Founded in 2010 by experienced engineers, Dragino specialises in product design, development and manufacturing. Based in Shenzhen, China, a global hub for electronic products, the company offers OEM/ODM services and offshore products to streamline IoT solution development in less time, at lower cost and with less risk. Dragino is renowned worldwide for their quality and reliability.
Dragino, known for its LoRaWAN devices and one of the world’s largest manufacturers in this segment, saw a growing demand for NB-IoT devices in the market. However, there were significant obstacles in making NB-IoT devices as user-friendly as their LoRaWAN counterparts. NB-IoT devices required extra steps: Customers had to install a SIM card, reprogram the device to connect to a server, and faced uncertainties about creating a webhook to another platform for data storage and visualisation. As a result, the market share for NB-IoT devices remained below its true potential.
To address the challenges faced by NB-IoT devices, Dragino turned to Datacake and proposed a collaboration. Their groundbreaking solution involved ensuring that all Dragino NB-IoT devices are pre-configured. During the device manufacturing process, the necessary server configuration for Datacake is stored in the devices. This approach allows customers to use their own SIM card or opt for a device with a pre-installed 1NCE.com SIM card, which facilitates immediate online connectivity.
One-Click Configuration via QR-Code
To further streamline the process, Dragino generates a QR-code during the device production phase, which is then printed on the packaging. Customers can scan the QR-code using the new native Datacake app, eliminating the need for cumbersome manual configuration and instantly access the device’s data in a Datacake dashboard, with no sign-up required. This puts the device on Datacake’s free tier, which includes all basic functionality and 7 days of data storage.
Developer Preview Video of App Functionality
In our preview video we want to show you the concept of our new app and demonstrate the easy onboarding process of devices that are already pre-provisioned for Datacake, such as the new Dragino NB-IoT sensors.
Easy Integration and Claiming into Datacake
If a customer requires more functionality, they can sign up for a Datacake account and claim the devices into their workspace, giving them additional advanced features and the ability to extend the data storage period. This also allows customers to mix and match sensors running on other network technologies, for example LoRaWAN, picking the best of both worlds.
And if a customer needs to pass the data to their own infrastructure or to an external system for processing, there is always the option of using MQTT or a webhook. In this case, the solution acts as middleware. Furthermore, even existing legacy NB-IoT devices from Dragino can be retroactively integrated with Datacake by directing the data to a specific IP address.
Implementing this solution involved several steps. Datacake set up a long-term stable UDP server with its hosting partner DigitalOcean. Dragino requested an IP address with a minimum validity of ten years to underline their long-term commitment.
While NB-IoT offers numerous advantages for IoT deployments, particularly in terms of ubiquitous coverage and deep indoor penetration, it is important to acknowledge its minor drawbacks. One such consideration is the higher power consumption compared to LoRaWAN. However, it is crucial to note that this power difference is not exorbitant. For example, Dragino estimates that the device can operate for a remarkable five years on a single battery, transmitting every five minutes. In addition, advances in the NB-IoT network have significantly improved the efficiency of communication between the SIM card and the network, resulting in lower power consumption compared to earlier stages.
1NCE.com SIM-Card for Global Coverage
The 1NCE.com SIM card that comes as an option has 500MB of data and is valid for 10 years. At around 128 bytes per event and a 5-minute interval, it would take more than 7 years before the data was used up and needed to be refreshed.
Currently being reviewed by the iOS and Android App Stores, the app will become available to download shortly.
For outdoor applications, such as Dragino’s forthcoming distance detection sensor, the NB-IoT variant with a robust five-year battery is an excellent solution. In this context, power consumption becomes a negligible issue. A number of Dragino’s NB-IoT sensors, including a leaf moisture sensor and a soil pH sensor, are available for immediate shipment, and Dragino plans to expand its NB-IoT sensor range with several more models.
The first batch of Dragino NB-IoT devices with Datacake integration started shipping on 1 July. The devices have been distributed internationally to ensure widespread availability. By simplifying the setup process and providing out-of-the-box connectivity, Dragino and Datacake have removed the barriers that have hindered the adoption of NB-IoT devices. Customers can now effortlessly access sensor data through the Datacake app and gain real-time insights. This innovative collaboration marks a significant milestone in the field of NB-IoT devices and their deployment, paving the way for their widespread adoption and empowering users with valuable IoT insights.