Kristoff Van Rattinghe, CEO and co-founder of Sensolus will be a speaker at the upcoming IoT Tracking Summit (Oct. 20-21st, 2020) delivering a speech on “LPWAN and BLE: The perfect match for accurate, low-cost, in- and outdoor asset tracking“. Two weeks before the event we took the pulse of Sensolus to better understand their business and how Kristoff is foreseeing its development.
Kristoff, when did you started Sensolus and what is your offer?
Sensolus was founded in 2013 by 4 founders. We always focused on ease of installation, low-power, and a long battery life since this is a game changer for adoption in the Internet of Things.
Our core is an end-to-end solution to track non-powered assets. We deliver the sensor and the final application or the data you want to integrate with existing systems. We are mainly active in manufacturing, logistics and waste management.
Plug-and-play, Self-install, Long battery life: these three concepts sum up our core business.
What are the technologies you are using to power your products?
Let me start on the sensor itself. Today, we communicate over Sigfox: this works perfectly in Europe, across borders, without installing any infrastructure.
For localization, we combine GPS for outdoor with WiFi sniffing and BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) for indoor. We can go up to 2 meter accuracy with minimal infrastructure.
Inside the sensor, we use all types of motion analytics such as vibration monitoring to understand the real behaviour of assets. Finally, we use BLE as a local communication protocol with all different types of other BLE sensors such as temperature, humidity, and contact sensors. All of this while guaranteeing multiple years of battery life.
Secondly, our platform is optimized for interaction with sensors. This is available via a central dashboard in the cloud. We offer complete device management including end-to-end security, a patented Data Recovery system and much more.
It has everything you need to manage your asset fleet. We also offer different application services to monitor utilization, inventory, alerts, etc.
And finally, we deliver clean data which can easily be integrated in your ERP, TMS or any other system.
What are the key vertical markets you are targeting and their specific needs?
We work with industrial manufacturing, transport and logistics and waste management companies. Let’s talk first about supply chain for industrial manufacturing. There are three clear needs: number one is visibility in the supply chain, mainly because they work with third party logistics and subcontractors. Number two is alerting modules and specific KPIs on flows; and finally, in- and outdoor tracking without infrastructure.
The second vertical market is transport and logistics. What they need is visibility on non-powered equipment such as trailers, containers or bulk tanks. Another core need is inventory management and detecting if these non-powered assets are used as expected. Finally this requires automated reporting and data integration in other TMS systems, combined with multiple years of outdoor location. We add to that temperature and humidity sensing.
The third vertical market is waste management. Visibility in the operations is a core need. They use this to adapt the pick-up routing, to inform customers of delivery and to track processes such as emptying containers. Obviously they also need many years of GPS positioning without changing batteries.
So far what has been your biggest deployment of tracking devices in the field, and for what use case?
Our biggest deployment today is in industrial manufacturing, more specifically returnable packaging or component tracking. But we feel that the waste industry might take this over soon. Looking at the location tracking market what are the key business trends you see developing today?
The main general trend we see in our segment, is that all technologies get combined. There are different LPWANs already, different indoor and outdoor systems and BLE is taking a great part for any local wireless interaction. Specific for localization, is that we do see BLE 5.0 protocol making some steps in indoor localization and high precision GPS for outdoor. Both have the same target: Getting more accurate, less power consuming, less infrastructure and at the same time affordable.
What is the goal of Sensolus in the coming years?
We see an exponential trend in the assets being connected. The technology is proven, affordable and business cases are clear. So more and more items are connected. Today, we manage 100.000 assets on our platform, I am sure this will be in Millions in 2 to 3 years. Secondly, connecting the assets - with hardware - has always been a challenge. Today, this is resolved and the interesting part is speeding up. What can we do with all this data to change our processes and our business? I believe we will see big changes in this in the next years to come.