What is LoRa?

LoRa (Long Range) technology is similar to Long Wave Radio, it uses lower frequency radio waves which are more powerful and hence achieve more reliable longer-distance monitoring. As they are more powerful they are also able to penetrate obstacles and buildings.

During the lockdown, uWatch took the opportunity to integrate LoRa technology into the Cube, which now has the capability to link to up to 20 remote battery-powered LoRa sensors, called Tags.

The results are a game changer:

  • Tags can range from 0.5 to 2 km+ from a Cube. i.e., covering 1000 hectares, and can be relocated from gates to other equipment including rat traps as required, in seconds.
  • The Cube connects to Tags through buildings, equipment and trees.
  • A Cube can be positioned in the cab of a truck that has Tags under it (to detect fuel theft), with a second Tag in the load (checking for stowaways).
  • The Tags are available with PIR, Shock and Magnetic sensors, or all 3 are available in one Super Tag.

How the Smart Cube uses LoRa.

The Cube operates in two modes. 

1) With batteries or 2) with power from the mains through the USB.

  • With internal aa batteries, the Cube can be set to check for an alert every 60 seconds or longer (e.g. for pest control applications), which helps conserve the battery life.
  • With external power (a battery pack or mains)  connected to the Cube’s USB it can monitor Tag alerts every seven seconds.

The Cube picks up the alert from the Tag and switches off the Tag to conserve its battery. It then sends the alert to the owner’s smartphone via the mobile phone network and identifies which tag has been activated, if several are linked to one Cube. 

The SOS feature activates the Cube’s sounder alerting anyone within earshot that a TAG has been activated, in less than 10 seconds, before sending the same alert to their smartphone.

Example application: With a Cube plugged into the Vehicles USB or Cigarette lighter a truck driver asleep in their cab will hear the SOS and know there are thieves under their vehicle before they have been able to start stealing the fuel. Simply starting the vehicle’s engine will then deter the thieves.