Hartford Steam Boiler partners with Amazon Sidewalk network on IoT risk tool

Hartford Steam Boiler partners with Amazon Sidewalk network on IoT risk tool

Hartford Steam Boiler (HSB) announced that its IoT subsidiary, Meshify, has partnered with Amazon Sidewalk, a private community device network. The Meshify Defender S, a property monitoring sensor that is activated through the Meshify Protect app alerts customers of water leaks or other perils through an ambient temperature detector, will connect through the Amazon Sidewalk network.

The launch also provides small businesses and homeowners with easier access to HSB’s Meshify sensors, as the partnership simplifies installation and lowers the cost. Traditionally, only larger businesses could afford to install and keep up with the latest IoT technology. The Meshify sensor relies on long range (LoRa) communication technology that allows the sensors to communicate with the network and the monitoring and alerting platform. Without Sidewalk coverage, the LoRa sensors connect to a gateway, similar to a WiFi gateway found in a home, which then ultimately sends information to the alerting platform.

“The gateway is a significant component of the cost of our solution…” says John Riggs, Chief Technology Officer of HSB and senior vice president of Applied Technology Solutions. “In the future, as an early adopter of Sidewalk, we will be able to connect to the network, to the monitoring and alerting platform. We’ll be able to connect, not through the gateway, but through the Sidewalk network, thereby, in many deployments, allowing us to eliminate the gateway.”

By removing the gateway, and thus lowering the total cost of the sensor solution, the technology becomes much more readily available to homes and companies of all sizes. Difficulties with the sensor installation is another major barrier some policyholders face, while use of the

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Meshify sensor and Amazon Sidewalk network will help to eliminate it.

“It’s a two-prong installation: it’s the device installation and the gateway installation, and then it’s setting up the communication of the devices with the gateway. You’ve got the physical installation of the devices, the physical placement of the gateway – you try to optimize that, and then you’ve to get the two talking to one another,” explains Riggs. “With this setup, one whole part of the equation is already taken care of. You don’t have to do the gateway installation. You just have to place the sensors and have them connect over the available Sidewalk network.”

For example, if a policyholder experiences a leak on a property, the app sends an alert either through SMS, push notification, phone call or email – depending on which alert notification type was selected by the user. The policyholder will be urged to acknowledge that they have been notified and that they are taking action to mitigate further loss damage. Other users may also be added to receive alerts, in case the primary user is unavailable or away from the loss event.

Gordon Hui, vice president of product management and marketing for Applied Technology Solutions at HSB, explains that the ability to alert multiple users through the Meshify Protect app is another aspect of the solution that stands out compared to competitors. 

“It’s designed for commercial environments, as well. When you think about a hospital or a university campus, we need to have enough people to be able to access the system in a way that makes sense for them, so that the issue can be resolved,” Hui states. “Some of those places have call centers, while others have night staff or concierge staff. That’s the type of flexibility we provide.”

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