New LoRa and Bluetooth module series

Alpha Micro Components is now distributing the first IoT (Internet of Things) modules to combine Bluetooth v4.0 and LoRa support in a single device.

The Laird RM1 series has been designed to enable low energy connectivity over distances of many miles and the series of modules – currently comprising the RM191 for FCC compliance and the RM186 for CE compliance – are suitable for IoT monitoring, tracking and data collection tasks that require reliable battery-powered devices in remote, dangerous and difficult-to-access locations.

Potential applications include industrial, agricultural, utility, among others.

“By bringing together these two complementary technologies, with their coverage of local and wide area communication respectively, we're now able to provide a single, cost-effective, ultra low-power module that provides total, seamless wireless networking coverage for any IoT device,” said Tim Bonnett, Director at Alpha Micro Components. “In addition, this module simplifies implementation and accelerates roll out by packaging a complete wireless communications solution in a single module, with a trusted, field-tested development environment.”

These modules allow IoT devices to gather sensor data and send control messages via short range wireless Bluetooth or physical links. They can then share that data with central servers or gateways – and also be remotely managed – via LoRa, over a range of up to 10 miles (about 15 km).

Sensors making use of the RM1’s Bluetooth low energy communications and LoRa are extremely power efficient. They can operate for years on a tiny coin cell battery. This longevity and self-sufficiency makes it possible to install RM1-equipped sensors in inaccessible locations or dangerous environments, with no physical connection to the outside. So integrating the RM1 can substantially reduce replacement and maintenance costs, as well as enhancing staff safety.

The RM1 series modules are said to be easy to integrate into IoT devices and offer integrators very rapid time to market, thanks to their support for the smartBasic language. Laird’s smartBasic is an event-driven programming language which enables automated, hostless applications and helps cut OEM development risk and cost.