Save the rhinoceros from poaching in Zimbabwe, the ice cap from global warming, Indonesian fishermen from the dangers of the Indian Ocean … within a year, the Sigfox foundation never runs out of breath.
We wanted to give meaning to our actions. In terms of data, we are essentially talking about problems: security, privacy … But there are also extraordinary things to do in the field.
Marion Moreau, Director of the Sigfox Foundation
Established in 2010, the Sigfox start-up has developed UNB (Ultra Narrow Band) radio technology that allows machines to exchange small amounts of data over long distances by deploying a minimum of resources.
But where most see only a cold mesh of antennas and sensors, the two founders of Sigfox, Christophe Fourtet and Ludovic Le Moan, announce a formidable revolution. And they prove it.
But where most people see only a cold mesh of antennas and sensors, the two founders of Sigfox, Christophe Fourtet and Ludovic Le Moan, announce a terrific revolution. And they prove it.
Because the Internet of objects is not just stories of toothbrushes or connected refrigerators.
“Today we know how to make predictions for earthquakes, tsunamis, fires … but there are still a lot of barriers to densify large-scale sensor networks: they cost a lot per unit and have to be connected to satellite networks. “So many problems that Sigfox and its partners can solve. “We wanted to commit ourselves to lost causes, where there is an issue of geography, extreme weather and very large areas, because that is where we are the best, and have a significant impact. As in Antarctica.
A quarter of an hour. It was the time it took for Sigfox and its partner Sensoluse to convince the Belgian government that they could help to better secure the missions of the 45 researchers at their Princess-Elisabeth station. Only two antennas and some sensors have proved the potential of the device. “We told them to play with it on the subjects that seemed most useful to them. They are men and women who travel a lot and always in extreme conditions: you never know where they are, or how they are going. They are constantly struggling against the winds that cover their equipment with snow, and they waste hours searching for them. That might seem insignificant, but these few sensors have allowed an enormous simplification of their work. After the men safety, the foundation wants to focus on the scientific part of the project by measuring the mouvements and the melting of the ice cap. At this point, all observations are made from the sky, via satellites. If it is not a question of replacing these technologies, being able to couple them with data produced from the ground will greatly enrich the knowledge we have of the phenomenon.
Two other missions are in progress: in Indonesia, to solve the maritime safety problems, and in Zimbabwe to fight rhinoceros poaching.
Those noble causes have other virtues: federate teams and push innovation.
“The foundation allows us to test things on the ground by bringing all that we know best with our partners, it’s great. This becomes a very interesting innovation driver. Many companies do not understand this inherent dimension in this type of project. “
Sigfox wants to open the circle and seeks referrers, patrons, partners – artists, researchers, entrepreneurs, NGOs … A word to the wise.
This article was published in issue 9 of the journal L’ADN: Les nouveaux explorateurs. Your can order your copy here.