Sigfox has announced plans to sell a disposable device that will communicate basic information over its proprietary low-powered wide area network.

The device – dubbed Admiral Ivory – would cost just US20c, the company announced at its Sigfox World IoT Expo in Prague.

The Admiral Ivory comprises a small module, battery and antenna, and is designed to connect to the Sigfox network, which is being rolled out in Australia by local licensee Thinxtra.

“Just imagine, for example, now you could connect any envelope with a message: you open a parcel and receive an alert it has been opened: perfect for credit card delivery, Roses Only delivery, but also Amazon, eBay, DHL, etc,” said Renald Gillis, Thinxtra’s VP, Ecosystem & Marketing told IoT Hub.

“There are hundreds of applications that could benefit of such super low-cost solutions to connect anything: small sensors for bushfire, exit signs, things that rarely send any data but nice to be connected if it only costs less than $1 overall.”

Gillis said the device was not designed to substitute for the standard Sigfox devices that offers “full security protocols, 12 bytes uplink/downlink messages,” but represented a cut-down version for very specific applications.

“It is a game changer to connect anything and we have clearly no competition at all in this space.” he said. “The whole solution weighs 10 grammes and will be available in Q1 of 2018.

New cognitive service

At the expo, Sigfox also announced its Monarch cognitive service, saying it “offers seamless connectivity worldwide by allowing IoT devices to recognise and automatically adapt to local communications standards.” (Admiral and Monarch are both species of butterfly, which was Sigfox logo prior to a recent rebranding).

Sigfox’s technology operates in unlicensed bands that, depending on the region can range from 862MHz to 928MHz.

“Sigfox Monarch provides a unique radio recognition service enabling devices to manage the radio frequency changes, without any additional hardware such as GPS or Wi-Fi chipset,” the company said.

“By enabling ‘globe trotter’ assets that can seamlessly adapt as they move across borders, Monarch represents a game-changer for logistics, freight, and consumer goods industries. Lost luggage will become a distant memory thanks to Sigfox Monarch, as the luggage can be tracked worldwide. It will also allow manufacturers, including consumer electronics and white goods, to have a single hardware design for products sold around the world.”

New onboarding process

Sigfox also launched a new, onboarding process, Sigfox Sunrise to help partners cut their development time and costs.

It comprises:

  • Sigfox Partner Network, described as “the one-stop source for all resources partners need for their IoT project, from hardware to devices, development kits, platforms and end-to-end solutions.”
  • Sigfox Build: “An online portal dedicated to supporting device makers and solution providers at every stage of [a service provider’s journey, from designing to certification and scalability of IoT projects.”
  • Sigfox Buy, which: “Makes it easy and fast for partners, developers, universities, anyone to quickly buy Sigfox devices and connect them to the Sigfox global IoT network, with a starter offer at 10 devices.”