FindMy launches next generation satellite IoT livestock tracker powered by Globalstar
(30 October 2019 - Globalstar) Globalstar Europe Satellite Services today announced that FindMy, the IoT animal tracking pioneer, has launched its next-generation tracker.
The FindMy e-Bell Model 2 collar is more robust, smaller and lighter, and now features Bluetooth for easy set-up and a longer-life replaceable battery for lower maintenance.
Today, as FindMy marks its 10-year partnership with Globalstar, and with over 45,000 collars deployed in the field, FindMy collars have transmitted 20 million IoT tracking messages by satellite, enabled by Globalstar’s powerful, low-cost STX3 chipset and its worldwide fleet of Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellites. This data allows farmers to reliably monitor and protect their valuable herds wherever they roam, including regions beyond the reach of mobile phone networks.
The appeal of FindMy is such that it has even attracted customers whose farms are in locations with good mobile coverage – this is due to the price competitiveness of FindMy’s satellite-enabled solution, and the highly functional and user-friendly app and user interface which FindMy provides.
FindMy has spent the last two years designing and engineering the new animal collar, which will be available from Spring 2020. Additional new features include a custom antenna that adds extra assurance of successful message transmission, and a new app that makes it easy for farmers to configure and customise the collar’s transmission settings. The e-Bell Mark 2 is easily self-configurable for farmers and the new industrial-grade FindMy devices are engineered to meet military-level satcoms standards for robustness in all weather conditions.
Enhanced software can now deliver a complete snapshot update of the herd/flock location at particular times of day specified by the farmer dependent on when they head out to the hills to check on the animals. The system also includes an improved accelerometer sensitive enough to detect whether an animal is in distress, such as if it is frightened or being chased.
Norwegian sheep farmer Halvor Mjoen originally founded FindMy in 2009 to support his fellow sheep farmers whose flocks graze fence-free in the mountains and often range across borders into Sweden, Finland as well as Russia. In addition to monitoring sheep, FindMy has also been adopted by reindeer-herders, many with ancestral heritage from the indigenous Sami communities in the far North, whose livestock range across the Arctic Circle. FindMy’s reputation has further grown internationally and the system is now used as far away as on cattle ranches in South America.
“We have learned a lot in the last 10 years, and we have put all that knowledge into our next-generation tracker,” says Mjoen. “We owe our success to listening carefully to our customers, understanding their everyday operations, their pain points and working to deliver what they really need.” He added: “Our close partnership with Globalstar, with its reliable, functional and cost-effective satellite technology, has played a huge role in our achievements.”
The STX3’s small size, ruggedness, long battery life, and ease of integration, as well as its competitive price, remain key compelling features for FindMy. It makes it possible for farmers to geo-fence livestock, helping them to monitor animals to ensure they graze only in designated areas, and to locate those that have escaped or are injured.
It also enables farmers to optimise their stock, ensure the animals have adequate food and water, while mitigating against disease and predation. FindMy’s data trail empowers farmers to analyse areas of best grazing and they can proactively manage grazing for future seasons.
FindMy’s custom user interface alerts farmers and herd managers when an animal has not moved for some time. With FindMy’s GPS data, they can identify exactly where to go to investigate, saving valuable time and resources. Farmers deploying the collars report a significant reduction in animal loss, with a consequent direct positive impact on their business.
“FindMy is a perfect example of design, engineering and industrial creativity, and amply demonstrates how satellite technology and the Internet of Things can be harnessed to powerfully solve real world problems,” said Mark O’Connell, Globalstar EMEA General Manager. “We congratulate FindMy on its next-generation solution, and we look forward to our continued collaboration to help more farmers improve the welfare of their livestock, and enhance their businesses, across the Nordic region and beyond.”
FindMy was originally established as FindMySheep by Norwegian sheep farmer Halvor Mjoen in 2009, with a tracking collar system using Globalstar technology to protect free roaming sheep. Having rebranded as FindMy, deployments have since increased to over 45,000 units, with 85% worn by sheep, and the remainder protecting reindeer in Norway, Sweden and Finland, as well as cattle herds in South America. In 2012, concerned about hundreds of sheep going missing each year, the Norwegian government part-funded an initiative to track farmers’ livestock so they could understand what is driving the disappearance of the animals and eliminate any foul play. This funding enabled FindMy, having become a Globalstar Value Added Reseller, to further develop its tracking collar, with a back-office application that enables the farmer to visualise the locations of the animals at any given time.
Globalstar is a leading provider of customizable satellite IoT solutions for customers around the world in industries such as oil and gas, transportation, emergency management, government, maritime and outdoor recreation. A pioneer of mobile satellite voice and data services, Globalstar enables businesses to streamline operations by connecting people to their devices, supplying personal safety and communication, and automating data to more easily monitor and manage mobile assets via the Globalstar satellite network. The company's commercial IoT product portfolio includes the industry-acclaimed SmartOne asset tracking products, Simplex satellite transmitters and the SPOT product line of personal safety, asset and communication devices, all supported on SPOT My Globalstar, a robust cloud-based back office solution. Completing the satellite product suite are Duplex satellite data modems, the innovative Sat-Fi2 Satellite Wi-Fi Hotspot, with all product solutions offering a variety of data service plans.