There's this crazy old world that most of us live in - and then there's another altogether more idyllic world, up in the Alpine pastures of Europe. But, actually, it isn't quite as idyllic as we might think. Even in this day and age, stressed-out shepherds have to rely on those cutesy Alpine bells when trying to find or monitor their cows or sheep. And while they may be a nice reminder of days gone by, they're pretty much useless on a practical level. Previous attempts to find a satisfactory solution have failed for a whole range of reasons - weight, size, battery life, costs, range, etc. However, LPWAN - a new radio technology developed for the Internet of Things (IoT) – is one solution that could eliminate pretty much all those problems. The Alptracker project from TECSAG is on show at CeBIT 2017 in Hannover as an example of an optimum monitoring system for livestock that is about to be let loose on the markets.
Alptracker isn't just for locating animals, it can also offer herds better protection from attacks by wild animals. By monitoring the movement of livestock, as well as the dogs charged with protecting them and any llamas or alpacas that may be around, users can even devise preventive measures. Moreover, by analyzing movement profiles for the livestock and evaluating inertial sensors, users can also draw conclusions about the health of individual animals. Last but not least, cost-effective and energy-efficient data transfer makes optional functions such as geofencing and "Rumiwatch”" (a chewing and swallowing sensor) a very real and useful possibility.