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Frequently Asked Questions

What are the main advantages of Senseware?

We can connect to any sensor, meter, or device. Our platform is extremely easy to install and configure. And our system allows you to remotely collect data as well as control and configure your devices. It does all of this in the cloud, so no on-site visits are necessary. If you'd rather store data on-site, we can forward your data to the URL of your choice using Data Forwards, which could be a local server on-site.

Does the Senseware system integrate with BMS?

Our system can interface with a BMS several different ways. One option involves using of our sensor bridges, such as our Modbus or BACnet bridge, to collect data from the existing BMS. Alternatively, our system can provide data to a BMS for data collection. This allows for a cost-effective method of adding sensors to building infrastructure while still maintaining existing BMS functionality.

Does Senseware consider itself open or proprietary protocol?

We consider ourselves open protocol. We are a data company, and access to the data is open (subscription to the data via our publisher, data published in JSON format). In addition, we are open (agnostic) at the sensor level, meaning we can work with any protocol. However, the way the data is transferred via our nodes is currently not accessible to 3rd parties. This enables us to deliver a secure, reliable and easy to install infrastructure. All the communications are based on standard protocols (IEEE 802.15.4, HTTPS, etc.)

What kind of construction can the Senseware system be installed in?

The system can be installed in any kind of construction including old buildings, newer buildings and new construction. Thanks to our automatically configured wireless mesh network, no building is too big or too small for our system. We also do not discriminate against different types of hardware, so if you want to connect to it, then so do we.

Is the Senseware system self-optimizing?

Our platform is self-optimizing in that the wireless mesh network automatically configures itself. If there is ever a disruption in the pathway from a Node to the Gateway, the system will automatically find an alternative route to the Gateway. In the event that a Node cannot connect to another Node or the Gateway, it will store data locally until a connection is re-established.

Can the Senseware system also do control?

Yes, our platform completely supports bidirectional control, allowing you to not only control what data you collect, but also how you interact with your devices and surroundings. Currently, controls are supported using our Timing Control bridge and our Modbus sensor bridge via writes. Controls using BACnet will be available soon!

How secure is the Senseware system?

Senseware’s mesh network is secured wirelessly using AES (Advanced Encryption Standard), an encryption specification established by the National Institute of Standards and Technology. This security standard, used worldwide, has been adopted by the U.S. government for use in protecting classified information up to the Secret level. Going even further, Senseware’s communication from Gateway to server is protected using SSL (Secure Socket Layer). No matter what the application, Senseware’s considerations for client security allow you, and only you, to collect any data and connect to any device, easily, quickly, cost-effectively, and most importantly, securely. Our wireless encryption uses AES-128, the same encryption standard used by the U.S. Government. Once it reaches the Gateway, it gets encrypted using HTTPS on the way to our servers.

Does Senseware support HTTPS?

Yes, we do. Your data is encrypted from the moment it is collected at a Node to the moment you want to access it.

What is the installation process?

All you have to do is power the Node and plug in your desired Sensor Bridges or Sensors and you're all set. If you're using a Sensor Bridge that connects to an external device, you'll just need to connect the wires between the external device and our Sensor Bridge.

Do you install the system or are we responsible to do it?

Our system is so easy to install that we have full confidence you can do it yourself. We also have an amazing support team standing by; contact us via phone if you're the talkative type, or email if you're the strong, silent type.

Do I need to pair the devices together during installation?

No pairing is needed! To be more specific, no actual configuration of the Nodes or Gateway is needed on-site as you install the Platform. All you need to do is power the modules and they will automatically configure their mesh network themselves.

Can your system be placed within an enclosure?

Plastic or metal, we can handle it. We recommend using plastic enclosures in order to maintain good wireless quality. The Nodes can handle being placed in metal enclosures as well, but it will diminish wireless quality.

Is the Senseware system Wi-fi or Bluetooth?

It's neither, although it uses the same 2.4 Ghz frequency band as Wi-Fi. For increased security, we have developed our own unique architecture based on 802.15.4, the same protocol that ZigBee is built on.

Can the Gateway connect to the Internet via Cellular connectivity?

Yes, it can. In fact, we recommend connecting our Gateway to the Internet via cellular modem/router as it is often a much simpler installation process and does not require any IT knowledge or support. This allows you to bypass IT infrastructure. We can provide the cellular modem & data service through our partnership with Verizon, or you can use your own- it's up to you!

What is the range between nodes?

In line of sight environments, the range is up to 1,000 feet. You can expect a range between 150-300 feet in office buildings depending on the layout, and 100 feet in parking garages and other structures with an abundance of concrete.

Can the nodes run on Battery?

Yes, they can. While our standard Nodes have a battery backup that keeps them running if they lose power, we also offer Nodes that run on three AAA batteries. Depending on data collection frequency, these Nodes can run several years before the batteries need replacing.

Can the node support multiple sensor connection?

Each Node supports up to 3 Sensor Bridges that are plugged in using a micro-USB connection. Several of our Sensor Bridges, such as Pulse, 4-20mA, 0-5V, and Thermistor, support 4 connections apiece. Our Modbus Sensor Bridge supports as many devices as your network supports.

What type of sensors does Senseware support?

Currently, we support light, temperature & humidity, Modbus, Pulse, 4-20mA, CO2, 0-5V, 0-10V, Thermistors, PM, VOC, Motion/Occupancy, Contact Closure, and BACnet. Send us an email if there is another type of sensor that you would like us to support!

How accurate are your Temperature and Relative Humidity sensors?

Our temperature sensors are accurate to within 0.5 degrees Fahrenheit (0.3 degrees Celsius). Our humidity sensors are accurate within 2% relative humidity.

Can the Senseware system collect data for gas, chilled water and domestic water?

We can currently work with any sensor that has a pulse output, whether it is gas, water or power. For water and gas, we can support other sensors (ultrasound, etc.). If they have voltage or 4-20mA output, we can support them today.

Can the Senseware system withstand high temperature environments?

Our system can withstand temperatures high as 125 degrees Celsius and as low as 40 degrees (Celsius or Fahrenheit).

Can I change setting on the sensors remotely?

Yes, you can remotely configure Sensor Bridges and update conversion settings all from our Dashboard.

Can we set threshold on the sensors?

Yes, both lower limits and upper limits can be set for either Warning or Critical Warning alerts in our Dashboard. You can also customize how many data samples trigger an alert and the frequency of alerts.

How often can we get the data from the sensors?

You can get data as frequently or infrequently as you'd like. Default settings currently allow for a selection between polling every 10 seconds and every hour. But, if you need greater control, or a more frequent (i.e. every second) or less frequent (i.e. every 12 hours) polling time, let us know and we'll make it happen.

How often is data sampled for pulse-based sensors (4-20mA, 0-5V, Thermistor)?

You can choose how often your data is sampled. Our default settings allow you to instantaneously sample at the time of data collection from the Node, or sample every 10 milliseconds, 100 milliseconds, 1 second, 60 seconds, and 5 minutes. If you need finer control over sampling let us know and we'll take care of it for you.

Do the sensors need to be re-calibrated?

Calibration depends on the type of sensor. If the sensor is accurate without calibration, there is no need to have them re-calibrated. Contact us if you have any questions about a specific sensor.

What happens if the system loses the wireless connectivity? Power outage? No access to Internet?

Our Gateways and Nodes have backup batteries and internal memory storage so that if you lose power, or if your internet goes down, your data will be uploaded the moment power/internet returns.

Would one building installation accidentally talk to another building installation? How do you make sure data is not sent to the wrong gateway that is close by?

It is very unlikely that Nodes from one building installation would talk to those at another installation. But if this does happen, we can remotely force a Node to stick to a specific installation so that it doesn't wander to a different building.

Are your sensors certified by labs? Can you provide the certifications?

We don't make sensors; we just interact with them. As long as the sensor you'd like to use are certified, you're good to go. Certificates are available for third party sensors that we embed.

Do you provide support?

We have an amazing customer and technical support team that is available by phone, text, instant message, and email.

Do you provide warranty on the Senseware system?

As long as you are subscribed to our data, we'll take care of your Senseware hardware and all of your upgrades, assuming normal wear and tear conditions.

What is the cost of Senseware?

The Senseware platform is priced according to the number of data streams you wish to monitor. Contact one of our sales reps today at sales@senseware.co and we can get you more tailored pricing.