Feature Article

October 17, 2013

NimbeLink's Skywire Helps Equipment Manufacturers Expedite M2M Implementations

M2M startup NimbeLink this week introduced the Skywire embedded cellular modem. The company was at Telit DevCon in San Jose Tuesday promoting the new product.

The pre-certified socket modem is targeted at equipment manufacturers that want to add cellular connectivity to their existing products. NimbeLink CTO Kurt Larson explains that this saves engineers at those equipment manufacturers from having to go through certifications with government entities and cellular service providers, which can be a lengthy process.

Skywire is unique in the marketplace, according to Larson, in that it’s a third of the size of the nearest competitor; uses the XBEE form factor, a wireless form factor that’s been around for a decade and is easy to work with; and can include a CDMA 1xRTT cellular service provider data plan from Verizon Wireless bundled in with it (future versions will support GSM and LTE). Other features of Skywire include 1xRTT CDMA to help developers minimize hardware and network costs; a U.FL port for antenna flexibility; and use of the Telit CE910-DUAL.

Skywire modems are priced at $129 per unit, or at $99 for 1,000 or more devices. NimbeLink also offers a $262 development kit with modem. All of the above are available at SemiconductorStore.com and TechnologyPizza.com.

NimbeLink leverages the Skywire modem in its TextAlert product, a loss prevention device with sensors that can detect and report on motion, power and temperature to help small and medium businesses better protect their assets, Larson says.

CEO Scott Schwalbe says TextAlert is ideal for applications in agriculture, particularly relating to field irrigation and poultry barns. In a poultry barn, for example, the device would be attached to a wall to monitor temperature and power. That’s important, notes Schwalbe, because birds die if it gets too cold in these buildings.

Building management and construction are two other target verticals for TextAlert. It can sound an alert to keep site workers and visitors away from holes and hazard materials, for example.

Edited by Blaise McNamee

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