IoT News Roundup

Sigfox and TI collaborating on low-power radio modules; Samsung and Mybitat partner on senior digital health offering; Bluetooth schooling for developers; McDonald's customers drink up beacon offers in Turkey.
By Mary Catherine O'Connor
May 01, 2015

Sigfox-Certified Modules with TI RF Transceivers
Sigfox, a French firm that deploys sub-1GHz, low-power wide-area networks for M2M communications, has partnered with Texas Instruments. Sigfox’s radio modules and access nodes use an ultra-narrow-band radio frequency protocol—meaning they rely on very narrow slices of the unlicensed Industrial Scientific Medical (ISM) frequency bands (902 MHz in the United States, 868 MHz in Europe). Sigfox customers can now use TI’s Sub-1 GHz RF transceivers running the Sigfox protocol, which is based on a European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) specification for a bi-directional data network enabling data to be transmitted over a long distance—up to 40 kilometers (24.9 miles)—while using very little power. Sigfox-certified 868 MHz radio modules, with TI's C1120 transceiver, are available now from three vendors Adeunis, Radiocrafts, and Telit.

Samsung and Mybitat Co-developing Digital Health and Safety System
Samsung Electronics, through its Strategy and Innovation Center (SSIC) based in Silicon Valley, and the Isreali startup Mybitat have announced plans to jointly develop a product designed to help aging individuals to live independently. The planned product will combine sensors, cloud-based software and behavior analytics to monitor an individual’s daily routine and wellness.

Mybitat's software platform will be employed to handle data processing and analytics, and provide algorithms designed to recognize changes in behavior or health, based on data as it is collected, and alert remote caregivers if assistance is required. The companies say the product will be easy to install and operate and will be marketed toward retiring baby boomers in the U.S. (where Pew Research finds more than 10,000 boomers are retiring daily).

Samsung and Mybitat have not indicated when they expect the product to become commercially available.

Bluetooth SIG Offering Developer Training
The Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG), which develops interoperability standards and certifications for Bluetooth technology, will run a series of one-day workshops designed to provide developers new to the technology with all the knowledge they'll need to develop Bluetooth-based IoT products or services. Called the Bluetooth Innovation Series, the courses will offer in-depth and hands-on training in building Bluetooth connectivity into products and applications for audio devices, wearable sensors, or smart home devices. Industry experts will lead the workshops and attendees will be using the SIG’s new software development toolkit that, according to the SIG, shortens development time by up to 70 percent.

The series kicks off May 20 in San Jose, Calif. The other workshops will take place May 27 in Seoul, South Korea; June 10 in Berlin, Germany; August 17 in Shanghai, China; September 14 in London, U.K.; and October 1 in Boston, Mass. Developers can register for any of the trainings, which cost $99 plus service fees, at

McDonald's Beacon Trial in Turkey Gets Customers Buzzed
Beacon maker says that a trial beacon deployment at 15 McDonald’s McD Café restaurants in Istanbul yielded strong customer interest in the flavored coffee and tea drinks being promoted. Turkish developers 10xZone created the shopping loyalty phone app, called Shopping Genie, that consumers used to redeem special offers, such as buy one coffee, get one flavored coffee free. beacons mounted inside the McDonald’s cafes transmitted a signal to customer's phones, and those that were running the app received the special offers. Among patrons who used the app to redeem an offer, 30 percent used the offer more than once.

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