Optimising IoT devices helps create better solutions

IoT devices can solve many problems that companies and industries face daily. Bad indoor air quality in offices leads to more sick leave and thus creates expenses for the company. Location tracking can prevent high-value assets from getting lost or damaged during transportation.

Markus Madetoja works with electronics and software design and a part of his everyday tasks is optimising Small Data Garden’s IOTSU® Air Quality, Location and Motion -devices.

“At first we need to recognize what exactly our client needs”, Markus says. ”Once the problems are identified, we focus our efforts to consider whether our devices can solve them. A part of my work is to also recognize problems a client might not even be aware of.”

What IoT devices can do VS. what we need them to do

Optimising is also a lot about challenging beliefs about IoT devices and what we need them to do. For example, not all reporting needs to be real-time. Sometimes it is enough that a real estate owner gets a report every ten minutes or every hour, what the humidity levels in the building are. However, real-time monitoring is required for highly valued transportations, such as critical spare parts or temperature sensitive medicine.

“It’s all about the big picture and the requirements for our devices; are we measuring indoors or outdoors and what are the conditions”, Markus clarifies. “A big question is also where the device will be installed, on a metal surface or a wooden wall, or on a moving vehicle where the device will encounter trembling. In my work I need to assess all these possibilities to optimise our devices to meet our client’s requirements.”

How optimising electronics and software leverages IoT devices

A big part of optimising IoT devices is testing. Markus and his team regularly test both devices and software to ensure IOTSU -devices are energy-efficient and that data transmission is reliable.

“Optimising is sometimes rigorous work but we do it to serve our clients better”, Markus says. “We focus on verifying that our devices work in terms of measurement levels, transmission and antenna, battery life and software. By regularly testing the measurement levels and accuracy of our devices we make sure that everything works as promised.”

Based on our customer feedback, energy-efficiency, reliable transmission and stability are the most important characteristics of IoT devices.

“The process of optimisation is a combination of trial, error, and implementation. We need to make sure we choose the right antenna for the right device, that the software serves the purpose and that the electronics do not deplete the battery too fast”, Markus says. “This is where our team really stands up. Our team focuses their efforts on the design stage, as it is difficult to fix problems once the solution is finished. Because we design, test, and manufacture our devices, we can stand behind them.”