Show Hello 2018: Live Module, a smart booster to connect devices using LTE-M

While the revolution in smart devices is already well under way, certain items and machines are hesitant to make the jump to 3.0, and remain deprived of "native" connectivity. Now, thanks to Orange’s Live Module, any device can become a smart device.

"A ready-to-use integrated tracking solution enabling users to connect all types of devices, with applications in various business sectors."

Using an integrated module to give existing devices a smart communications upgrade: this is the promise of Live Module, an innovative solution presented by Orange during the Show Hello event on December 12th, 2018.  Initially developed in a 2G version, this connectivity “activator” has evolved, adopting the LTE-M standard alongside the launch of the national network by Orange on November 8th. As a result, the module will reach new heights in terms of data flow, consumption, mobility, etc., offering multiple applications in various fields.

A connectivity “booster”

This module has its origins in the Live Booster, an all-in-one 2G/LTE-M connectivity service designed to connect and remotely control a device or set of equipment, and an unparalleled tool for industrial users and Orange partners wishing to put together their own fleets of connected devices. “Based on this technological component, the teams from Orange – mobilizing the expertise and resources of its various labs – have perfected the Live Module,” explained Meriem Mezzi, Live Module Marketing Manager and Philippe Delbary, Innovation Director in Charge of IoT B2B. This ready-to-use integrated tracking solution makes it easy for users to connect all types of devices, and has potential applications in various business sectors, both in B2B and B2B2C.  From critical uses – such as facilitating the flow of data and information on a chronic illness, or monitoring and protecting isolated workers – to connected dog collars, the scope of potential applications is very broad.

3.0-powered bicycles

Initially designed to function in 2G, the Live Module has naturally evolved to use LTE-M connectivity, along with the launch of this new technology in France by Orange. At the event, Orange unveiled an example of how the module could be applied to electric bicycles, which is symbolic of the possibilities being opened up by LTE-M for uses in transport and mobility. Indeed, this solution will be put to wide-scale use in future franchises for electric bike rental schemes, and even for bike sales. Orange is bringing its expertise to the fore in order to organise and implement the connectivity aspect and on-board electronics for fleets, including the Live Module and in some cases even the Datavenue platform.

LTE-M, Bluetooth, CAN bus, NFC, etc.: assembled technologies

This solution’s added value is about more than just connectivity: “the Live Module” also features a Bluetooth 5.0 chip, which notably enables us to integrate a secure Bluetooth connection, an NFC chipset and a CAN-bus (Controller Area Network) data bus – a format which is tending to migrate progressively towards the world of cycling after having invested in other industries, especially automobiles. Once equipped with this tech, the bikes can then transmit and receive information from all directions, making them smarter and granting added value for the fleet operator and users. Via a dedicated mobile application, users can access a range of services, from bike geolocation to management of the electrical assistance feature, as well as remote locking/unlocking of the bikes. For fleet operators, the power of data sciences is opening up a plethora of new opportunities in terms of optimising navigation or the deployment and maintenance of their equipment, and even includes the possibility of developing predictive maintenance modules – making this an essential component in connectivity!

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