Wirepas makes massive Internet of Things its business

In future, there will be a lot of information in the air with the Internet of Things and the technology that is able to manage all of this will be the industry frontrunner, says Sebastian Linko, Vice President for Marketing and Communications at Wirepas.

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“What do you do, exactly?”

This is a question that most tech companies hear from time to time. However, more often than not there is no simple explanation to summarize the complicated solutions that they specialize in.

However, Finnish connectivity company Wirepas has honed its answer down to perfection: its future is in the Internet of Things (IoT).

Ultimately, the IoT is about connecting stuff to the Internet, and wireless connectivity is an integral part of the process. Wirepas’ solution is built on this foundation.

“We offer a protocol software that is installed into basically any radio,” explains Sebastian Linko, Vice President for Marketing and Communications at Wirepas. “With this protocol, you do not need a separate network infrastructure, as the devices themselves form the IoT network.”

This makes for a very specific focus for Wirepas.

“We do not make any sensors or hardware and we are not involved in cloud analytics or gateways,” Linko adds. “The only thing we do is the little piece of software that goes into the radio hardware.”

This is where the magic happens.

The result is an autonomous de-centralized device network, which in industry circles is also known as a mesh network.

Manufacturing relevance

The IoT is not one entity, rather a combination of applications. It is increasingly used in various industries ranging from transportation, retail and agriculture, to buildings and energy.

All of the different purposes require different kinds of connectivity. Some need data transmission once a day, whereas some every microsecond. Meanwhile, a number of them are battery operated and others are not.

According to Linko, however, there is a common denominator: in most cases, it is a question of connecting millions of things to the Internet, not just a couple. The large scale, also known as massive IoT, brings Wirepas to the table.

“We are able to run over one thousand devices inside a cubic meter without a single packet collision,” Linko comments. “Nobody else can do this. With the IoT, there will be a lot of info in the air. The technology that is able to cope with this will be the industry frontrunner.”

Linko uses a catchy metaphor to describe their solution.

“It is like a flock of birds that reacts constantly to the movement of one another without colliding,” he says. “On a local level, our solution recognizes the environment and reacts accordingly. Many IoT companies need infrastructure, antennas and stuff to run their network. We do not as the devices are the network.”

According to Linko, the density problem is not here yet, but it will be when the IoT is up and running.

“We solved the problem that most people do not have yet, but will have later on,” he foresees.

As of now, Wirepas’ solution is used for the likes of smart meters, city lightning and asset tracking. The company’s largest single network has over 700 000 devices.

However, the full potential of the technology is slowly unfolding also to the company itself.

“We are finding new cases for the IoT all the time,” Linko reveals. “If you ask the same question a year from now, I’d probably give you a bunch of new examples.”

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