May 2021 IoT News

By Pilgrim - May 17, 2021

Book your place at "The Future of EV charging", our next roundtable on 23rd June. Our previous roundtable, the "Future of Smart Home Energy", is written-up in Power Technology

This month I've spoken about:

"Change is opportunity" says the CEO of an oil major - the best-known brand in the world, apparently - as he focuses entirely on reaching Net Zero by 2050 at Shell's annual Strategy Day. And that Net Zero includes Scope 3 emissions, e.g. CO2 when fossil fuels are burned by the end-user. Thanks to its acquisitions of Greenlots, New Motion and now Ubitricity, Shell already provides around 60,000 chargepoints with a target of 500,000 by 2025… and now they've extended that target to 2.5m chargepoints by 2030. Wow!

UK electricity is increasingly green (live charts here) and now you buy a lightbulb which actually turns green when electricity is renewable. But change is never easy – apparently the increasing electrical load from heatpumps during cold winter snaps is "almost certain to see Loss of Load in France & Belgium in the next couple of years". E.On's 2020 Annual Report (p25) explains that they are adopting IoT "to manage a much more complex energy system that can no longer be controlled by humans alone."

In other IoT news:

  • IoT vendor uBlox releases a module which supports 4G down in the 400MHz band. With so little bandwidth down there, is this a backward step? No, because those low frequencies penetrate buildings beautifully - perfect for applications like Smart Meters which are often sited deep within the bowels of buildings, don't need much bandwidth, and have to transition to 4G anyway as 2G & 3G are switched off.
  • The IEEE 802.11bf standard is set to make WiFi devices able to sense as well as communicate. Reflected radio can be used to detect heart beats, gestures … and who knows what else, even through walls.
  • A billion operations per second while consuming only 1/3 of a milliWatt in power?! Greenwaves' new RISC-V processor for Edge processing is pretty amazing.
  • Speaking of Edge, "teaching Spot the robot dog to piss beer into a cup " is a great (if puerile) demo of just how easy it is now to lash robotics and machine vision together to achieve … something.
  • Excellent piece by Stacey on how Apple's new Airtags use of UWB makes them so much better. AirTags are leveraging the enormous number of iPhones to enable an effective global tracking network.
  • But if you're not Apple, how to bootstrap a global guerrilla IoT network? Back in Dec 2019 I mentioned Helium, the US IoT network with a "crypto for coverage" business model. Now Stacey reports how she's made >$10k by operating just one Helium hotspot. Here's a UK-centric update on Helium mining (and see coverage map here).

Last month it was printer cartridges, this month an airbag stops working if you don't pay your fees - our colleague Tom suggested the term "protection money".

Until next month, enjoy the wonderful, crazy world of IoT,


P.S. This is my 26th monthly IoT newsletter. To receive your monthly copy, sign up here.


See how DevicePilot can make the difference


Industry leaders trust DevicePilot to help them improve the quality of the service they deliver at scale.

  • Eliminate revenue loss
  • Deliver a better service with the same human resource
  • Focus on growth and not firefighting
  • Get customer satisfaction through the roof

Book your personalised demo now and discover how DevicePilot can help you scale your connected business

Erik in a circle-1

Erik Fairbairn, CEO at POD Point:
Achieved 99% uptime across device estate

"We're totally data driven at POD Point, and if we can answer a question using data then we think that’s the best way - there’s no guesswork and you can use the facts.

Our DevicePilot dashboards have really let us get that actionable insight out of our devices."