Citizens can create their own low-cost wireless data transmission network over a large swath of the city (up to 22km) to create a network of sensors that transfer data to a single central node. This cuts down on the cost of individual sensors needing to be set up with WiFi or 3G. LoRaWAN stands for low-power wide area network, so the low power component cuts down on the power/battery needs (can be substantial). This has amazing possibilities for monitoring noise, water quality, air quality, temperature, pedestrian movement, GPS, parking, it’s almost limitless.
This is a nice way for me to get my head around LoRaWAN networks:
It mentions that there are cheap controllers called PicAxe. They’re like $3 a piece:
Then they say you can use these Semtech SX1276 transcievers for $4:
So besides the price of setting up the network (which can be used for anything), you could get the basics of a sensor for less than $10, for things like cheap mics or IR sensors, those can go for $2 a pop. Then the cost is $5 for housing (the size of a deck of cards) to wrap it up. So that’s $15 a sensor with no cost for data transfer besides the wifi or 3G needed for the LoRa central node? Am I right on this, I asked Roberto of HomeTribe, a trusted tech friend? The answer is yes.