raised from five investment funds: BCR Finances, Capitole Angels, Cedars Participations, and Méliès and Provence Business Angels. A second fundraising is planned in 2018.

International growth objective

The first step towards international development: “We opened an office in November 2016 in the United Kingdom,” says Yann Guiomar. A second office will be opened abroad in 2017. Without necessarily having a physical installation, Sensing Labs also plans to break into the Asian market.

The funds raised are also intended to “continue R&D investments” in order to extend the range of products and to “recruit”, adds the Company’s CEO. A minimum of four people should be hired in the current year. They will complement the current team of seven employees. The company aims to achieve a turnover of € 1 million at the end of 2017.

Created in 2014, Sensing Labs is a start-up specializing in the Data Service dedicated to energy efficiency. By relying on communicating sensors dedicated to measuring water, energy, and thermal variables (temperature and humidity), Sensing Labs measures and helps to control energy consumption. The Senlab range is part of a Smart-Building and Smart-City approach.

Yann Guiomar Sensing Labs CEO on BFM Business

Sensing Labs provides long range and lifespan wireless sensors solutions serving B2B markets that are driven by energy & cost savings needs and is thus primarily targeting the following markets:

  • Smart Metering

  • Connected building

  • Industry 4.0

For which purpose:

  • Monitoring gas, water, electricity consumption and environmental datas as temperature, humidity

  • Energy consumption reduction

  • Space and comfort optimization

  • Industrial operations management

The Senlab Sensors combines Hardware, Firmware & Software and are easy and fast to integrate into a final end-to-end solution.

Our value proposition has 3 focal points:

  • Reduce cost of data

  • Provide content-rich data previously unavailable

  • Simplify data acquisition

Senlab LoRaWAN sensors range

LoRaWAN communicating SENLAB sensors offer an optimal solution for data recovery under various environmental conditions (internal, external or difficult). SENLAB sensors are compatible with all public or private LoRaWAN networks.

Sensing Labs tools and services make it easy to use and configure sensors.

LoraWAN IoT devices designed by Sensing Labs:

Senlab Gateways (Senlab Pico Gateway or Multitech)


How sensors are already capturing and using data

First, people heard of the ‘cloud’. They were told of the wonderful things it could do with data. But then they began to realize the ‘cloud’ was not a magical place in the sky. They visited the data centers that housed the ‘cloud.’ What an energy hungry monster it was! They wanted the wonder – and more of it – but not at that price. Enter Sensing Labs, a startup ready to digitize the real world, affordably. To reduce the cost and carbon footprint of data, four entrepreneurs with a bit of time on their hands began to examine how to take data centers out of the equation, as far as possible. The Montpellier-based founders of Sensing Labs predicted a growing hunger for data – which if unmanaged could become prohibitively expensive and environmentally unfriendly. Their innovation was to seek out existing technologies to reduce the cost of processing IoT (Internet of Things) data.

They developed sensors with their own intelligence to do most of the work themselves, without depending on energy gobbling data centers. Using embedded software, Sensing Labs made a product that can capture and process data, before compressing and encrypting it for secure low-cost long-distance transport. Sensing Labs’ range of sensors monitor outdoor variables such as temperature, light, and moisture, as well as indoor factors such as energy consumption and machine maintenance. The sensors’ role is first to capture the data, like a regular sensor, then compress it and select the cheapest mode of transfer via long distance radio signals over LPWA networks (Sigfox or LoRa). The encrypted data is then sent to a customized web platform. The data analytics reported by Sensing Labs will finally allow clients to use their own computer to consult a range of variables – from the exact source of a water or gas leak, to the energy efficiency of buildings, or to find out whether fields will require additional irrigation. The possibilities for reducing cost and optimizing performance are enormous – and Sensing Labs has clients across a range of industries from smart buildings (energy consumption, temperature), to agriculture (luminosity, soil moisture) and industry (monitoring, preventive maintenance). Sensing Labs’ robust and easy-to-install products are designed to last 20 years, in all conditions. They are recognized by the LoRa Alliance, and approved by SigFox. In nine months of trading, Sensing Labs has attracted more than 60 clients and established distribution agreements in six European countries. The company expects sales to top €1 million this year, rising to €6 million in 2018. Sensing Labs is currently preparing for a second funding round after successfully raising €500,000.

Pour lire la publication en français “Et si nous pouvions digitaliser le monde?”

To read the publication « What if… ? French startups re-imagining the world »


Editor: Business France, Jan 2017