Farnell element14 is now stocking Symbisa, an Excel-integrated IoT device built by UK firm Hanhaa. Symbisa combines the possibilities of IoT with the power of Microsoft Excel, offering developers and IT professionals an entirely new way to build Internet of Things (IoT) applications. Symbisa is exclusively available from Farnell element14 in Europe and Newark element14in North America.
The Symbisa module is an all-in-one, always-connected device, approximately the size of a smartphone, that carries sensors capable of detecting and collecting environmental information including GPS location, orientation, temperature, light and humidity. Typical applications include the monitoring of temperature and humidity of greenhouses or storage areas, or tracking of equipment on hire, including whether it has been in an accident or dropped in transit.
Microsoft Excel is the command centre for Symbisa units and use of an Excel add-in enables users to bring real-world data streams directly into any desktop or mobile device that runs Excel for Office 365. Each Symbisa sensor is associated with a custom function in Excel, as are pre-configured events, meaning sensor data flows directly into Excel worksheet cells. Users can also push data from Excel up to a unit’s e-ink display. As a result, anyone with basic spreadsheet knowledge can start exploring the possibilities of IoT, interpreting sensor data, developing dashboards and triggering events that require follow-on actions in a matter of minutes – without coding, engineering capabilities, or a WiFi or network link-up.
Users also benefit from a well-defined end user cost model, made possible by connectivity through Hanhaa’s own secure global mobile network which charges by how often data is captured rather than the amount of data used. Users can send messages or barcodes direct from Excel to be displayed on the e-ink display on the module, ready for a person or machine to read and action in the field.
Ralf Buehler, chief sales and marketing officer for Premier Farnell and Farnell element14 said:“As the development distributor, we are always seeking opportunities to help our customers bring their products to market more quickly and efficiently. We met Hanhaa when they were part of Startupbootcamp, an innovation accelerator which we sponsor, and were incredibly impressed with the technology they had developed. Symbisa places the combined power of data and analytical strength of Microsoft Office 365 in the hands of the user, allowing them to access actionable insights without the need for coding or engineering experience. We are delighted to be launching this in collaboration with Microsoft.”
Ben Summers, Senior Product Manager for the Office 365 Ecosystem team at Microsoft added:“We’re really excited about the possibilities we’re unlocking here. The Symbisa product taps into the power and reach of Excel and empowers people to build simple, powerful IoT experiences and insights with ease.”
Azhar Hussain, CEO and founder of Hanhaa, stated: “We set out to make deploying global IoT solutions easier and faster and now, thanks to Symbisa, if you can run a spreadsheet, you can explore the possibilities of IoT – from unboxing to live data streams in just minutes. We already have large corporations integrating Symbisa into their operations and as a result of our collaboration with Microsoft and Farnell element14 this opportunity is now open to everyone.”
Key sensor parameters are:
- Location accuracy: Standard GNSS resolution down to three meters (accuracy provided with PDOP Position Dilution of Precision parameter)
- Shock detection Up to ±16g
- Ambient light detection wavelength: 560nm
- Ambient light detection light threshold: 0.01 lux to 83k lux
- Pressure sensing range: 260 to 1260 hPa
- Pressure sensing resolution: ±1 hPascals RMS
- Humidity sensing range: 5 to 90 per cent non-condensing
- Humidity sensing accuracy: ±3.5 per cent rH, 20 to +80 per cent rH, ±5 per cent rH 0 to 100 per cent
- Temperature operating range: -15°C to +50 °C
- Temperature sensing resolution: ± 0.5 °C
The Symbisa board measures 130mm (W) x 100mm (H) and 10.5mm (D), weighs just 160g and has quad band GSM radio for comms. Units also carry an e-ink display for text and/or barcode messaging, a battery sufficient for over 2 weeks’ standalone use, and a USB 2.0 connector for re-charging or hard-wired configuration.
Symbisa comes with an online portal which enables users to manage multiple devices and users. To get users started, the device comes with 500 free credits as well as a free trial of Office 365 developers licence.