Hartford Steam Boiler (HSB) announced that its IoT subsidiary, Meshify, has partnered with Amazon Sidewalk, a private network of public devices. Meshify Defender S, a property monitoring sensor that is activated through the Meshify Protect app and alerts customers to water leaks or other hazards using an ambient temperature sensor, will connect through the Amazon Sidewalk network.
The launch also gives small businesses and homeowners easier access to HSB Meshify sensors as the partnership simplifies installation and lowers cost. Traditionally, only large enterprises could afford to install and keep up with the latest IoT technologies. The Meshify sensor uses long-range communication (LoRa) technology that allows the sensors to interact with the network and the monitoring and alerting platform. Without pavement coverage, LoRa sensors connect to a gateway similar to a WiFi gateway in a home, which then eventually sends the information to an alert platform.
“The gateway is an important cost component of our solution…” says John Riggs, HSB CTO and senior vice president of Applied Technology Solutions. “In the future, as one of the first users of Sidewalk, we will be able to connect to the network, to the monitoring and alerting platform. We will be able to connect not through the gateway, but through the Sidewalk network, in this way in many deployments, which allows us to eliminate the gateway.”
By removing the gateway and thus lowering the overall cost of the sensor solution, the technology is much more accessible to homes and businesses of all sizes. Difficulty installing the sensor is another major hurdle that some insurers face when using
The Meshify sensor and the Amazon Sidewalk network will help eliminate it.
“This is a two-step installation: this is device installation and gateway installation, and then configuring the devices to associate with the gateway. You have the physical setup of the devices, the physical placement of the gateway – you try to optimize that, and then you need the two to talk to each other,” Riggs explains. “With this setup, one part of the equation is already solved. You don’t need to install a gateway. You just need to place the sensors and connect them through the available Sidewalk network.”
For example, if a policyholder encounters a property leak, the app sends an alert either via SMS, push notification, phone call, or email, depending on which type of alert was selected by the user. The insured will be asked to confirm that he has been notified and that he is taking steps to mitigate further loss damage. Other users can also be added to receive alerts in case the primary user is unavailable or missing in case of loss.
Gordon Hui, vice president of product management and marketing for Applied Technology Solutions at HSB, explains that the ability to alert multiple users through the Meshify Protect app is another aspect of the solution that stands out from the competition.
“It is also designed for commercial environments. When you think of a hospital or campus, we need to have enough people to access the system in a way that suits them so that the problem can be solved. ‘, says Hui. “Some of these places have call centers, while others have night workers or concierges. This is the kind of flexibility we provide.”