Disruptive Technologies Sensor Starter Kit, hands-on: IoT in a box Review | China-Germany.com

2021-11-26 02:25:36 By : Ms. Christine lu

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Charles McClellan | July 20, 2021 | Topic: Internet of Things

If you want to explore how IoT technology can benefit your business or family, and you like patching and application development, then the Sensor Starter Kit from the Norwegian company Disruptive Technologies may be the launchpad you need. For just £579 (US$649 in the US and €669 in Europe), you can get five small sensors-the size of a scrabble tile-for measuring temperature, touch, proximity, humidity and water Exist; these communicate wirelessly with the 4G/LTE cloud connector gateway, which uploads data to the DT Studio web application, where you can create dashboards, configure notifications, and stream data with your own application via Webhook or mature REST API integration. All this is very simple and clear.

Disruptive Technologies' sensor starter kit is priced at 579 pounds, 649 dollars or 669 euros.

The sensors—temperature, touch, proximity, water, and humidity—are about the size of a scrabble tile and are designed to stick to a flat surface.

These sensors are small tile-like devices measuring 19mm x 19mm x 2.5mm and weighing 2g. There is a protective film on the back that you can tear off so that you can stick the sensor on a flat surface. They are identified by their name and a QR code printed on the front, but if they are worn out, you can identify them by touching them (when connected to the cloud connector). 

Disruptive Technologies' sensors use a proprietary wireless connection protocol called SecureDataShot (SDS). The company said that with the popular LoRa technology, it is more suitable for longer distances, lower sensor density and data rates. In Europe, SecureDataShot uses the 868MHz ISM frequency band, while in the United States it uses the 915MHz frequency band.

SDS provides end-to-end encryption and seamless roaming across cloud connector gateways. According to Disruptive Technologies, "The SDS protocol is designed to allow up to 1 million sensors to operate in a small geographic area."

You can identify any sensors and check if they are working properly by touching them and checking the response in Studio.

These sensors are durable and waterproof, have an IP68 degree of protection, and have a Wi-Fi-like range (approximately 25 meters) indoors, or in the "high power boost" mode, they can reach up to 1 km outdoors without obstacles. The range in standard mode is 300m, which consumes less battery power. Battery life will vary depending on conditions, but can be up to 15 years in the default configuration, with standard mode radio transmission every 15 minutes. 

The temperature sensor operates between -40 to 85°C, but performance will decrease outside the recommended range of -25 to 50°C (longer recovery time at low temperatures and reduced range; shortened battery life at high temperatures). In addition, the standard mode battery life of the humidity sensor that measures temperature and relative humidity is up to 10 years, while the battery life of the other four devices is 15 years.

Cloud Connector-There is an EU 4G version in our evaluation kit-65 mm wide, 130 mm deep, 40 mm thick, and weighs 200 grams. It comes with a Power over Ethernet (PoE) adapter, UK and EU plug accessories, RJ-45 Ethernet cable and fasteners for wall mounting. The device relays data streams from wireless sensors to the cloud-based DT Studio application via a 4G LTE or Ethernet connection.

The cloud connector relays sensor data to the cloud-based Studio application via Ethernet (top left) or 4G LTE (top right).

Cloud Connector automatically connects to sensors in range, and its installed 4G LTE SIM roams between mobile networks to find the best connection to the cloud. If you live and/or work where the mobile signal coverage is not good, you can switch to a wired Ethernet connection. During this review, I relied on Ethernet and my fiber-based home broadband because the mobile signal-in a rural area only 45 miles north of London-was poor on all four mobile networks.

The Sensor Starter Kit comes with a one-year mobile connectivity subscription, which must then be renewed through the DT Studio app at a price of 24 Euros per year. 

DT Studio is where you organize sensors and cloud connectors, set up organizations and projects, manage access, and perform external integration. This is a powerful web application, once you set up your account, it will show you a default inventory item containing all the sensors. If you buy new sensors, each priced at 49 GBP/59 USD/59 EUR or 59 GBP/69 USD/75 EUR, they will appear here first.

We were soon able to build simple projects, such as a project to measure the temperature and humidity of the east-facing windows on the first floor-this project reported some amazing high temperatures during the recent heat wave in the UK.

A DT Studio project for measuring temperature and humidity.

You can invite new project members to become administrators (they can move devices between projects and manage access permissions), developers (can edit device and project settings), or users (can only view access permissions). Notifications are also available-for example, we set up email alerts for different temperature levels, and whether there is water in the attic area where we suspect the roof is leaking.

Invite new project members in DT Studio.

Sensor data is stored in the DT cloud for 31 days, but if you want to forward the data to external services in real time, you can use Data Connectors. They are similar to webhooks, but with additional guarantees of delivery, low latency, and TLS encryption.

See: Cybersecurity Policy (TechRepublic Premium)

The DT Studio application is built on Disruptive Technologies' REST API, once you set up the appropriate service account, it can also enable the same array of features. You can use tools such as cURL, Python API, and Postman to interact with DT's REST API and a series of endpoints. 

The price of the Sensor Starter Kit is not cheap, at 579 GBP/649 USD/669 Euro. Of course, if you decide to install hundreds of sensors and multiple cloud connectors, you will soon receive a substantial bill. . In other words, SSK is easy to master even for non-developers, and should prove valuable in proof-of-concept and pilot programs where organizations are exploring how to optimize the layout and management of their premises.

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