One of the major public health crises of the past few years has been an increased focus on food waste. Right now, the planet is producing more food than it ever has before. This has been a development due to tremendous advances in the world of new technology. Already, devices and software have been developed that help farmers in the dairy industry produce more calves and milk. There has also been a push to deal with food waste, with novel decomposers and composting. Sadly, food waste is still a major problem. The National Association of Realtors has partnered with numerous nonprofits to help redistribute food that can be used to feed starving individuals and families.
Food has expiration dates. This helps people at the grocery stores and at home eat and drink healthy foods and beverages. At the same time, just because something is one day past its expiration date doesn’t mean it cannot be nutritious. This is even more important for food that might be unused at certain events. Much of this food ends up getting tossed out, where it doesn’t help anyone. Considering there are millions of people all over the world who might be able to benefit from this food that is otherwise thrown out, this is nothing short of a tragedy. The National Association of Realtors has taken note of this. They have partnered with numerous organizations across the country to help fight food waste. They are encouraging everyone else to do the same.
This organization announced that it would be donating its surplus food items from its countless events over the year to causes that fight against hunger. The organization is already working with the Food Recovery Network (FRN), which uses the boundless energy of college students to help fight this social injustice. For nearly 10 years, this has been one of the leading nonprofit organizations when it comes to food waste. Local restaurants have latched onto the FRN to help distribute food that would otherwise go to waste. The results have been obvious, as millions of people have been fed thanks to the efforts of this organization.
Now, the real estate industry has taken note. Instead of just showing individuals and families living spaces that might have a place for composting, the National Association of Realtors has gotten directly involved. The organization has noted that they serve a tremendous amount of food at its conferences. Often, they overestimate the amount of food they need. Even though there are legal restrictions surrounding what the organization can do with its food, they are still going to do all they can. They are working hard to redistribute unused meals to those who need it most. Seeing this organization work so hard to help those in need has been truly inspiring. With a major event coming up later this year in San Francisco, the FRN has already announced they are ready to help the National Association of Realtors make a positive impact with any food that goes unused.
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Alexa! I can’t find my glasses! Oh well, we still have to reach there but we are not far. Thanks to the world of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Internet of Things (IoT). However, for all smart devices to have the ability to communicate, you need to be connected.
Initially, devices were able to communicate only in close range using Infrared (IR) or Bluetooth (BT). Then Wi-Fi increased the range and made it smart IoT. As more devices emerged, there was a need to connect these devices on a broader spectrum. Connectivity has moved onwards from closed rooms to buildings, across smart cities, pan countries and now towards globally accessible protocols. In other words, we moved from IR to BT, onwards to WiFi, then GSM based networks.
Applications including Intelligent agriculture, Animal husbandry or Industrial IoT deployment all require a broad-spectrum connectivity. The most common and widely spread connectivity modules include GSM based services dependent on Telcom operators. Major protocols today include – 2G, 3G, 4G, LTE and now we have NB-IoT, CAT-1M and 5G networks in the deployment stage.
Since each protocol practically has its own set of HW and FW requirements, it is not easy to switch from one to another. Development cost is also high. So it is imperative, specially for a new startup or a new product designer that he chooses the right protocol from day 1.
With a plethora of solutions available for connectivity, the designers and companies are faced with this common question. How to choose the appropriate communication module? How to identify and understand the product development costs, product manufacturing costs, and end-user network coverage for each of these protocols? Let us see the hiccups while making a comparison on the protocols.
Traditional 2G, GPRS, 3G and other communication network: Low power use though slow speed. Most operators are phasing out this service gradually so that faster, new technologies can be adopted. This means that the original products designed on these protocols cannot be used anymore.
4G and 5G are bound to consume a lot of power and hence not suitable for IoT applications.
Only options left is NB-IoT or CAT-1M which most operators are now globally moving towards. But they are also different from each other.
There is no global norm for roll outs of these various technologies. The situation across major operators across the globe differs from country to country. Choosing one protocol means developing a different product for a different market each time and going through all the entry barriers of certifications, testing and approvals. The cost of certifications for each protocol is also very high.
So, how to choose between NB-IoT or CAT-1M?
Here, LABX7 proposes a feasible solution for the startups considering the cost and operator situations. We have developed a solution using Qualctel’s dual-mode communication module. One communication module has passed the global operator’s certification, and is compatible with LTE CATM1 and NB-IoT. The design is compatible with the two communication modules during production according to the requirement of the actual operator of the user. In case of coverage, the user can find the most relevant IoT card in his local area.
Case study – North American market:
Verizon and AT&T, T-mobile, Spring have already deployed the LTE CATM1 network nationwide.
T-Mobile has also opened the NB-IoT network.
LTE CATM1’s traffic fee is more expensive than NB-IoT’s traffic fee, the smallest unit, 30MB maximum data per year, costs around USD 11/year
The minimum unit of NB-IoT traffic fee is USD 5/year
We need to note that the price of the dual-mode communication module is about 30% higher than that of the single CATM1 or NB-IoT communication module.
However, in the early stage of advancing in the market and where the end-user demand is not clear, it is ideal and recommended to adopt a dual-mode communication solution. Once the product is accepted and has a good presence, the volumes would increase. In the case of volume reaching around 100K units, the unit cost comes down to the same level as a single protocol module.
Here is a glance at the main differences between LTE Cat M1 & NB-IoT
What’s LTE Cat M1
LTE Category M1 (Cat M1) is a power and cost optimized cellular technology created for IoT applications that features on a 1.4 MHz (reduced from 20 MHz) spectrum, has a transmit power of 20Bm, and typical upload speeds between 200kpbs and 400 kpbs. This technology can lengthen battery life, potentially by up to a decade.
Verizon, the U.S wireless operator, is going to launch the Cat M1 technology along with multiple companions such as Sequans, U-Blox, Altair, Nokia, Ericsson and Gemalto. It’ll be released over the 4G LTE (Long Term Development) network with an open up environment and is likely to reach nationwide U.S. coverage by the finish of the initial trimester of 2017.
The true benefit of Cat-M over other options out there is that Cat-M works with with the prevailing LTE network. For carriers such as for example Verizon and AT&T, that is great news because they don’t possess to spend cash to build new antennas. They should just upload new software so long as the products operate within its LTE network. The prevailing customer bases of the two companies will likely listen to that Cat-M can be by much the superior option.
Perhaps probably the most innovative things for Cat-M1 is that it is the first LTE based hardware architecture designed designed for low-power and low-cost IoT applications. Previously, the hardware was usually evolving with quicker data rates to aid broadband (telephone, tablet, etc) applications.
Why make use of LTE Cat M1?
-Long battery life
-Low data rates
-Substantial number of device connections in a cell
To reduce the device cost, it’ll:
• Decreased RF bandwidth to at least one 1.4 MHz limited to data price up to 1Mbps
• Single RAT support
• Limit to 1 antenna
• Lower modulation (QPSK just)
To prolong the electric battery life, it introduces unique power setting for UE (Rel. 12, 13):
• PSM (power conserve mode): I will idle
• eDRX (prolonged discontinuous reception): allow page-able without Tx
LTE Cat M1 provides new power-saving modes
Energy saving mode (PSM)
UE decides how frequently and for how lengthy it requires to be active to be able to transmit and receive data. Optimum PSM timer is 12.1 days
PSM mode is comparable to power-off, however the UE remains authorized with the network. Which means that when the UE becomes energetic again you don’t have to re-attach or re-set up PDN connections. This eliminates web page monitoring between your data transmissions (UL)
Prolonged DRX cycle (eDRX)
It reduces power usage by extending the sleeping routine in idle mode (up to 40 min). It allows these devices to turn component of its circuitry off through the extended DRX period to save lots of power.
• eDRX at idle condition: Sleep for longer time but stay attacheded
• eDRX at connect mode: Sleep for longer period but stay connecteded
• It is vital that you remember that the UE may ask for to enable both PSM and prolonged idle mode DRX. It really is up to the network to choose whether to permit both, or only 1, or non-e of the capabilities.
• What about NB-IoT?
• NB-IoT (also known as Cat-M2) includes a similar objective to LTE Cat-M1, nonetheless it runs on the different technology (DSSS modulation vs. LTE radios). Consequently, NB-IoT doesn’t operate in the LTE band, and therefore providers have an increased upfront price to deploy NB-IoT.
• Still, NB-IoT is certainly touted as the possibly less expensive option since it eliminates the necessity for a gateway. Additional infrastructures routinely have gateways aggregating sensor data, which in turn communicates with the primary server (here’s a deeper description of gateways). With NB-IoT, sensor data is sent right to the primary server. Because of this, Huawei, Ericsson, Qualcomm, and Vodafone are actively researching and working to commercialize NB-IoT.
Please contact LABX7 (www.labx7.com) to find out how to use dual-mode modules for development and related expenses to bring your IoT products into mass production as soon as possible, to the market, and to gain customer recognition.
A LabX7 initiative for today’s smart dairy farms using AI & IoT
CA$H COW COLLAR
More Milk & More Calves through smart dairy herd management
Smart Ca$h Cow Collar
A boon for animal husbandry using automation and AI
How to help dairy farms increase milk production and reduce costs using cutting edge technology, Cow intelligence and Internet of Things (IoT)? Did you hear of a smart cow collar?
How much money a dairy farm can earn is closely related to the cow’s annual milk production, and the cow’s annual milk production depends on the cow’s annual lactation period. Therefore, in order to prolong the lactation period of dairy cows, it is essential to timely impregnate the cows. In order to timely impregnate the cows, it is necessary to accurately determine the Estrus period (Also known as Oestrus period) of the cows.
What is Oestrus period or Estrus period?
Oestrus period is a recurring period of sexual receptivity and fertility in female mammals including cows. It is also known as “heat” period or the “cow heat cycle”.
Most dairy plants rely on traditional manual observations to detect cow estrus. This method is not only time-consuming and laborious (often in the middle of the night), but also extremely easy to miss the cow’s estrus period due to missed detection, which is very important for improving the cow breeding rate and milk production which is unfavorable.
Therefore, cow estrus testing is an important part of raising dairy cows. If this work is not done well, it will directly affect the economic benefits of dairy farms in the following ways:
Due to improper handling, it will directly lead to increased production costs, reduced utilization years and food safety risks.
Natural estrus cannot be discovered in time and mating is incomplete, leading to the abuse of reproductive hormones.
Diseases cannot be detected and diagnosed in time, leading to drug abuse.
The lack of professional guidance for the diagnosis and treatment of the disease has led to the abuse of antibiotics.
Let us compare the average milk production per cow that has been adopted in the smart farm management program with a normal cow. A smart farm cow can reach milk production of around 11.8 tons per cow per year. A normal cow without intelligent solutions produces around 2.5 tons of milk in the same period. The difference is quite visible. The low detection rate of Estrus is a very important reason in this case. Hence, you need something to improve the detection level of cow estrus, and the “CA$H COW COLLAR” is the ultimate solution to this problem.
Improve the production and profitability of the dairy farmer by 10X. It is the “CA$H COW COLLAR” or the cow estrus monitoring cloud system developed by LABX7 and senior experts in the livestock industry. The system uses “heat sensor app” along with RF technology to generate the signals and 4G repeaters to complete the network architecture.
Compared with similar products on the market, our ca$h cow collar is designed to automatically upload data and reduce labor costs, while also providing the following distinct advantages. These functions solve the following common problems observed in similar products:
Due to the low recognition rate of the physiological state of the cattle by the automatic equipment, we have improved the cloud algorithm to accurately recognized the physiological state of the cattle through big data and professional machine learning algorithms.
Identify the characteristics of cattle feeding activity and be able to accurately determine the cattle mining.
Existing markets: The smart ca$h cow collar has entered China’s major pastures and have been exported to Bangladesh already. The measured data is very good. Welcome to visit and inspect. We are currently looking for global distribution partners for sales and service to join hands in the future of cattle husbandry. We think the smart ca$h cow collar can be a major game changer for the industry.
In today’s fast-paced era, communication technology slowly transitions into 5G, which means data transmission is becoming denser but the amount of data exchange is achieving larger. This is especially true for M2M communication.
The good news is that LoRa technology is taking advantage of new tech trends. With bigger and wider deployment scopes, LoRa aims to create a wireless device that is designed to avoid frequent battery changes. And in the field of the Internet of Things applications, that is a very brilliant innovation.
In the past when low-power WAN was still a big thing, it appears that there were only two choices between low-power and long-distance. However, with LoRa technology, designers can achieve a lot of things. They can do both, maximize long range communication, and lower down the power consumption while reducing extra repeater costs.
What Is LoRa?
LoRa is an extra long-range wireless transmission concept that is based on spectrum technology. Derived from the words “Long Range”, it is classified as a technology under the Internet of Things. It is known for its “Long Range” feature.
It was in August 2013 when Semtech Corporation introduced LoRa. It was released in the United States and it came in the form of a chip, which is based on long-range yet low-power data transmission technology, which is just around 1 Ghz.
When LoRa was first launched, it has immediately captured the attention of the world. With its sensitivity that reaches up to –148dbm, excellent system capacity performance, and strong anti-jamming capability, it’s no surprise why it immediately captured the attention of the world.
The Advantages of LoRa
LoRa is known for its four major advantages. These are:
1. Long Life
One of the most popular advantage of LoRa is long life. In general, IoT devices are designed to avoid frequent battery changes. Therefore, as an IoT technology, LoRa is required to have a long battery life.
It’s good to know that LoRa does not disappoint when it comes to battery performance. For instance, in terms of water meter applications, this tech can provide a service that may last a decade, which is ideal in the application scenarios of water meters.
2. Long Distance Transmission
In the past few years, most wireless transmission devices worked within short-distance transmissions. That includes the WiFi technology, which works within a few meters to a couple of hundred meters.
Then again, for future IoT devices, short-distance transmissions have to be fixed and changed. But when that will be done, costs will increase.
But LoRa is different. This technology can support transmission distances that reach up to 10 kilometers. Although it has a simple architecture, it is designed to reduce the overall equipment costs as well as the use cost of networks.
3. Flexible Network Construction
LoRa technology does not only support private networks. It also supports public networks, which is determined by an operator or a user. But based on the current development situation, LoRa is commonly applied in different vertical markets, where it is deemed a perfect solution.
4. A Complete Ecosystem
In the standard tech ecosystem, the most important thing is not just a single device. Rather, it is the complete architecture.
Today, more and more markets and vendors take advantage of the LoRa technology, where more networks are being formed to create an even larger coverage all over the world. Hence, in the future, it will be easier to provide an efficient and a more complete solution for the needs of users.
The Future Applications of LoRa
Smart cities and urban intelligence are now being developed and fully-deployed. Along with that milestone, more and more fragmented terminal devices are being introduced in cities. All of them require low power-consumption yet work in long-distance ranges.
And with the emergence of LoRa, we are able to see a glimpse of the future of long-distance network technology. LoRa will break the bottleneck of IoT as it will promote the reduction of the costs of developing IoT technologies and detonate the large-scale application of IoT itself.
As a communication network, LoRa is forecasted to play a vital role. It will be used in the construction of smart transportation networks. It will be used in the implementation of smart lighting. It will be utilized in the management of manhole cover billboards. Most importantly, it will be used in monitoring the consumption of hydropower in industries and cities, as well as monitor and analyze the quality of soil and water.
In the animal and agriculture sector, LoRa may also have a special role to play. According to agriculture experts, the industry will need resources to be able to carry out their function and somehow increase production. If they consider the current network environment where farmlands are situated, they noticed that the majority of the farmlands have no honeycomb cover, although they have the perfect environment, soil, and air.
If only these agricultural factors are carefully analyzed and monitor, then it is likely that the agriculture sector will grow. With LoRa, data monitoring of air and soil temperature will be easier. Plus, lower costs will be involved as the device will tend to have a longer battery life and will work efficiently even at long distance transmissions.
What LabX7 Can Do
At LabX7, we focus on providing network, cloud, and end service solutions for the Internet of Things. With our help, customers are able to quickly realize the “end-to-end” network of the whole industry chain system, which involves interconnection, security, and openness.
As a reliable service solution provider for Internet of Things solutions, we have since introduced a multitude of technologies and services, not only for LoRa technology, but also for other promising techs. Smart parking, smart cities, smart agriculture, asset regulation, smart energy, smart livestock, and IoT finance are only among the solutions we are proud of.
The information industry is driven by innovation. At the same time, the technologies of the digital age have been successfully implemented and landed. Therefore, it is not difficult to imagine that “Internet of Things” will become the most prominent feature of this era.
However, in the face of the vast Internet of Things system, how can enterprises reduce the development cost and difficulty? What should developers change to adapt to the ecosystem under the big environment, and truly open the road to intelligence?
Labx7 introduces you to the one-stop hardware development process. Hopefully, this will help developers and enterprises develop technologies more efficiently.
What Is Smart Hardware?
Intelligent hardware is a technology concept that refers to the intelligent transformation of traditional devices by combining hardware and software. With an intelligent hardware, applications are connected. Although the operation and the development are simple, when done correctly, more applications emerge one after another.
The object of modification may be electronic devices, such as watches, televisions, and other appliances; or devices that were not previously electronic, such as door locks, teacups, automobiles, and even houses.
Smart hardware have drastically expanded from wearable devices to smart TVs, smart homes, smart cars, healthcare, smart toys, robotics and more. Typical intelligent hardware includes Google Glass, Samsung Gear, FitBit, Maikai Cup, Handcuffs, Tesla and more.
3 Intelligent Hardware Features
1. Information acquisition and interaction
3. Soft and hard combination
The Composition of Intelligent Hardware
A sensor is a type of detecting technology that can sense any acquired information and transform it into electrical signals or other forms of information output to meet the requirements of information transmission, processing, storage, and display. Other requirements include records and controls.
2. The Controller
A controller is a master device that involves the wiring of the primary circuit or the control circuit in a predetermined order. It works by changing the resistance value in the circuit to take control of the starting, speeding, braking, and reversing of the motor.
It has a program counter, an instruction decoder, an instruction instructor, an operating controller, and a timing generator. It is the “decision-making body” that issues commands, which is responsible for completing both coordination and direct operation of the whole computer system.
3. PC or Mobile Application
An Introduction to the Development Process of Intelligent Hardware
1. Demand Research and Analysis
Anyone who develops a product category needs to conduct a complete market research beforehand. The same applies to intelligent hardware. By collecting useful values for the group, there is a clear direction for product development orientation and functional requirements.
These data that need to be collected include user research, competing product analysis, demand analysis, market capacity, development trends, product positioning, and more.
2. Industrial Design
Industrial design methods use varying design concepts and them as primary references throughout the design process. The expected output of this step is a 3D appearance model.
The industrial design of the product includes product appearance, feel, material, color matching, etc., such as metal or plastic for the frame, curved or straight on the back, and which colors to match.
The primary consideration of industrial design is the visual effect. Its quality directly affects whether a product is beautiful and classic, and directly determines the market popularity of the product. Excellent products should be considered: aesthetics; practicality; uniqueness; scientific, usage habits, etc.
3. Make a Hand Board
According to the 3D appearance model, the appearance hand board is made. There is a special hand board factory for the appearance of the hand board. It usually takes 3 to 4 days to make a straight board product. The appearance of the hand board is solid and cannot be dismantled, mainly to confirm the appearance effect for the customer.
4. Structural Design
After the ID design determines the shape of the product, MD will step-by-step build all the parts inside the product. For example, whether the frame is made of metal or plastic, how the back shell is fixed on the frame, how the battery is placed, whether the motherboard is grown or not, and the size of all the parts are controlled to determine whether the appearance of the ID can accommodate all the hardware of the product.
If the design given by the ID is too difficult to achieve, then MD and ID designers will have to sit down and talk about it. Sometimes, they will have to pull the hardware engineer. The advantages and disadvantages of consulting with the MD directly is that it affects the number of times the mold is modified, and also affect the progress of the entire project.
5. Hardware Development
This mainly includes schematic design and PCB diagram design. The hardware design is not only made to connect the lines. It actually plays a critical role in considering multiple problems, such as power consumption, heat dissipation, radiation resistance, anti-static, and RF performance. After the completion of the joint test, if there is a problem in the middle, you need to redesign.
6. Shouban Proofing
Shouban proofing is a step wherein a verification sample that is manufactured in small quantities, is finalized. For the products that need to be produced in the mold, the hand plate is first made. This is in accordance to the product appearance drawing or structural drawing without opening the mold.
Shouban is the first step to verify the viability of the product. It is the most direct and effective way to find out the defects, deficiencies, and shortcomings of the design product. With this step, defects can be improved in a targeted manner, until the deficiencies cannot be found from the individual hand samples.
7. Open the Mold
Open the Mold is a step that refers to the development of molds (groups) (including design and production). It is also called mold making. In this step, the mold and related auxiliary equipment for product design are literally made.
The mold is a device for ensuring the quality, shape, and size of the product is accurate. After the product is designed and audited, it is mass-produced through the mold.
Mold is an indispensable tool for directly transforming product design results into actual products. Without the mold making step, the overall progress of the project is affected.
Tryout refers to the test injection molding process performed after the product is finished in the mold production, before the mass production. After the mold has been assembled and assembled, it is necessary to pass the actual injection molding and obtain the injection molded sample.
And then, through the sample inspection, it is verified whether the mold is fully manufactured to meet the design requirements. If the injection molding sample fully meets the design requirements, it means that the mold production can be put into mass injection molding without any problem. Otherwise, the mold modification should be carried out according to the problem of sample feedback.
Depending on the mold modification, the test pattern may be repeated several times before mass production until the mold completely corrects all problems. T=TEST, T1 and T2 are the first try and the second try.
Generally, after the first test, after product testing, mold adjustment, and appearance improvement are performed. Next, the second test is performed. If it is qualified, T3 is not necessary. If it is not qualified, the mold is adjusted and then T3, T is qualified. The mold is represented by M. For example, M1 and M2 mean the first set of molds and the second set of molds.
9. Small Batch Trial Production
Before a product is mass produced and arranged in appropriate small batch quantity, it undergoes a step wherein all formal production tooling, process, equipment, environment, facilities and cycle are used to create the product to verify the manufacturability of the product.
The purposes of this step include to stipulate the process of small batch trial production, to clarify the input and output information and corresponding responsibilities of each key point, and to ensure that the manufacturability of new products is fully verified.
The products are planned and produced accordingly, ensuring that they are developed and designed correctly. The company will then put the product into production smoothly, preventing the production batches from being bad due to improper materials, new molds and improper process control.
Generally, the quality department will conduct tracking and verification for the conformity and quality stability of the products obtained in small batches of trial production.
10. Mass Production
After a series of tests, and the product passes the necessary specifications, it is now produced in large quantities. Take note that mass production will be based on the interchangeability of products or parts, standardization, and serialization applications.
The rigid production line greatly improves production efficiency and reduces production costs. Its remarkable features are stable product structure and high automation.
(Disadvantages: at the expense of product diversity, the initial investment in the production line is large, the construction period is long, rigid, and it is unable to adapt to the ever-changing market demand and fierce competition)
Intelligent hardware development is said to be a complex system engineering, requiring hardware engineers, embedded C language engineers, and various aspects of the cloud system architecture.
As a global technology services innovation company, Labx7 helps startup companies or traditional manufacturing companies meet the comprehensive needs of smart products in the transformation of the Internet of Things through a one-stop Internet of Things solution.
To this end, we have launched a complete IoT solution from hardware, software and operational aspects to help enterprises and developers quickly and easily upgrade their products.
LabX7 helps our partners move from conceptualization to product manufacturing. We provide precise services at every step of the project, from concept to brand landing, from product design to product manufacturing, personalized customization, development, supply chain management and other industry chain collaborative services.
Our company is committed to helping partners deliver a superior customer experience and create innovative, intelligent hardware products that enable them to maintain lasting, solid growth value and added value in the marketplace.