Access More IoT Insights From Losant
KST33 Series Distance Sensor Application Template
- This AT provides example workflows and dashboards to demonstrate the functionality of the LoRaWAN KST3320 Distance Sensor.
- It provides built-in support for multiple LoRaWAN networks such as Actility, MachineQ, and Helium.
- Get a tutorial on creating an application from this template.
KST Device Connection Application Template
Nugeen Aftab: Hi, everyone. Thank you for joining the Deeper Dive Webinar. It's now 1:02 Eastern so we're going to go ahead and get started. My name is Nugeen Aftab and I'm the senior partnerships growth manager here at Losant. Today, we have a very special webinar for you, the first of its kind. One of our partners, KS Technologies, is here with us. From their team, Bob Kressin, their CEO and Devin Saavedra, their UX/UI engineer. We'll be going through the application template they built using Losant's platform. Myself and Taron Foxworth, our education lead, will also be here to answer questions at the end. Before we get started, I want to address a couple of housekeeping items. This webinar is being recorded and the replay will be made available to you in a few ways. After this webinar, we'll send you an email with a link to the replay. Additionally, the webinar will be made available on Losant's YouTube page as well on our Deeper Dive webpage. Throughout the webinar, you may have questions that you'd like to ask. I would like to point out a couple of key features in the Zoom conference. You can use the Q&A feature or the chat function to pose questions and I'll be monitoring those throughout the call. At the end of the call, I'll moderate a Q&A session with the posted questions. If you have to leave early, no worries, the Q&A will be posted as a PDF alongside the replay link. Let's do a quick review of Losant Enterprise IoT Platform. Losant is an application enablement platform. What that means is that Losant provides enterprises with the building blocks to create their own IoT applications. Our platform consists of five key components to help customers achieve that – Edge Compute, Devices and Data Sources, Data Visualization, the Visual Workflow Engine, and End User Experiences. Our customers and partners utilize these tools to create the robust IoT applications they put in front of their end-users. Losant is a leader in the industrial, telecommunications, and smart environment spaces. And we've offered this platform for all sorts of customers ranging from startups to companies in the Fortune 100. So, if you're interested in learning more, please reach out and we'd be happy to set up some time for a much more in-depth conversation. Now, let's get into today's Deeper Dive, Trash to Treasure, a KS Technologies Application Template. While Losant provides the software foundation for IoT, there are many other components that have to come together to create an IoT application. So, we've surrounded ourselves with a great ecosystem of partners. This includes strategic partners with whom we share sales and go-to-market strategies, solutions partners who work with clients and develop end-to-end IoT applications, and lastly, technology partners that can provide hardware, connectivity, and other services to complete an IoT solution. That's where KST comes in. In March, we released significant functionality to our platform application templates. These are pre-built templates that help a customer get their application to market more quickly. In previous Deeper Dives, we have showcased asset tracking, equipment monitoring, overall equipment effectiveness, and multiple other templates. If you've kept up with Losant's growth, you'll know that our template library, including a full-fledged application templates, are a pivotal new part of our IoT platform. Our vision is to make the process of creating end applications as easy as possible, which is why support from our partners is crucial. As we've continued to build out application templates, we've also asked our partner ecosystem to contribute, primarily technology partners like KS Technologies. Partner application templates are meant to simplify the integration process between Losant and our partners. This means having vendor-specific device recipes, workflows, and dashboards that make getting up and running much easier than ever before. Leveraging the integration work Losant and our partners have already done helps you get your project started and finished even quicker. Today, we'll be discussing the application template that KS Technologies has built. This application template is now available for you to import into your application. Just click "Add" to create a new application and you'll see KST's Trash to Treasure application available. Now, I'm going to turn it over to Bob Kressin to walk us through KS Technologies, their offerings, and show off the Trash to Treasure application template.
Bob: Thank you so much, Devin. I've got to figure out how to use my controls. Thank you for bringing us to the Losant application template. It's really exciting just on a personal note, after working with Losant for so many years, to see that application template live is actually a really big deal for us. [Laughter] So, the entire office was excited to see that as kind of the culmination of a multi-year relationship with Losant that has just been awesome. So, great job, man, appreciate you taking us through it. So, let's wrap up. So, where do we go from here? Now that you've seen a little bit of what distance sensors can do for you and a lot of what the Losant application template could do for you, where can you take it? So, we've had customers over the course of the last couple of years see that initial Losant application template-like dashboard and ask us to do a number of things. And what's awesome about their requests is we can do and satisfy all those needs through the Losant platform itself. And so one of the things that you might want to consider doing with our application template is figuring out how to extend it to more sensors. If there's time later during Q&A, I can show you how we've done that with a live smart city that's located in Georgia, where we needed to extend from their initial two to three sensors to about a dozen sensors. And so you might want to think through how could you take this application template and extend it to more sensors. The good news is that that workflow is completely malleable, it can be used in order to extend to 12 or 100 or even thousands of sensors and we can get into that. Another thing that you might want to consider and we have a lot of our enterprise-class customers or Fortune 100 type customers ask this. Is what if we wanted to bolt in our custom data store. We've actually done this for clients where the data still flows to Losant, we use Losant from a management perspective. But then they already have their own dashboards they've built, their own backends, and so we get to use the power of our application template to manage our own devices. But then they get the data in the way that they need it. So, just like Devin showed you how to bolt on SMS, you can also bolt-on S3 or any Amazon services as just an example. And that goes into Azure as well. And so if you needed to get that data into a custom data store, you could totally do that and use this application template as a great starting point. A lot of our customers also care very deeply about the health of the device once we deploy it. And so Devin showed you how our application template has that idea of the signal-to-raise ratio or RSSI. We use that data in order to determine whether or not those sensors are healthy. So, you might want to come up with your own algorithm. Maybe you want to say if the SNR changes by more than, say, 15% in the device that is not supposed to move, maybe that's an indicator that a base station changed, or maybe our device is moving, or maybe you want to look at RSSI, and maybe if you see a 20 dBm difference day after day, that may be an indicator again of something wrong from a device health perspective. So, you may want to bolt on your own help API to make sure that the devices are healthy. Or perhaps you want to see what would happen if you had thousands of these in the field without actually having to deploy it. What we love about Losant, and this is one of my favorite features that Devin showed you, is that we can literally simulate tens, hundreds, thousands of devices virtually before they even exist. We actually did this for a client who wanted to purchase up to 10,000 devices. And we warned them that if they're not used to that amount of data, it can be overwhelming just to figure out how to manage that fleet. And so we built for them a Losant dashboard, we built 10,000 virtual devices, we had that up and running in a matter of no time with our application template as the starting point, and our customer was able to see that data and they actually asked us to configure the hardware differently as a result, which is so cool. So, again, something that you can do before you get too far into your IoT journey. We've also had customers come back to us and ask us to put on specific types of access control. So, imagine a smart city scenario, where you've got an IT manager. They probably want to see everything about your sensors. Or imagine that same smart city, you have a supervisor and he's responsible for a fleet of 15 different trucks. He'll want to see a different dashboard. Or perhaps you're an operator or you're a truck driver out in the field and you need to get those notifications. All three of those people need to see the data in a very different way. And what we love about Losant is that you can completely build those different dashboards for those different people, including notifications, to meet exactly the needs that they've got. And if you really need to get intense about it, which sometimes our customers do, you may even want to look at Losant Experiences, which is probably a totally different webinar but it's another way of interacting with the Losant platform and getting the exact type of customization that you need. We've also had customers say, "This is great. I've got garbage data, I've got truck data from GPS, I want to integrate these and do an intelligent routing application." You can totally do that as well, and those cases, there may be a third party that offers a particular service like route optimization that you want to bring to the table. And you can completely do that with Losant and bolt-on third-party algorithms or ML platforms to solve whatever you want. We really love to tell our customers that really their imagination is the only limit. If they can imagine doing something, we can probably do it. Whether it's a hardware and also definitely with Losant and its flexibility. So, there's a number of things that you might want to consider doing after you get a chance to create your own Losant dashboard and play with our Losant application template. And if you're ready to start playing with sensors, there's a way that you can do that as well. I mentioned that we've been shipping KST33 series products since late 2017, and we're really pleased to announce that we've partnered with some of the most major IoT corporations in the world to bring a dev kit to you that scales to production quality. And so if you're interested, you can reach out to KST either at firstname.lastname@example.org or you can go to our website and go into our contact form and we'll answer your email and we'll give you more detail about how you can get a dev kit for yourself. And that dev kit is a single KST3320 and that has the host of sensors that Devin talked about. We pre-commission that to a gateway from a company called Actility, they're a world leader here in the space, and it's a LoRaWAN gateway. That LoRaWAN gateway runs a private network server and we can get that data then to the Cloud and manage the device for you. And then, like Devin mentioned, if you send us some simple details about the Losant application template that you created, then we can forward data from Covalence to your application template. And later, if you want to scale that, you totally could. Our dev kits include a production quality KST3320, a production-quality Actility gateway, and we have options to go outdoor as well, and a production-quality Losant application template that scales to the thousands. Like Losant, we have the same vision for the IoT, that a dev kit should be really friendly to developers, but it needs to scale at a production level as well. And with KST's sensors and with Losant's application templates, you have a platform to make that happen. Thank you so much, everyone, we've really enjoyed the webinar. I'm going ahead and turn it over to Nugeen now for a wrap-up. Thanks, everybody.
Nugeen: All right, thank you very much, Bob and Devin, for showing off Trash to Treasure. We do have a couple questions that have come in through the chat and we'll get right to them after one last note. If any questions pop in your head, please make sure to put them in the Q&A section of the webinar software. We'll also provide a PDF of all of the Q&A, including some questions we don't get to the webinar when the replay is published. If you do have questions about this webinar or as you're getting started on your Losant journey, we have tons of resources to help. Losant University is a great place to get started and our thorough documentation and active forums are fantastic tools for help. For reference on applications we have built, check out replays of our past Deeper Dives and if you're ready to start building, try out one of our hands-on tutorials. Now, let's get into some questions. So, the first question that we have is probably a good one for you to answer, Bob. Are the KST sensors battery-operated and what's the battery life of the KST33 device when recording once per hour, once per day, etc.?
Bob: Yeah, that's a great question, Nugeen. So, our devices are battery-powered. We actually ship by default with alkaline batteries, so they're very easy to just source locally and fairly inexpensive. We do warn that alkaline batteries work really great in indoor or in stable temperature environments. If you are, like our Canadian friends to the north, in a fairly intense weather environment, we do have options for thionyl chloride-based batteries, where the battery's actually sealed up inside the enclosure. From a battery life standpoint, it's a great question. So, our middle-of-the-fairway scenario is our default firmware. And our default firmware ships with one distance measurement that's done every 15 minutes. We push that data to the Cloud also every 15 minutes and we do that 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Once a day, we take a battery measurement and once a day, we take a GPS measurement. And in an alkaline battery in a room temperature environment, that's about an 18-month battery life. Now, that does scale a lot, so if you need more intense GPS, or you want to use the accelerometer to know that that bear tipped over that trash can, which has happened, if you want to know those sorts of details, then all that does take a power hit. And I really encourage you to reach out to us at email@example.com if you have a specific scenario. We do have a battery profiler tool that we use, so we'll ask you a bunch of questions, we'll figure out what sensors you need to turn on and how often, and then we can give you a very specific profile of what we expect from a battery life standpoint. So, great question. Thank you, Nugeen.
Nugeen: Great. Our next question is what would this look like managing a fleet of devices? And so I think that's in reference to the application template and I think this is kind of a multifaceted question that would be good to take from both a KST side as well as from a Losant side. So, Bob, I don't know if you want to start out and then Taron maybe jump in?
Bob: Yeah, I would love to do that. So, I'm going to share a dashboard that's live. So, this is a dashboard that we created for a city, a pretty small city. It's a suburb outside of Atlanta, it's just northwest of Hartsfield-Jackson, named College Park. They have a downtown section, they've got about 12 different KST3320s that push data. And we started with our Losant application template and then scaled it up as they went from a few sensors to a dozen sensors. They're super friendly to us so I appreciate them allowing me to share this dashboard with them publicly. But this is an example of what I would call just very light-scale. In other words, you can see probably the exact elements of what we did to scale this from one sensor to about a dozen sensors. And this is where I'll probably turn it over to Losant to jump in and talk a little bit about Experiences. So, imagine now that you need to scale this from 12 devices to 1,000 devices, 1,000 trash icons gets really overwhelming to look at on a single screen. And sometimes we'll do that based on the GPS map view like you see here, and sometimes we'll go with a completely different UI. So, I'll go ahead and turn it over to our friends at Losant and they can add more about Losant Experiences, which is probably where we take that next.
Taron Foxworth: Yeah, hey, just checking in. Is everyone able to hear me okay?
Bob: You sound great.
Taron: Okay, perfect. Thanks, Bob. I can fill in the gap on the Experience side of things, you're absolutely correct. And the dashboard you showed was very beautiful by the way. But once we get into thinking about our application from, okay, now we have this device. It's easily streaming data to Losant. Okay, where do we go next to add more devices, and then how does these devices automatically provisioned? The nice thing is that Losant has answers to these questions at different various parts of their application. And you've seen some of these elements already. So, for example, in the walkthrough that Devin was going through, he showed the device recipe. Device recipes are one of the mechanisms in Losant where you can create that recipe and then easily use it to generate these new devices. And then now that we have that recipe, you can use Losant's workflow functionality to automatically use the recipe based on specific actions. And then the nice thing is kind of wrapping all this up since Experiences allow you to create those applications for your customers, those Experiences are also backed by Losant workflows and you can use the Experience workflows to build that auto-provisioning and auto onboarding logic for your devices. And best of all, one of the newer features in Losant's a template library, two of the entries in the template library that exist today that kind of can get you really...allow those base components for these types of examples within Losant, they are called device provisioning and dynamic registration. Those are the two templates in the template library that are really great examples for this type of use case within Losant.
Nugeen: Great. Okay. So, we have another question here. To detect theft, can I set up geofences and get an alert if the device leaves a specific area? And I think this one would be a good one for you again, Taron.
Taron: Yeah. This one comes again really in the workflow engine. So, once you have data streaming into Losant and you're not able to act upon that data in a workflow, all the various nodes in the workflow are encapsulations of functionality that you can now quickly use and leverage within your application. One of those nodes are the Geofence Node which allows you to do just this. You can detect if the device is within a specific geofence within the platform and build alerts and notifications based around that.
Nugeen: Great. Okay. Next question. Are bears knocking over trash cans a common issue in your neck of the woods? Bob, I think this is a good one for you to take.
Bob: [Laughter] Yeah. Funny you say that. So, we have trash cans that are outside KST and you might have remembered the geo-fence or the GPS map that Devin showed. That's actually where our office is, so we're in the middle of Black Forest, Colorado, which is gorgeous and surrounded by trees and bears and deer and dogs. [Laughter] and all kinds of things. So, actually, our motivation for adding an accelerometer was to make sure that if a trash can did get tipped over, we would know it. And it works really well for that. But a few other crazier things have happened with trash cans over time as well. Besides bears, we've had people knock trash cans over, we've had people steal trash cans. So, for some reason, certain trash cans are mobile. We don't quite know why [Laughter] but they are when they shouldn't be, which is kind of interesting. We had one smart city say, "Hey, we have a lot of dumpster fires. Can you detect dumpster fires?" Like, wow, that's rough. "What goes on that you have so many dumpster fires, but yeah, we can. We have a temperature sensor." So, that was an interesting one. And the best one was when a municipality asked us if we could smell how bad the trash smelled. You can't do that with the current KST33 series but there are actually electronic nose technologies that we've investigated that we could put in the sensors for particular smart cities. Yeah, the bears can be rough out here in Black Forest, Colorado, Nugeen. You're welcome to come out here any time, we'll show them to you.
Nugeen: [Laughter] We will take you up on that but I'm not so sure I want to see the bears, to be completely honest with you. So, we are hitting or we're just past the hour. We have a couple more questions that came in. I'll make sure that when we release the replay, as well as the PDF with it, that the answers to those questions are in there. One last thing I do want to hit on is that this template is available in our application today. So, it is live. So, if you go to your applications and click "Add" you'll see the KST template and you're able to play around with it. And you can purchase a dev kit from KST site as well. This is the first of many partner templates who hopefully will be coming in the future, so we are really excited that you're here and with us for this webinar today and hopefully, you'll see many more. A couple of last notes. As we're hitting the holiday season, we don't have any Deeper Dives planned for the rest of the year but we will pick them back up in January. So, keep a lookout for upcoming deeper dives and register on losant.com/deeperdive. Once again, look forward to this webinar's replay. If there were any questions we didn't get to today, their answers along with all of the Q&A we didn't get to will be provided with the replay. Thank you so much for tuning in and we'll see you on the next Deeper Dive.