The University at Buffalo’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and a global Internet of Things connectivity provider have joined forced to create a city-wide wireless network. Sigfox has teamed up with the university to help Buffalo, New York join the ranks of cities across the country that are taking the leap into wireless technology.
While traditional wireless networks are usually needed to stream videos and data, this technique comes with its fair share of problems. Too many users can result in wireless traffic jams, slowing down the service for everyone trying to log on. Additionally, traditional wireless technology can prove to be extremely expensive and waste a worrying amount of power.
Sigfox and similar companies offer a different approach to wireless technology and the internet of things. It uses a device-to-cloud communications system that allows simple objects to be put online. Using radio frequencies to send small amounts of data over long distances, Sigfox relies on low-power wide-area (LPWA) networks. This not only reduces the risk of wireless traffic jams and slower service, it significantly reduces the cost of getting online.
Josep Jornet, assistant professor of electrical engineering at the University at Buffalo” fade_in=”false”]“It’s really cutting-edge technology for UB researchers to conduct groundbreaking experiments that could lead to great societal benefits. We’ll also be able to implement the network into our classrooms, offering students an immersive, hands-on course specifically about the internet of things.”
The LPWA can be used for tracking a wide variety of tools and technologies across the city of Buffalo. The technology lends itself to small pieces of data, such as whether a parking spot is occupied or available, or if a public recycling bin is empty. As an added bonus, the Sigfox network coverage is better than many other network providers, allowing for a greater range of usage for a fraction of the cost.
The University at Buffalo will be working closely with Sigfox to implement these changes and explore new technological avenues. The technology will also be used in classrooms throughout the university to encourage further experimentation into the Internet of Things and how it can benefit the city of Buffalo.
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