Here’s how to get going with IoT

March 15, 2021

The Internet of Things is a driver for innovation. What’s more, this technology is becoming increasingly accessible and affordable. Nowadays, every entrepreneur can experiment with developing a low-cost IoT solution. But how does that work in practice? Two success stories of Dutch companies were discussed during the ‘Show Me What You Got Night’ hosted by the KPN IoT Academy.

The IoT is maturing. The time for testing with proof of concepts is behind us. IoT’s modular structure makes it increasingly easy to develop your own solution. In recent years, major steps have been taken in the development of hardware, connectivity, data management, and applications. In addition, connecting these ‘building blocks’ has become simpler thanks to special platforms.

One of these platforms is KPN Things. This allows companies to arrange everything to do with IoT: from the sensors, the connection, and the data processing to the integrations with business operations.

Experiment for free with IoT

KPN Things is already easy to use, but not for free. That can be an obstacle to getting started with IoT. After all, an innovation process doesn’t always succeed. Start-ups and small businesses often want to see if a concept is viable before making an investment. That is understandable. KPN is meeting these entrepreneurs’ needs with KPN Things Freemium. This allows them to experiment with the possibilities of IoT for free and to scale-up seamlessly if the solution works.

After registering for a Freemium account, users get continuous access to the KPN Things Portal. Every user receives three LoRa keys to connect devices with the platform. Users can also request two SIM cards so they can also test with M2M (2G, 3G, 4G and LTE-M). This account makes it possible to send data quickly and easily to different cloud environments and end points. It also offers access to the device, data, and connectivity management in the KPN Things Portal.

Real-life success stories

KPN Things Freemium has already led to many innovative applications. Two of the guests during the ‘Show Me What You Got Night’ were entrepreneurs who have successfully completed this process, from concept to fully fledged IoT solution.

1. Well-being organization J&S Projecten gives the elderly a ‘happiness button'

Seniors sometimes find it difficult to call on other people. There’s a risk of isolation. For this reason, Scamander collaborated with J&S Projecten to develop a box with a push button as an add-on to the existing telephone helpline for a group of seniors in Schiedam. Elderly people can use this button to easily call in a volunteer to do a job. Things like shopping, repairing a chair, or setting up the iPad.

After pressing the button, the signal is sent via the LoRa network and KPN Things as an SMS to the Helpline coordinator Mieke Wigmans. She contacts the senior and arranges for a volunteer from her neighborhood network. All reports are registered in a ticketing system so that everyone is well-informed and no one is forgotten. The experiment with ten buttons in November 2020 was a great success. Funding has since been found to expand the project to fifty buttons and there is interest from all over the country.

2. Flexyz monitors assets for municipalities

More and more municipalities want continuous monitoring of assets in the public space. Flexyz does this by linking sensors to its own management and analysis platform, IoT Connect, via the LoRa network and KPN Things. They measure, for example, soil moisture so that planted saplings can be supplied with water in a smarter way. The sensors can be placed entirely out of sight, for example completely underground or in special wooden tree posts. The battery in the sensors lasts 3 to 5 years, after which they can be charged wirelessly and used again.

During the ‘Show Me What You Got Night’, Flexyz demonstrated another, similar IoT application: measuring the fill level of various types of waste bins in the public space. Analysis of this data enables municipalities to organize waste collection much more efficiently, for example by emptying waste bins at exactly the right time.

When will you start?

Experience the possibilities of KPN Things for yourself! Create an account today, order the free SIM cards and take the first step to experimenting with the Internet of Things.

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