Hoopo tries a low-power geolocation solution

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Location has been a mainstay of the mobile internet for more than decade. Using GPS in phones has enabled all kinds of innovative applications, from Waze to Uber.  But GPS isn’t a match for the internet of things. It hogs battery power, doesn’t work well indoors, and GPS modules are expensive to put into products.

Which is why a crop of startups and big companies are trying to find other options for locating devices that won’t cost a lot or drain batteries. And it would be awesome if they worked well indoors — or better yet, in three dimensions, so you could see if an object was on the fourth floor or the fifth. Hoopo is one of the startups that thinks it has mastered this challenge.

Hoopo uses existing low-power wide-area networks to track goods and services in a set area. It uses triangulation to find tiny tags placed on pallets, vehicles, or whatever other equipment a client wants monitored. Currently, Hoopo’s technology can work on LoRa networks, although it isn’t confined to that radio standard.

The Israeli company has raised $ 1.5 million to build out its tags and the necessary gateways. Its CEO, Ittay Hayut, says he sees a market for tracking things as diverse as cattle on farms to managing medical equipment in hospitals. Hayut’s contention that the IoT needs low-power location tracking technologies is a common one.

Other companies are trying to get granular location without GPS as well. For example, PoLTE uses triangulation of cellular signals to determine the placement of a device. It recently raised an undisclosed Series A round, although the company has existed for at least the last nine years. PoLTE doesn’t use tags, but instead uses a device’s SIM card. It sells its software and an appliance to run its software to carriers that then implement it into their networks.

The operators then sell the location services as part of their IoT solutions. PoLTE has signed deals to get its software into a variety of modems and can deliver location data between 2 meters and 6 meters. It’s not able to offer location in three dimensions yet, but is working on it.

Locating things without sucking up a lot of power will go beyond letting companies track people and assets. It could also lead to new ownership models for expensive gear and expand our understanding of the world. For example, loaning out a ladder to a neighbor is easier when you can see exactly where that ladder is. Or in the case of the environment, low-power tracking lets us monitor small creatures that a GPS module might overwhelm.

So while initial use cases will be around asset tracking and fleet management, low-power geolocation will enable a new wave of startups and innovation in the years to come.

Stacey on IoT | Internet of Things news and analysis

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Geolocation tracking startup Hoopo raises $1.5M seed capital

Hoopo, an Isreal-based geolocation startup announced $ 1.5 million seed funding led by a group of investors including Israeli angel investor Zohar Gilon and Ben Marcus CEO AirMap, and Mobileye, an Israeli technology company that develops vision-based advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS).

Hoopo logo

The startup also announced the official launch of the company, with the goal of creating precision geolocation solutions for low-power wide area networks (LPWA). It will exhibit the solution at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain. Hoopo, founded in 2016 will use the funding to grow the business and improve precision for the low-power Internet of Things (IoT) tracking. Hoopo’s geolocation based solution tracks assets in large areas without having to recharge batteries and provide a platform for management and real-time notifications. The customers can receive on-demand geolocation, establish geofences and receive movement alerts of their assets.

As smart city and industrial IoT use cases gain a wide acceptance, the need to have LPWA (low power wide area) connectivity has increased. Hoopo’s solution serves the need for its asset tracking device. “Hoopo is addressing a real business need of companies around the world: cost-effective, yet precise, tracking of their valuable assets with the longevity of battery life up to 10 years in the field,” said Ittay Hayut, CEO of Hoopo.

The patent-pending solution of Hoopo consists of low-cost LPWA gateways and devices, and a cloud-based platform for management of devices and real-time notifications. Interestingly, one of the use cases Hoopo lists on its website is “free-gazing cattle”, a solution which provides geolocation technologies for smart-agriculture.

Orolia, another IoT startup utilizing the LPWA technology to monitor fishing boats makes distress sensors, hence providing fishing boats a much needed search and rescue distress device.

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hoopo Aims to Provide Low-Power Geolocation Solutions for IoT

In an effort to radically improve precision for low-power Internet of Things (IoT) tracking, hoopo today announced the launch of the company and its innovative, accurate geolocation solution for low-power wide area (LPWA) networks.

The company also announced it has received $ 1.5 million in funding to further grow its business from a group of investors, including the initial investors in Mobileye; noted Israeli investor Zohar Gilon; and Ben Marcus, CEO of AirMap.

The need to understand and quantify asset location is quickly becoming a requirement for the enterprise and industrial IoT. However, the accuracy of today’s low-power geolocation isn’t precise enough to deliver on the full promise of the IoT.

hoopo’s geolocation solution enables companies to locate their valuable assets, without the significant cost or battery consumption that can be associated with GPS. hoopo’s IoT solutions help companies precisely track specific assets in areas such as ports, vehicle dealer yards, parking lots, cattle ranches and other asset-dense areas.

LPWA networks are becoming the driving force behind Smart City and other IoT applications because of their low-cost, low-power consumption, and high-coverage capabilities in rural and urban environments. The long battery life of LPWA devices allows businesses to deploy a maintenance-free device in the field for several years.

“hoopo is addressing a real business need of companies around the world: cost-effective, yet precise, tracking of their valuable assets with longevity of battery life up to 10 years in the field,” said Ittay Hayut, CEO of hoopo. “LPWA checks off all of the boxes companies need in terms of cost and coverage, and hoopo’s solutions work alongside these LPWA networks to help businesses keep their assets safe, anytime and anywhere.”

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