IoT firm Sigfox is partnering with components manufacturer Alps Alpine to help roll out more connected IoT devices to the mass market.
Under the agreement, the French IoT company will provide Alps Alpine with early access to its R&D projects and jointly develop a go-to-market strategy. The firms are already developing products together.
Alps Alpine is a publicly traded Japanese multinational that makes electronic components.
"We have indeed started to commercially collaborate with Alps," Antoine Mege, PR and content manager at Sigfox, told Light Reading via email Thursday. "The most recent illustration of that is the innovative tracking solution Alps have produced for Deutsche Post DHL Group a few months ago."
This involved providing 250,000 roll cages fitted with smart trackers to provide accurate information about their location and movements.
The firms are also working on common development of Sigfox's "Bubble Beacon/Tag for luggage and asset tracking." The Bubbles are "small devices that can be placed anywhere in a matter of seconds." Sigfox claims that the "low-cost, low-energy Bubbles make it easy to accurately track" the location of anything from "luggage to pallets."
Why this matters Sigfox lays claim to an IoT network that serves more than 60 countries, but it has been overshadowed somewhat in recent months by other low-power wide-area network (LPWAN) technology like narrowband-IoT and LoRa. A deal with Alps Alpine could provide Sigfox with more ability to get IoT devices into the marketplace more quickly.
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— Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, Light Reading