Company NewsKonica Minolta

Konica Minolta focuses on Internet of Things

Konica Minolta has become a member of the LoRa Alliance, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the interoperability and standardization of low-power wide area networks (LPWAN) that drive the success of the Internet of Things (IoT).

LoRa is a long-range, low-power wireless transmission technology that is very suitable for interconnecting IoT devices in large buildings like schools, hospitals or manufacturing sites. KMLE envisions a workplace instrumented with battery-powered sensors communicating over LoRaWAN with customer’s information systems such as Enterprise Content Management (ECM) or Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems provided by Konica Minolta.

The sensors will be tracking both the resources and machines, as well as monitoring the environment, at the workplace, which in turn will support people in taking decisions about their work activities. The Process Sensor developed by KMLE easily integrates with dokoni Process, or other business process management systems, and thereby it enables our customers to further automate business processes that are specific to their industry.

Dennis Curry, vice president and director of business innovation and R&D, Europe, Konica Minolta, said, “In the last decade, workplaces have started to evolve towards digitalization. Such digital workplaces will rely on the availability of data and, more importantly, on the ability to analyze and produce meaningful and valuable insight from it. This is why the research within Konica Minolta Laboratory Europe (KMLE) is focusing on integration of the physical world of people, devices and spaces at the workplace with the digital world of information management systems.”

Geoff Mulligan, chairman of the LoRa Alliance, said, “Having members like Konica Minolta in the alliance ensures that the rapidly growing LoRaWAN ecosystem can offer end-customers the diversity of best-in-class options to suit their individual IoT requirements; from single system components to complete managed services and everything in-between.”

Petr Gotthard, IoT research specialist at KMLE, added, “We hear our customers that are concerned with information confidentiality and integrity. We are convinced that LoRaWAN is well designed to withstand malicious activities. The LoRaWAN end nodes need no operating system and have no internet connectivity, which means they are much less vulnerable to cyber-attacks compared to internet connected devices.”

The typical LoRaWAN network architecture has a star-of-stars topology in which gateways are relaying messages between end-devices and a central network server in the backend. Since LoRa can deliver messages over a long distance (outdoors over even few kilometers) it will be possible to have a small number of LoRa gateways to cover sensors in the entire building, so the deployment is very cost efficient.

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