Risk & reward
A guide to creating a smart community in Australia

Case study

New Zealand and Australian school signs are generally standalone devices with little or no communication or monitoring capabilities, relying on manual switching on/off by the school receptionist. This presents a risk since they provide a critical safety function for 

children on their way to school, however the technology used to turn them on/off is outdated and prone to human error.

Auckland Transport has no visibility on the status of the signs and relies on the public to report malfunctions. There is a high risk for accidents occurring due to human error or unreported malfunctions.

Thinxtra is rolling out a nationwide Sigfox LPWAN network dedicated to connecting things to the internet, covering over 71 percent of Australia (88 percent of New Zealand). The network is available for everyone and everything to connect; the data collected is available and open to data owners and whoever they want to share that information with.

Thinxtra, with its New Zealand partners, has developed a robust innovative IoT solution that allows for the switching on/off process to be scheduled and automated via the Sigfox wireless network to help keep kids safe. The solution is cost effective and does not impose significant load on the school’s power consumption.

During the three-month test phase, the three schools in the pilot scheme refused to return to the old manual operation system. As a result of the project’s reliability and effectiveness, Auckland Transport and Auckland Council have agreed to roll out the solution across every school in Auckland.

This solution has been achieved through partnership between Massey University and Auckland-based industrial design company motiv.io and uses a new best fit for purpose technology other than the conventional 3G/4G technologies available.

Massey University is also the first university to locate a Sigfox base station at all its campuses across New Zealand, allowing students and researchers to release the potential of IoT and create innovative solutions. Thinxtra has supplied free connectivity, developer kits and modules to the university.