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Alibaba Cloud Brings myDevices' Internet of Things Technology to China

The IoT in a Box solution enables companies to mix and match sensors and applications for a turnkey solution that employs LoRa technology, gateways and software on a cloud-based server.
By Claire Swedberg
Oct 03, 2018

Alibaba Cloud is the latest company to sign a partnership with myDevices to offer a turnkey Internet of Things (IoT) solution for remote monitoring, known as IoT in a Box. Alibaba Cloud's agreement with myDevices will help to introduce the wireless technology to the Chinese market, including businesses in health care, food service, retail, education and hospitality. American IT product distributor Ingram Micro has also signed up to sell the service.

Alibaba Cloud is the cloud-computing subsidiary of Alibaba Group. With the new partnership, announced earlier this month, the Chinese company will sell the IoT solution through its own IoT Business Unit to bring sensors and wireless technologies to customers in a packaged, subscription-based product, according to Kevin Bromber, myDevices' CEO.

The system includes myDevices' LoRa-based sensors and gateways that can be mixed and matched to meet a customer's need. The solution is aimed at making IoT offerings affordable and easy to deploy. In fact, Bromber says, it brings the cost of wirelessly tracking temperatures, leaks and other conditions down to about $29 a month.

MyDevices, launched in 2013, released its IoT platform two years later. Its Cayenne IoT software was introduced a year after that, and in 2017 the company began adopting LoRa technology as the transmission frequency to be used between sensors and a gateway. Because Cayenne is a free, open platform, Bromber says, many companies have developed their own solutions using it with LoRa-based products.

"Our belief is that IoT is not bought," Bromber says. "It's sold." That means myDevices has developed systems packaged and ready for customer use. Until now, he argues, the IoT industry has been too fragmented into specific technology providers, depending on a particular use case. MyDevies, according to Bromber, hopes to break that pattern with a solution that works across many vertical markets. In that way, it brings down the cost of installing, for instance, a refrigeration-management system at a hospital. There are already multiple versions of the IoT in a Box solution for that purpose, in fact.

For example, a health-care facility could sign up for the system, provided by a third-party vendor such as Alibaba Cloud, then deploy LoRa temperature sensors from myDevices in cooling units to ensure that temperature levels do not stray too high or low, as that could damage the medications, samples or food stored within.

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