Category: IOT

Antenne réseau LoRa

With LoRaWAN get rid of the typical “there is no coverage”

An outdoor race organizer who wants to propose a GPS tracking solution on his event regularly asks himself this question: is the mobile network (the most commonly used for this type of service) good enough to follow the participants all along the race?

Station antenne bord de mer
Antenna station placed on the course of the Ultra-Marin

Sports competitions in the mountains, in dense forest or at the seaside are often confronted with the problem of “white” zones, in which the network does not work, “there is no coverage”. There are alternative GPS tracking solutions, like satellite, that offer excellent tracking quality. However, these solutions are often cumbersome and expensive, and therefore not necessarily affordable for a large number of events.

At Tech4Race, we chose not to use the GSM or satellite network. Our GPS tracker uses the LoRaWAN network, dedicated to connected objects. This network has many advantages, including the ability to create our own LoRa network over a specific geographical area.

For what purpose? Easily and optimally follow a race in real-time at a reduced cost.

Here’s an example. A race organizer contacts us for GPS tracking on a trail by the sea. We evaluate the quality of the existing network along the route of the race with our operator tools (Objenious). Some sections of the route may not be well covered by the LoRa network. This is the reason why implementing a private network could be a really good idea.

Network coverage test with Objenious tool

Thanks to mobile base stations with antennas, we can deploy a network in “private” mode all along the route or in “mixed” mode to cover only certain areas of the race. After a topographical analysis, we place them on different spots along the course of the race so that the GPS tracker can send its data throughout the duration of the race. On the sections on which the Objenious network is good, it easily communicates with him. On the others, the stations take over. For what results? Continuous GPS live tracking of the race for more safety, attractiveness and fun. Ultra Marin (trail running) has implemented this network for this year event. For the 177km race, two sections poorly covered have been filled with antennas.

Since this network constraint has been lifted, new opportunities for GPS tracking on outdoor sports events appeared, in terms of number of races covered in France and abroad. For example, the horse endurance races in Abu Dabhi equipped with our solution were covered with our private network. Recently, the Prestige Cup (horse endurance) and the SwimRun Côte Vermeille were covered by a mixed network.

Antennas installationWe have worked with two key players of the Internet of Things to implement the “private” network: Kerlink, a network solution provider and Wi6Labs, a designer and integrator of solutions for the Internet of Things. Their expertise has been invaluable for us to complete our developments. Regarding the “mixed” network, it is the result of the R&D work of our technical team, which also specializes in network infrastructures.

Let’s discuss the possibilities of implementing Tech4Race live tracking on your event! Contact us 😉

Matinale connectée objenious

Tech4Race: Objenious’ official partner

Trophée Objenious - partenaire officiel

Last 6th june, we were invited at a keynote dedicated to connected objects, organized by Objenious.

A morning rich in exchanges which put in perspective the uses, the expectations, and the answers brought by this LoRa network operator.

Objenious highlighted Tech4Race among other use cases presented during this event, with a video broadcast in the room.

We are proud to be one of the official partners of Objenious, our main network supplier for our GPS tracking solution. Its availability and its will to meet the expectations of its users is the security of a long-lasting relation for us and our customers.

Objenious in a few figures:

  • n°1 of the IoT in France in the space of 3 years
  • 300 customers
  • More than 100,000 objects use Objenious’s LoRa network
  • 6 million LoRa messages a day on its SPOT platform
  • 4,300 antennas installed in France

With this national coverage, we are able to propose our solution throughout France and soon in Europe thanks to the partnerships that Objenious is setting up with other national operators (Switzerland, Belgium and Lux), next summer.

IoT Awards

Tech4Race, winner of the 2018 IoT Awards in the Compliant category

“Don’t stop me now” as Freddy Mercury said. After Barcelona and the IoT Innovation World Cup, we went to the IoT World / M2M and connected objects exhibition in Paris on March 21st. Winner of the IoT Awards in the Compliant category, we were invited to the award ceremony during the exhibition.

The IoT Awards reward ”outstanding” IoT projects by a jury composed of connected objects professionals (lawyers, journalists, professors, technological and sector specialists, etc.). The candidates are separated according to a scoring grid comprising around thirty criteria around the use, the techno, its application, its financing and its impact. Five projects, including Tech4Race, were rewarded in the “Innovative”, “Ambitious”, “Hi-Tech”, “Compliant” and “Jury Prize” categories.

Projets récompensés aux Iot Awards
©IoT Awards / Media dell’Arte

This award recognizes our efforts to address legal and legislative issues with the help of Avoxa and KPMG, and our desire to have a technically certified product (LoRa Alliance, Objenious).

Thank you to the jury for this award and to you for your kind words!

Iot WT innovation World Cup winner

Tech4Race : winner of the LoRaWAN™ Challenge by LoRa Alliance™, MWC2018

How nice is it to start the year with some good news 🙂 ?

After being selected as a finalist in December 2017, Fabien, co-founder of Tech4Race, went to the final of the IOT / WT Innovation World Cup in the “LoRa Challenge” category on February 27 at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, the world’s largest mobile and telecom exhibition… And did not come home empty handed 😉

Chosen out of more than 900 registered solutions, Tech4Race has been rewarded for the LoRa Challenge, powered by the LoRa Alliance. The jury was composed of Tech leaders, IoT experts, journalists, investors and representatives of the Innovation World Cup partners. They felt that Tech4Race product excelled in the areas of innovation, market readiness, and scalability :

“Tech4Race leverages the unique aspects of LoRaWAN such as geolocation, long-range, affordable sensors, and connectivity options across public and private networks to make competitive sports events more enjoyable, fairer and easier to administer, with real-time data from the participants made available to the event organizers, participants, and spectators.” said Charles Paumelle, co-chair of the Marketing Committee for the LoRa Alliance and co-founder of member company Microshare. (from LoRa Alliance Press Release)

We’re genuinely honored to be named the winner of the LoRaWAN Challenge. The LoRaWAN network is often used for industrial and logistical purposes, however, the Challenge offered an opportunity for us to showcase another aspect of its usefulness, specifically in sports.

First positive results: we have started discussions with various global operators of the network to implement our solution abroad.

After this victory in Barcelona, our next challenge is to finalize our fundraising. What’s better and more reassuring than investing alongside a winner of a “World Cup”? 🙂

Thank you all for your support and encouragement!

Controler la triche avec le tracking GPS

GPS tracking to identify cheaters during a race

Cheating facts during outdoor sports events have been hot topics of the sports press lately: “Runner caught cheating in Fort Lauderdale race” or “Ultra-marathon racer caught cheating at WA event“. Desire to shine, to gain notoriety, lure of profit, human stupidity, cheating is a very unfortunate action that can taint the reputation of an event and a sport.

It can take several forms: taking drugs, use of non-regulatory materials, traffic of chronometry chips … We want to focus today on cases of “cutting” of the course (taking shortcuts or non-regulatory means of transport such a bike or metro during a marathon etc.).

Long distances, lack of human resources, topography and environment of the course make the monitoring of the race quite difficult.

How GPS tracking can help to control the respect of race route by contestants ?

Let’s take a recent example based on real facts during an equestrian endurance race in Abu Dhabi, covered by Tech4Race. The program was very simple: 3 loops of 20, 25 and 36 km which means a race of 243km to achieve 3 days in a row by twenty riders – in the desert!

The cheating case occurred on the 3rd day of the race on the 3rd loop. A judge had a doubt about the course of a rider. He asked Tech4Race to confirm or quash his presentiment. Thanks to our race monitoring interface, we can analyze the participant’s GPS track created from the points reported by the tracker. The cheat was confirmed, the participant was disqualified by the jury.

This is the interest of a GPS solution like Tech4Race. The current means of chronometry or certain tracking applications only deliver an intermediate time or an estimation of future times of passage. GPS watches can deliver information on how many kilometers the participant actually traveled at the end of the race – this is how a half-marathoner betrayed herself. But none of these tools can control in real time the effective track of a participant.

Based on theses observations, we have enriched our live monitoring service with a supervision tool. Organizers have an overview of the race, as well as an individual view of the progression of each participant. They can control the respect of the track (and contribute to the sporting ethics of their event), detect a suspicious stop (is the participant injured?) or analyze the average speed of an athlete on a stretch of the course (use of a bike in running? horse pushed at too high a pace during a horse endurance race?).

You have some ideas to improve the supervision of the race? Let’s talk about it 🙂