23 November 2017
How Sigfox’s Global IoT Network is Fencing the Open Range
Smart livestock protection collars create virtual fences, giving ranchers the ability to track and manage their herds like never before.
On the ranch, the hours are long and the workload is grueling. Even still, it seems like the work is never done. No rancher wants to lose time recovering livestock that have escaped summer pasture or wandered away from the herd on the open range. But despite the best livestock management practices, cows do get stolen, sheep wander from the flock and persistent horses break through holes in the fence.
Smart livestock collars—the newest innovation in IoT technology—give ranchers the ability to track herds in real time, all from a user-friendly mobile app. These lightweight, durable livestock protection collars are revolutionizing modern ranching by streamlining herd management, improving animal safety, and virtually fencing pastures and ranges with the push of a button.
Smart Livestock Collars Give Rancher a Bird’s Eye View of His Herd
As any rancher knows, rounding up a scattered herd is time consuming, and any animal that is separated from the herd becomes that much more vulnerable to predators. But no range rider or ranch hand can be everywhere at once, and until recently, human intervention was the only solution for managing livestock in the vast expanses of the open range. A large cattle outfit might not learn of a lost animal until roundup, by which time the missing animal could have strayed miles away in any direction.
Now, thanks to smart livestock collars, that same large cattle outfit has the ability to track each animal in real time. Developed by veterinarians, ranchers and engineers who understand the unique challenges of modern ranching, each collar gathers real-time information about the location of an animal and delivers it to a user-friendly app that can be accessed from any smartphone, tablet or desktop computer. Through his app dashboard, a rancher can access a bird’s-eye-view of his entire herd, or zero in on one individual animal. And he can do this from anywhere, at any time.
Representing the latest in IoT technology, smart logistics tracking may be just the solution this company is looking for. From a user perspective, smart logistics solutions are fairly straightforward to deploy. A small, battery-powered smart tracking device is securely mounted onto a container, truck or wagon carrying goods. Once mounted, the device collects real-time information about the exact location of those goods at any point along the supply chain and securely transmits that information through Sigfox’s global IoT network. The information is then aggregated on a customized app platform that can be accessed from any smartphone, tablet or desktop computer.
Real-Time Information Reduces Labor and Increases Animal Safety
But what if an animal does stray? The rancher of this large cattle outfit can’t possibly be expected to monitor his satellite map around the clock. No problem. He can virtually fence the range by simply setting boundaries on an app-based sattelite map. He can do this remotely and change boundaries at any time.
If an animal strays outside the set boundaries, an in-app alert is sounded and GPS tracking is activated on the animal’s collar. Having been alerted of the problem, the rancher can efficiently track and recover the animal using up-to-the-minute information about its whereabouts. The animal is brought back to safety sooner, and strains on manpower are kept to a minimum.
And the best part? Smart livestock collars are plug-and-play, meaning they don’t require pairing or complex configuration. Any ranch staff can connect an animal’s collar to the network in a matter of minutes, with no technical training required.