US-based satellite connectivity start-up Totum has announced the successful indoor operation of its direct-to-satellite IoT connectivity solution. Based on Totum’s wireless technology, which provides unprecedented reach from space, the demonstration showcased bidirectional communication between a fully integrated system-on-a-chip (SoC) and Totum’s low-earth orbit (LEO) satellite.
The terrestrial endpoint was located in a San Diego office building, and in contrast to high-gain directional antennas typically required by satellite modems, the demonstration made use of a miniature omnidirectional antenna.
Commenting on the development, Ted Myers, founder and CEO at Totum, said: “In a word, we’re thrilled. In three years, we’ve gone from the back of a napkin to demonstrating the world’s first direct-to-satellite communication system that works outdoors and indoors with a modem the size of a postage stamp. This accomplishment sits entirely on the shoulders of the innovative and passionate efforts of Team Totum, our silicon partner Orca Systems, and space partner Loft Orbital.”
The Totum solution provides both connectivity and position fixes for low-powered IoT location tracking and monitoring systems which require a battery life of up to 10-years. Totum unlocks innovative, high-volume applications for supply chain, logistics, agriculture, transportation, energy, and industrial markets which require global coverage and indoor reach, in total a $20bn+ connectivity opportunity.
Dave Gell, Chief Commercial Officer at Totum, added: “We’ve effectively created a whole new category for IoT connectivity. Combining the global coverage of satellites with an indoor reach comparable to cellular puts us in a unique position to solve some of the thorniest problems in IoT today. Critically, we’re able to do this with a total cost of ownership (TCO) that beats cellular. Not surprisingly, the market is responding. We’ve built strong partnerships with OEMs, solution providers and value-added resellers who combined have placed advance orders for 2m devices with service.”