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Node-ify Brings IoT to Homes at Low Cost

Palo Alto Innovation intends to release its product later this year, using BLE and LoRa technologies to capture sensor data, ranging from water leak detection to an opened door or refrigerator temperature, in the cloud.
By Claire Swedberg

Traditionally, Tramiel notes, smart-home or IoT solutions have been fragmented into specialize sensor systems. "You get one sensor for your door, one sensor for your fridge, one for your windows," he says. By contrast, Palo Alto Innovation offers a single device that can be used for any use case, while being customizable and configurable.

The solution comes with add-on boards enabling users to add sensors, for instance. If a person requires specialized measurements, such as PH levels, he or she can unscrew the Axon sensor and attach an expansion board, along with other sensors, to expand the product and give it a different use. The Axon comes with a BLE device and a LoRa radio, as well as standard sensors for measuring temperature, water, humidity, light, sound, touch and motion levels.

Alex Tramiel
Users would need to purchase at least one Core gateway to receive the LoRa-transmitted data from the Axon, and to then forward that information to a server via a Wi-Fi connection or an Ethernet cable. Although the system could use other LoRa network devices, the company recommends the Core gateway as part of the starter pack. The pack includes a BLE component that provisions the Axon and the Core.

First, a user would download the Node-ify app on his or her Android- or iOS-based device. The system would then employ BLE to locate the gateway. The individual would utilize the app to set up the gateway—which, in turn, would transmit data to the Axons within range, according to that person's intended use case. The user would select the room in which the sensors would be deployed, such as the kitchen or living room.

The user could then pick a "recipe" (application) for each one, such as collecting refrigerator temperatures, identifying when a dog's water bowl needs refilling or monitoring when a child has come home from school (based on when the front door opens). He or she could also indicate how often to provide an update (every hour, for example), as well as whether any alerting is required (such as having a text message sent each time the child opens the door).

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