The year 2020 brought extraordinary challenges that forced many to overcome and find atypical solutions. As 2021 is being welcomed with open arms, there is a renewed sense of hope and optimism, knowing that governments and pharmaceutical companies are working tirelessly to roll out the COVID-19 vaccines with the intent of safely returning people to everyday life and a sense of normalcy soon.
Postal delivery companies face a highly competitive landscape as customer expectations have evolved. The demand for fast delivery times, low prices and exceptional service has driven rapid innovation: new solutions are needed in order to meet the needs of smart cities worldwide. Postal companies must also reach customers in rural areas, which are often much more difficult to serve due to inaccessibility and lack of infrastructure able to handle communication demands. Rural postal customers also tend to be older, which can present technological literacy issues.
In many parts of the world the COVID-19 lock-downs are gradually opening up, requiring businesses to improve facility hygiene and protect itself from a virus outbreak. Many companies – in particular, factories, distribution centers, and logistics warehouses where people work very closely to each other – will also have to revisit its business processes. Yet, businesses of all sizes must now create safe and secure workspaces to mitigate infection risk and safeguard the health of workers.
A year ago, the number of worker-focused proximity alert solutions could be counted on one hand. The need was not particularly great and the use case was very specific. The construction industry is one such area where the safety benefits are compelling. For over a decade, construction companies have been using forms of proximity detection as a means to interrupt at-risk behavior, with one such example being worker-worn systems to detect infrequent unsafe interactions between workers and equipment.
Enterprises are increasingly looking for ways to digitize processes and businesses. This trend started with the adoption of the Internet more than 20 years ago. First, eCommerce drove this trend, and later, Application Service Provisioning (ASP). Salesforce.com was one of the first companies to realize that large enterprises need customer relationship management (CRM) solutions for its mobile workforce that allow entering data remotely into one hosted instance instead of typical on-premise enterprise applications. With the emergence of larger Internet bandwidth, many new software solutions were provided from the Cloud, such as SAP and Microsoft Office applications. This digitization trend then extended to industrial environments with the strongly promoted vision of Industry 4.0. Enterprises realized that there is much to gain when combining the typical silos of IT and legacy OT (Operational Technology) with enormous potential to create more efficiency and quality in manufacturing processes.
Mobile World Congress, one of the year’s biggest exhibitions of cutting edge wireless technology, recently took place this last February in Barcelona, drawing hundreds of industry-leading companies from across the globe. With so many events taking place over the conference’s five-day span, it was easy to get lost in the blur of demonstrations and announcements. While the Semtech booth was abuzz with fans of our leading LoRa® devices and wireless radio frequency technology (LoRa Technology) for the Internet of Things (IoT) eager to catch a demo, one conference event stood out to me as one of LoRa Technology’s biggest success stories at MWC, the 10th Innovation World Cup.