Long range wide area network (LoRaWAN) technology has been rapidly evolving and its inclusion in internet of things (IoT) applications is growing just as quickly.
Most recently, the technology was used to bounce a signal off the moon and bring smart connectivity to the Cook Islands. Now, it is being used to help track smart tags for the livestock industry to provide real-time information to producers.
Semtech Corp. is collaborating with Smart Paddock to include its LoRa devices and the LoRaWAN standard into Smart Paddock’s Bluebell smart global positioning system (GPS) ear tag. This technology allows farmers to monitor livestock location in real time as well as analyze the cattle’s behavioral data for livestock management issues.
"To develop Smart Paddock’s GPS livestock ear tag, we researched and evaluated all the wireless communications protocols available on the market,” said Darren Wolchyn, CEO and founder of Smart Paddock. “To meet our customer needs of a low-cost ear tag that could be deployed in the thousands over large farm properties, LoRaWAN came out on top of all other technologies for its long distance capabilities."
The Bluebell ear tags have been deployed to more than 1,200 tracking devices in the last three years across farm properties in Australia and New Zealand. Additionally, the company plans more than 10,000 deployments in the next year.
The ear tags support and encourage farmers to add other operational IoT sensors to their farms to monitor water level or set up electric fences that use the LoRaWAN network.