This was my first Linux Day in Turin, and I was late, like very late (as always 😂 ).

I decided to attend the IoT talk ‘cause I’m interested about this topic.

The speaker, @cesco_78, talked about how the tech companies are deploying a lot of devices, rapidly and they haven’t so much worries about security and stuffs like that.

You can find the notes here:

IoT

  • It’s a network of talking devices
  • IoT devices are:
    • Sensors
    • Home Appliances
    • Vehicles
    • Thermostats
    • Complex Systems
  • It’s gaining a big momentum
  • They aren’t secure

There’re a lot of IoT devices

Problems

  • IPv4 addresses aren’t infinite.
  • A lot of them are in mobility so 4G cells are full
  • The range is a big problem

Solution

  • SigFox
  • LoRa

They’re a Low Power Wide Area Network. They use free frequencies. The range is great.

LPWAN aren’t Internet backed.

So a cluster of sensors is connected to a gateway. The gateway is then connected to internet.

SigFox

Less data and slow.

  • Packets (Upstream) are of 12 bytes.
  • Packets (Downstream) are of 8 bytes.

12 bytes/3 seconds

SigFox uses resellers and it’s a commercial network. The price is big and it’s billed “per-device”.

Western Europe is fully covered.

The advantages are:

  • Low energy required;
  • Free Roaming;
  • Easy to use.

Compatible devices:

  • MkrFox1200;
  • Nettrotter BIB.

LoRa

  • It’s like SigFox for the tech specifications.
  • It has unlimited data rates.
  • It’s an open standard.
  • There are a lot of providers.

Choosing a low power, data service is difficult. The decision has to be taken “per-project”.


Alternatives

If you have a network (WiFi/3G/4G) and if you want to transfer data without using a lot of bandwidth you can use:

MQTT

Message Queue Telemetry Transport

  • It has a little overhead;
  • It uses the IP protocol;
  • A lot of big players use it (Facebook, WhatsApp, …).

It uses a broker, subscriber and publisher infrastructure.

  • A broker lists topics.
  • A subscriber can “subscribe” a topic.
  • A publisher can “publish” on a topic.

Configuring a MQTT connection to/from a broker is dead simple.


As you can see, IoT is a great thing.
If we’re able to avoid big manufactures we can get back our data.