About this project
Our campaign has ended, but you can still get an Iota. Head over to www.iotera.com for more info and to place an order.
Most up to date future coverage map can be found here.
MIT Technology Review - "The iPhone wouldn't stop chirping...Our mission was to see how far we could drive from Iotera's office building before the tag would stop transmitting its location to a small base station on the building's roof...it took several miles."
TUAW - "...various tracking gizmos seem to be one of the biggest categories in crowdfunding. Here's one that actually makes sense..."
Lifehack - "It is the complete tracker that comes with the right features, all of which you will surely use."
Wired - "Since every base station can be used by any Iota device, each user is essentially providing coverage for every other user within range. As more users come online, the wider the coverage will be."
We could all use a helper. The goal with Iota was to build an efficient, tiny, and always connected device to help you find, secure, and protect everything important. Iota helps you find your lost pet, lets you know if your bike is being tampered with, protects your house, and more. A single device that saves you time and money, while giving you peace of mind.
While Bluetooth-only trackers like Tile, Stick n’ Find, and Trackr Bravo are great for finding things at home, they are unable to locate objects and pets when they stray farther than 100 feet from a smart phone. A healthy dog can cover 100 feet pretty fast.
If Iota were to use cellular networks like your cell phone, its battery would die in a few days, and there would be costly monthly fees--this wasn’t acceptable to us.
Instead, we decided to build a brand new wireless technology with a free nationwide network from scratch.
After 3 years of iterations, Iota is the smallest (43 x 22 x 11mm), longest lasting, live tracking GPS device in the world.
With a 10X improvement in battery life over cellular devices, Iota can last months before needing a recharge. Furthermore, we wanted Iota to be more than a lost item locator, hence we packed in as many features of utmost importance.
With all these features Iota acts as a flexible and versatile device to help you keep track of your pets, kids, bicycle, car, laptop bag, purse among others. You can even use a handful of Iotas as a home security system!
The Iota Home Base
The Iota Home Base is what makes it all possible. Iota and the companion Home Base both include the same advanced long range radio technology allowing them to communicate with each other over a distance of up to 4 miles.
The Home Base attaches easily to any window in your home, listens for messages from any Iotas within range, and forwards them to the Iota cloud servers using your home Wi-Fi network. The cloud processes these messages, and sends status updates and alerts to companion devices such as a smartphone or a computer. The Home Base can also forward messages it receives from the cloud to any Iota. This enables you to send configuration changes and on-demand location requests using the companion iOS/Android app.
How it Works
It's really easy to get started with Iota and the Home Base.
Now Iota can be monitored up to 4 miles from your home! ...but there's more.
A Nationwide Network & No Monthly Fees
A really cool thing happens when you set up a Home Base. You contribute to the nationwide network in a BIG way because YOU add up to 50 square miles of coverage around your home.
Since every Iota can securely communicate with any Home Base in its 4 mile range, this ground breaking radio technology makes it possible for just a few people to bring coverage to an entire city!
So gather your friends, neighbors, coworkers, and buy our neighborhood package to get great coverage in your city!
A network like this usually comes with exorbitant monthly fees. This one is free.
Check out the expected coverage map from current backers here and be the first to add a bubble in your neighborhood! www.iotera.com/coverage
Iota is a single device packed with features that allow it to be used in a number of different ways. Selecting a use profile changes Iota's behavior so you can use Iota how YOU want to use it.
Some of the cool profiles available at release will be:
• Pet monitoring: Stay informed about your pet’s location and their level of physical activity. You can receive geofence alerts on your phone/computer when your pet leaves a virtual fence assigned by you, and get its GPS location in real time if this virtual fence is ever breached. The pet’s level of physical activity is also tracked and you can be alerted if your pet is in an uncomfortably hot environment.
• Bicycle monitoring: Always know where your bike is, get alerted when it is moved or tampered with, and track its GPS location in real time if needed. Even if Iota is pulled off of your bike, you will be alerted about a potential theft because of Iota’s motion detection capabilities.
• General purpose tracking and monitoring: Use this profile to monitor and track almost anything you care about, indoors or outdoors. Get alerts when the item in question is moved, find out its current location and motion state, sound the on-board alarm to find it indoors if misplaced, track it in real-time and share this valuable information with police if it is ever stolen. You can also get geofence alerts when the item leaves the virtual fence configured by you. Example uses: Leave an Iota in your car or on a motor cycle to receive motion alerts and for finding its current location. Drop one in your child’s backpack to get alerts when they enter or leave designated areas like home or school, your child can also use the emergency alert button to notify the parent if needed. Attach an Iota to a briefcase, laptop bag, jewelry case, purse etc to always stay connected with these valuable items.
• Door and window alarms: Use this profile to receiving alerts when a door or window is knocked, opened or broken-in. Just a handful of Iotas can be combined to build a custom security system that suits your needs. The long wireless range of each Iota makes it possible to cover large houses, even farms and ranches.
• Mailbox alarm: Get alerts when your mailbox is opened/closed and know exactly when new mail arrives. Iota can also be attached to the inside of a safe to get alerts whenever it is accessed.
Have an idea for a use profile you really want to see? Let us know!
Attaching Iota to Your Stuff
Every Iota will ship with a pet collar accessory and a key chain accessory as well as a Micro USB cable for charging.
Our mechanical engineer along with our partnered industrial design and manufacturing firm is quickly closing in on the final high volume manufacturable designs for both accessories.
Pet Attachment: Use the pet collar accessory with the velcro strap around the pet collar.
Key Chain: The key chain accessory uses an included 3M brand semi-permanent die cut adhesive sticker to attach the accessory to Iota for the lifetime of the product.
Bicycle: Remove the strap from the pet accessory and use the included semi-permanent 3M adhesive on the back of the pet accessory. Affix accessory to bicycle, and insert Iota into accessory.
Window & Door: Uses included removable & reusable double sided tape which leaves no residue on Iota or your window. Use either with pet accessory with strap removed, or directly on back of Iota.
Home Base to Iota Communication Range
In our field tests with the Home Base at ground level, we typically see 1-2 miles of communication range in San Francisco, 2-3 miles on the SF Peninsula, and often more in rural areas.
It’s always hard to assign an absolute value to range since it’s affected by many factors including height of the Home Base, interference, terrain, and impeding structures. From the rooftop of our 3 story office building in Redwood City Iota can be heard 4 miles away. During tests on a straight open highway the prototypes achieved 8 miles of range.
In summary, range can vary a lot based on where you live but we believe in almost all cases people will see at least 1 mile, and on average about 2 miles. When you receive your Home Base, you’ll want to mount it as high as possible to maximize range from your home.
- Home wi-fi network with internet connection.
- iPhone 4S, 5, 5C, 5S, several Android powered devices, see below list:
Where We're At
We've been working on internet of things technologies for the past 7 years and on the Iota and Home Base product for the past 3 years. The Iota and Home Base that you see in the video are the real, working prototypes.
With your support we can bring free nationwide monitoring and tracking to the entire country. While we're close to entering production, your contributions will help fund:
- Production tooling
- Ordering parts for the Iota and Home Base
- FCC radio certification
History of Iota
We built the first Iota and Home Base back in 2010. They were way too expensive, too power hungry, and downright unappealing to look at!
But we kept working hard to shrink the design, lower the cost, and improve performance until the Home Base was small enough to attach to a window and Iota was small enough to attach to small dogs and cats.
The following technology trends that didn't exist 5 years ago are important enablers for the Iota network:
(1) Wide adoption of smartphones
(2) Low cost and easily scalable cloud services
(3) Low cost of deployment due to the long range wireless technology
With these enabling technology trends and the current Iota & Home Base, we think the time is right to finally deliver on the vision of a free nationwide “Internet of Things” network. No additional monthly fees!
Meet the Team
We would also like to thank our friends at Funders and Founders for creating the Infographic.
Most importantly we want to thank the Kickstarter community!
- Is the Iota waterproof?
- Yes, even if the Iota is completely submerged in water it will cause no adverse effects.
- How does the range from the Iota to the Home Base vary in different environments?
- The range will be smaller in heavily built up environments like downtowns of large cities and larger in more rural area. In our tests, we typically experience a range of 2-4 miles in more suburban areas like San Jose and a range of 1-2 miles in more urban areas like downtown San Francisco.
- How will the Iota battery life vary for different use cases?
- For on-demand location applications where you are searching for the lost item infrequently (less than once per day) you should see a battery life of 3-4 months. The number of location updates before needing to recharge is approximately 800. So if you were to check the location every 10 minutes continuously during the day, you would have to recharge the battery after about 11 days.
- Is the radiation from the Iota harmful?
- The radiation from an Iota is around 100x less than a smartphone.
- Are my Iota locations private and secure?
- Yes, the Iota location is encrypted using highly secure AES encryption and kept completely confidential.
- If only 10 Home Bases are needed to cover an entire city, is there an advantage to having more Home Bases than are necessary in a city?
- The Iotas will actually achieve a better battery life if there are more Home Bases around. This is because the Iota transmits with less power the closer it is to a Home Base.
- What prevents someone from stealing an Iota in plain sight?
- Once an Iota is linked to your user account, it can't be used on the Home Base network unless you release it from your account. This makes the Iota of very little value to a thief. Additionally, an alert can be sent to your smartphone if the Iota is tampered with.
How much of my WiFi bandwidth will the Home Base use?
- The Home Base uses less than 5Kbps of bandwidth to send data to our servers. For a 1Mbps uplink, that is less than 0.5% of your total bandwidth. This will not have a noticeable effect.
Is Iota supported internationally?
- Unfortunately, we are only supporting it in US right now. A major reason for this is different regulatory restrictions in different countries. We plan on expanding to other countries in the future, please stay tuned for our updates.
Risks and challenges
We are far along in the prototyping phase. We have eliminated major engineering risk by finishing the Iota and Homebase circuit boards. We have high-quality 3D prints of our Iotas which already reflect the final specifications of the hardware. The only risks that remain include obtaining the necessary regulatory approval in a timely manner and potential unforeseen complications with manufacturers of our tags. During May we submitted our radio technology to an FCC certification lab for a pre-scan. The test showed that the signal complied with FCC rules regarding in band and out of band emissions. We feel confident that our device will be approved to operate in the US on schedule and have a long-standing relationship with our manufacturing partners, so we believe that this risk is also minimal and would result in a small delay in the worst case scenario.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Yes, even if the Iota is completely submerged in water it will cause no adverse effects.
The range will be smaller in heavily built up environments like downtowns of large cities and larger in more rural area. In our tests, we typically experience a range of 2-4 miles in more suburban areas like San Jose and a range of 1-2 miles in more urban areas like downtown San Francisco.
For on-demand location applications where you are searching for the lost item infrequently (less than once per day) you should see a battery life of 3-4 months. The number of location updates before needing to recharge is approximately 800. So if you were to check the location every 10 minutes continuously during the day, you would have to recharge the battery after about 11 days.
The radiation from an Iota is around 100x less than a smartphone.
Yes, the Iota location is encrypted using highly secure AES encryption and kept completely confidential.
If only 10 Home Bases are needed to cover an entire city, is there an advantage to having more Home Bases than are necessary in a city?
Iotas will actually achieve a better battery life if there are more Home Bases around. This is because each Iota transmits with less power when it is closer to a Home Base.
Once an Iota is linked to your user account, it can't be used on the Home Base network unless you release it from your account. This makes the Iota of very little value to a thief. Additionally, an alert can be sent to your smartphone if the Iota is tampered with.
The Home Base uses less than 5 Kbps of bandwidth to send data to our servers. For a 1Mbps uplink, that is less than 0.5% of your total bandwidth. This will not have a noticeable effect.
Iota is 43x22x11 mm
Home Base is 140x42x12 mm
Unfortunately, we are only supporting it in US right now. A major reason for this is different regulatory restrictions in different countries. We plan on expanding to other countries in the future, please stay tuned for our updates.
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