Cellular IoT ear tag tracks health and location of farmed reindeer and other herding animals

12-04-2019 | Nordic | Subs & Systems

Nordic Semiconductor has announced that its nRF9160 SiP LTE-M/NB-IoT cellular IoT module is being applied in an IoT-enabled herding livestock management solution created by Finnish startup, Anicare, called the Anicare 'Healtag'. The solution is intended to insure farmers of commercially-bred reindeer and other herding animals against the financial loss and livestock welfare issues associated with injury or undetected illness of these animals that spend much of the year roaming in the wild. By applying the SiP, the 25g, 35 x 22 x 23-mm device is small and light enough to be fastened to an animal's earflap like a conventional livestock ear tag, and gives a maintenance-free battery lifetime of up to five years which suggests the tag only requires to be attached once to the animal during its lifetime. "The all-in-one module integration of the nRF9160 SiP meant we didn't have to worry about having separate application processor, antenna, GPS, and NB-IoT circuits that would have required a lot of supporting components and thus PCB space," comments Aki Marttila, CEO of Anicare. "And because the nRF9160 comes module-certified for cellular networks globally we didn't have to worry about gaining any regulatory approvals either." "The commercial challenge for herding livestock farmers is that they have to manage hundreds or thousands of animals and the loss of even a few of these animals can significantly reduce or even eliminate already slim profit margins," comments Geir Langeland, Nordic Semiconductor's director of sales and marketing. "This makes IoT-enabled herding livestock management solutions particularly attractive to them as a way to protect profits and minimise any illness or injury-induced suffering of their animals."

By Craig Dyball