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Smart WIN Solution

Smart WIN: Smart Wireless IoT Network

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Smart WIN solution from Lokawiz is a network of configurable smart devices with remote sensors. It has internal wireless LAN(s) of smart devices and uses mobile WAN for end user connectivity. Above all, the solution is suitable for a wide range of Internet of Things (IoT) applications.

Smart WIN enables real-time or periodic monitoring of remote points for both consumer and industrial use cases. It provides sensors’ data for remote monitoring, analytics, preventive measures and also security purposes.

Smart WIN can work with a wide range of sensors and is very adaptable for use case requirements. It is also highly configurable for sensor data transmission frequency, range and power requirements.

The hardware devices in the solution have its core modules from Espressif, Quectel, TI and STMicro.

Smart WIN Description

The featured image provides a top level view of the solution and its deployment. The solution has multiple Local Networks as shown below. Each LAN is a WiFi and/or BLE mesh network. Finally, these LANs can connect to the internet via GPRS, 3G or 4G.

Smart WIN Solution Diagram

The solution has End Point (EP) Devices, Access Point (AP) Devices and a Central Server.

An EP is fitted with one or more sensors and is placed at the remote end points. It has either WiFi or BLE capability but not both. An EP sends sensors’ data to the nearest AP that can be real-time or periodic. 

An AP acts as the bridge between the EPs in its network and the Central Server. It sends the data from EPs in the same Local Network to the Central Server. An AP has both WiFi and BLE capabilities and can receive data from both types of EPs.

The Central Server keeps a log of sensors’ data from Smart WIN devices. A user can access sensor data log on the Central Server via internet from a personal computer, a mobile or a tablet.

A Local Network can have one or more stationary Access Point (AP) devices. There are multiple End Point (EP) devices in the network that can move around. Each EP connects to the nearest available AP. If an EP moves to a different place, it might connect to another Local Network’s AP and as a result will become part of that network. This network reconfiguration is automatic in case of moving EPs.

Smart WIN Devices

The following image gives insight into the internal hardware structure of Smart WIN Access Point (AP) and End Point (EP) devices. The AP hardware is mostly the same for all the use cases of Smart WIN. Also, AP firmware is the same for most of the use cases but it may be different for some specific case. However, both hardware and firmware of EPs are different for different use cases. In some use cases, more than one types of EP may be used.

Smart WIN Devices

Access Point (AP) Device

The AP device has an SoC with inbuilt WiFi and BLE modems. It works with an 9-12V power supply and has a power module for powering the device components. In addition, it has an integrated telecom. module with GNSS for connectivity and location reporting.

The base version of AP has GSM/GPRS module and is good for most use cases that need low data rate. Furthermore, It is possible to upgrade the base version with 3G or 4G module for use case with higher data rate.

Each AP can communicate with both (WiFi or BLE) types of EP devices. This dual technology capability enables it to be used as it is in a wide range of Wireless IoT solution use cases. Furthermore, its location capability enables it to be used in a range of additional location based solution use cases.

End Point (EP) Device

Each EP has an SoC with either WiFi or BLE modem. For most use cases, it has non-rechargeable long lasting battery. But it also has rechargeable battery configuration for specific use cases. In addition, the EP hardware is also configurable for a wide range of sensors types and can have multiple of them in one device. An EP also has a timer for internal usage and a battery monitor module for tracking its battery life.

For a given use case, EPs have specific hardware, sensors and the firmware with either WiFi or BLE based SoC. In addition, they also have specific firmware parameters for a target use case.

As evident, Smart WIN EP has highly configurable design both in terms of hardware and its firmware with configurable parameters and sensors. This attribute of EP helps cover a wide range of use cases for Smart WIN solution. Yet, the core hardware structure is same for all EP types in Smart WIN solution.

Smart WIN Features

In addition to being highly configurable, Smart WIN solution also has some other very important features and attributes as described below.

Reliable Transmission

The solution ensures all sensor data from End Point (EP) devices reaches the back-end server. Hence, there is no data loss in any of the communication channels while the devices are up and running. For this purpose, Smart WIN implements Random Access techniques in its network components as below.

  1. Collision detection and avoidance by use of ACK, back-off and retry mechanism for all transmission from EP to AP in each of the Local Network of Smart WIN.
  2. Transmission failure detection based on ACK and retry mechanism for transmission from a Smart WIN AP to the back-end Central Server.

Configuration Attributes

An EP comes with either WiFi or BLE configurations. WiFi has a maximum range of about 90 meters (150 in some specific case) and BLE has about 25-30 meters. The EP has following attributes.

Smart WIN Config Triangle

Battery Life: Life of the battery for single use or per recharge.

Transmit Range: Maximum possible distance of EP from AP with reliable transmission.

Transmit Frequency: Frequency of data sent from EP to AP.

 

The image in above right gives an insight into the possible hardware configuration attributes of EP.

WiFi version of EP can have either of the following
        – Long Rage and Long Battery Life with Low Transmit Frequency or
        – Long Range and High Transmit Frequency with Short Battery Life.

On the other hand, BLE version of EP will have
        – Long Battery Life and High Transmit Frequency with Short Transmit Range.

Smart WIN Use Cases

Smart WIN find its application in most of the use cases of Wireless Sensor Network (WSN). Below are some suitable and important use cases.

  • Home and indoor IoT network
    e.g. Smart home network, Indoor location tracking, Lab asset tracking
  • Intelligent civil structures
    e.g. Smart buildings, Smart bridges, Smart warehouses
  • Industrial IoT network
    e.g. Machine surveillance and preventive maintenance, Mold shot counter
  • Military and commercial applications
    e.g. Monitoring systems of vessels and ships, Smart meters (gas, water, etc)
  • Farm or wild animal tracking
    e.g. Farm animals tracking, ZebraNet
  • Nature, Agriculture and Farming
    e.g. Earth sensing, Soil and water sensing, Smart farms, Smart greenhouse
  • Automated health care system
    e.g. Intensive care, Monitoring of ill or elderly

Here is a good resource for even more WSN use cases: WSN Applications

Smart WIN Demo

Here is a sample demo for one of the Smart WIN use case. This shows data sent from EP to AP and finally to the back-end server.

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