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.
Editor: Business France, Jan 2017