Australian company Abibird is set to launch what it claims to be a world-first, Australian technology to monitor elderly people living independently.

The service combines a motion sensor similar to those used in intruder alarm systems with Thinxtra’s Sigfox low-powered wide area network.

AbiBird claims that service is able to track ‘normal’ day and night activity within the home and send info and alerts via the Sigfox network to either a family member or carer if this normal pattern is broken.

One or two sensors are sufficient for a typical residence, according to AbiBird. To use these, customers download a smartphone app, and pair their phone with their AbiBird devices.

The company says the service will be launched in Perth in mid-October and following a trial “will be rolled out through the rest of Australia and then on a global basis.”

It says the total costs for Australian consumers in the first year (to December 2018) are anticipated to be $15 per month for one unit and $25 per month for two units.

Thinxtra announces new Sigfox-based offerings

The service was one of several new Sigfox-based technologies announced by Australia, New Zealand and Hong Kong Sigfox network operator, Thinxtra, at the recent Sigfox expo in Prague.

Thinxtra also announced the Unabell Button: a battery operated, Sigfox connected push button that is offered in combination with a backend service that can add custom functions invoked in response to a push of the button. Functions listed include: calling for service/maintenance; shipment pick-up request; product re-order; elderly SOS button; taxi/concierge pick-up; panic button for banks; and call back services.

Other announcements included a partnership with Redback Technologies, a startup specialising in electricity storage systems for solar power installations that, it says, will enable Redback to use Sigfox networks in Australia, New Zealand and Hong Kong to offer “disruptive energy solutions.”

Also, New Zealand company PiPIoT has released four monitoring devices that use the Sigfox network for communications: PeopleSense, a foot traffic counter with person proximity and direction detection; Level Sense, a tank and bin level measuring device with GPS position and movement monitoring; ParkSense, a parked vehicle detector with bluetooth smart card authentication; GeoSense, a GPS location and tracking with shock, vibration and tilt monitoring.

IoT Consultancy Comfrog launched a customer feedback system that uses a four button keypad with four smiley faces to enable companies to gain customer or employee feedback. It communicates via Sigfox and is claimed to give “20 times more feedback compared to competitors’ solutions.”

Thinxtra says Victorian company 37South had added Sigfox connectivity to its range of industrial dataloggers.