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How the SARA-R4 is helping grape-growers produce better wine with BeWhere

IoT is set to push the future of agriculture and farming to the next level. BeWhere provides innovative ways for customers to track moving assets or keep tabs on environmental conditions in real time. In 2018, it rolled out its new Mobile-IoT (M-IoT) beacons in an altogether new environment: an ice winery.

Environmental conditions in any winery have an enormous impact on the quality of the grape and hence the value of the wine they produce. To help growers manage their crops more effectively, BeWhere partnered with Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd, Bell Canada, and Henry of Pelham winery to demonstrate its rugged, self-powered M-IoT offering.

Sensors measure temperature, pressure, and humidity around the site, even detecting how warm or cold certain individual grapes are. Using a u‑blox SARA‑R4 LTE-M/NB-IoT module, they send these insights to the cloud, from where the growers can access them on any device and consequently take action to improve their crop. In Henry of Pelham’s case, as an ice winery, this could involve activating its frost fans to regulate temperatures.

These BeWhere M-IoT beacons were the first North American product to use this generation of u‑blox low power wide area (LPWA) modules, which are optimized for efficiently sending small amounts of data using very little energy. As a result, each BeWhere M-IoT sensor typically transmits just 500 KB per month and can be powered using a compact photovoltaic panel.