IoT Blog
IoT Blog

mangOH Yellow Beta Program Kicks Off with Real-Time Tracking of Runners at the Vancouver Sun Run

by Ashish Syal, Chief Engineer
Every year, Sierra Wireless sponsors employees who want to take part in the Vancouver Sun Run, a popular local 10K race taking place on April 14, 2019. This year, we did something a little different. To showcase the launch of the Beta program for mangOH™ Yellow, the newest member of the mangOH family of open source IoT hardware platforms, Sierra Wireless developed an IoT application that will enable people to track the location and other data for several runners in real-time on the web.  

Building the End-to-End Sun Run Application

A small team from Sierra Wireless built the Sun Run tracking application from scratch using the following components:

mangOH Yellow Hardware Platform
mangOH is an open hardware ecosystem that enables developers to slash IoT application development time and costs, while also making it easier to bring new IoT applications to market. Launched by Sierra Wireless in 2015, mangOH provides reference designs purpose-built for cellular connectivity that ensure interoperability between various sensor, wireless and wired technology providers. With mangOH, IoT application developers have a sensor-to-cloud platform for building new industrial-grade LPWA (Cat-M1/LTE-M and NB-IoT) and 2G/3G/4G applications. 

The new credit-card sized mangOH Yellow platform is essentially a “super sensor” for connected IoT applications, allowing developers to measure and monitor virtually anything. Smaller and lighter than mangOH Red and Green, mangOH Yellow includes 14 advanced sensors and actuators, making it perfect for developing IoT applications where compactness, low-power consumption and the ability to collect a wide range of data are needed.

Legato Application Development Framework
The Legato® Open Source Linux Platform provides a secure application framework that simplifies application development with a maintained Linux distribution and a feature-rich environment. Featuring built-in security and connectivity, Legato also offers the ability to port an entire IoT stack and application over to any application processor. 

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Sierra Wireless AirPrime WP Series and AR Series modules
The Sun Run application uses the AirPrime WP7703 module. The WP and AR series of modules feature a secure device-to-cloud architecture and are pre-integrated with Legato, ensuring compatibility and simplifying development.

Octave Data Orchestration Platform
Octave, Sierra Wireless’ new secure, scalable data orchestration platform, dramatically simplifies the development and management of IoT applications by tightly integrating deep edge device connectivity with global cellular connectivity and cloud service APIs. The platform enables IoT application developers to quickly build and deploy IoT applications, and then securely extract, orchestrate and act on the IoT application data they collect. In addition, built-in APIs make it easy to connect data from IoT applications to other business applications or integrate third-party data into IoT applications. Octave is another important way that Sierra Wireless reduces the number of “experts” required to build, commercialize and scale IoT applications.

Tracking the Sun Run Runners 

Using these resources, around mid-February of 2019 Sierra Wireless developers began developing the Sun Run tracking application. The IoT application is now finished, and on race day, 15 runners will be given the tracking devices, which will collect information on the runners’ location. In addition to using data from the mangOH Yellow GPS sensors to provide location information, the application will also connect to Wi-Fi networks along the route, improving location accuracy. The application will provide information on remaining battery capacity and real-time current usage, as well as track sensor readings related to temperature, humidity, atmospheric pressure and light. 

All this data will be extracted from the mangOH Yellow devices with Octave, which will then integrate it into a cloud-based online service accessible on the web. Runners can give a unique number identifying themselves to friends and family, who can then access the Sun Run IoT application’s website and use this number to see where the runner is on a map in real-time, as well as the current temperature and humidity at the runner’s current location. Octave also pulls outside third-party weather data into the IoT application, using this data to calibrate mangOH Yellow’s temperature and other sensors to improve the accuracy of its temperature and humidity data.

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An IoT Application Development Path That Others Can Follow 

After April 15, the tracking application’s development and application code will be available on GitHub as a tutorial, and developers can use this code as the foundation for their own applications. In addition, on May 7, 2019, the Sierra Wireless Sun Run application developers will participate in a Google Hangout during which they will discuss various aspects of the project and how mangOH Yellow helped accelerate development of the Sun Run application. This is an excellent opportunity for developers to learn about how the open source hardware platform and ecosystem can help them quickly develop innovative new IoT applications. 

Another great source of valuable information on developing IoT applications is the April 23rd webinar, New to Cellular? What to Expect When Integrating 2G, 3G, 4G, LPWA, or 5G Wireless Technology. During this webinar, IoT application developers can learn how to determine which cellular technology is the best fit for their application and how to keep their deployments secure in the field. They can also hear firsthand from Sierra Wireless’ advanced technology team on how they took the Sun Run IoT tracking application from prototype to production using the mangOH open hardware platform and other open source technologies. 

As these education sessions demonstrate, Sierra Wireless is dedicated to making IoT application development faster, less costly and less complex. As part of this effort, we have not just built IoT applications like the Sun Run tracker, but other applications (such as the IoT beer tap demo) both by ourselves and in collaboration with members of the mangOH ecosystem, to better understand exactly what developers experience when they are building IoT applications. This work helps us increase our understanding of our customers’ development journeys, enabling us to improve our development products and supporting materials, as well as leading to new products and materials, such as the new mangOH Yellow platform.

If you’re an IoT application developer, consider signing up for the mangOH Yellow Beta program, launching April 14, 2019. As part of the mangOH Beta program launch, Sierra Wireless, in partnership with Digikey, is also launching a mangOH Yellow IoT development contest. For the contest, IoT developers can submit their ideas for new IoT applications they would like to develop using mangOH Yellow. A team of Sierra Wireless employees will judge the submissions, and on May 31, Sierra Wireless will announce the 30 contest winners. The 30 winning teams will receive mangOH Yellow kits to help them develop their new application.

And, remember, always Start with Sierra to discover all the ways you can use the IoT to reimagine the way you do business.