Helios Wire wants to ‘democratize the Internet of Things’ from space
Helios Wire wants to 'democratize Internet of Things' from space
Helios Wire wants to 'democratize Internet of Things' from space

Helios Wire wants to ‘democratize the Internet of Things’ from space

Canada-based Helios Wire is planning to launch 30 satellites into space in a bid to ‘democratize the Internet of Things (IoT) from space’.

Helios Wire says the satellites will be used to monitor five billion sensors on Earth in a bid to significantly reduce the cost of IoT.

Two satellites will be launched in 2018, with a further 28 launched over the following three years, for less than $100 million according to a report in the Vancouver Sun.

Will Helios Wire disrupt IoT?

The network will use 30 MHz of priority mobile satellite system (MSS) S-band spectrum to build a two-way global satellite-enabled system.

This is the same infrastructure used for enabling pan-European mobile services. Crucially, it allows for very low-cost short bursts of data to low-power devices – which could reduce the cost of IoT.

According to Helios’ website, the small transmitters on Earth will collect information such as location, infrastructure reliability, crop health, asset elevation, or almost any other digital information.

That information is then relayed up to the satellites. These satellites pick up the signals and data from the ground based transmitters and forward that down to antennas on the ground, where it is then uploaded to a cloud-based analytics platform that should allow for better information and decisions.

The technology to ‘democratize the IoT’

In comments made to the Vancouver Sun, Helios CEO Scott Larson said: “S-Band spectrum is really well-suited to short pings of data and it will allow us to connect a huge number of devices. It’s going to allow us to build out a space-enabled IoT network.”

Larson believes early adopters will be farmers using precision agriculture systems or utilities using smart meters.

He adds that “the system is particularly well-suited to monitoring things that are remote or moving over large distances,” which could prove useful for anything from emergency services personnel to conservation groups in Africa.

“Space is hard, but it’s getting easier and we think we have the technology now to really democratize the Internet of Things,” he finished.

Helios Wire has secured $1 million in initial funding, but will undertake several further financing rounds over the course of the coming year.

Related: Microsoft’s Azure helps send IoT into space