I have developed a product that was intended for agri-business (tracking cattle, research on animal migration, etc.)
They wanted the 3 axis accel for monitoring the activity level of the animal.
Still working out the final details.
so far.. (simplified feature list)
- LORA transceiver
- GPS (low power, multiple constellations)
- Cortex M0+ processor
- 4 Mb of flash (data logging)
- 3 axis gyro, 3 axis accel. 3 axis magnetometer
- Bluetooth (to allow direct access to smart phone/tablet/laptop..allowing a unit to act as a simple gateway)
- micro USB port (alternative power source for gateway, up/dn loading of code and data logging)
- CR2450 coin cell (650ma).. I expect better than 1 year battery life with reasonable reporting periods.
- Size: Polycase FB-45 (2.75" x 1.4" x 0.7".. keyfob case).. .this choice could easily be changed.
The design allows for nearly total shutdown and wakeup on timed basis or sensing of movement.
GPS idle currents are a killer (20uA).
Hardware design in place (not easy - keeping those antennas playing nicely together in small space!).. software still in progress.
Hard to judge the final performance (range of LORA) until everything is in place.
If "rechargeable" battery was required.. could be done.
But with 1-3 years of battery life, hard to justify it's value vs impact on costs.
It would make the obtaining an IP-67 rating easier..
Still haven't figured out best path forward for marketing for alternative uses (like tracking pets).
Open for ideas.. bit concerned about locking in a marketing path (hard to change later).
Brendan's observations are very astute. Great ideas? - easy. Getting heard - tough.
For most people during the next year.. cell coverage of LTE category 0 will be coming on. (much, much lower power requirements) will be impacting this market for several years. Would make battery life for the existing players MUCH longer. Harder to differentiate the value of LORA in urban settings.
Despite what the Cell providers tell you.. there are very large areas in the US not covered by them. Often, these places are where you can lose a pet while camping or hunting.
Mmm.. maybe I should be talking to "Bass Pro" or "Cabelas"?