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AltoNovus Ltd.

AltoNovus was supported via Digital Catapult’s Things Connected programme, which helps UK businesses using low power wide area network (LPWAN) technologies. Having spotted its potential, Digital Catapult encouraged AltoNovus to apply, via an open call, to install and demonstrate an LPWAN-enabled monitoring solution at Farnborough International Airshow. This generated leads and increased the company’s global exposure. AltoNovus continues to work with the Farnborough International Limited Venue Facilities Management Team.

The challenge of getting IoT sensor solutions into production.

Although AltoNovus had developed and conducted successful field trials of its new end-to-end IoT monitoring solutions, the Founders needed a critical mass of orders, circa 200 devices, to take them into production. Certification and tooling costs can be burdensome for startups and represent significant risks, unless they are underpinned by firm market interest and client orders. This context was the motivation for AltoNovus to engage with the Things Connected programme and work with Digital Catapult to look for opportunities to raise its profile and find leads.

Digital Catapult uses Farnborough International Airshow as an opportunity to support startups

Farnborough International Airshow attracts 1,500 exhibitors*, has 100k sqm of exhibition space, static aircraft and flying displays. Up to 100k and 80k visitors were anticipated over the trade and public days respectively. It offers an unparalleled opportunity for companies working within the industry to collaborate, with $192 Billion in orders and commitments placed during the 2018 event. Digital Catapult wanted to use this opportunity to showcase the products from noteworthy startups, working with LPWAN technology.

Digital Catapult issued an Open Call to find suitable startups and innovative companies working with LPWAN, including those participating in its Things Connected Programme, which could propose potential uses of LPWAN solutions that would benefit the Farnborough International Limited management team.

“Digital Catapult’s unique knowledge and position within the IoT ecosystem enabled us to identify and promote AltoNovus, a pioneering British company that we feel holds great promise. AltoNovus considers real-world problems and proposes solutions for them, rather than focusing solely on technology’s capability. This approach is likely to lead to commercial success. We look forward to the outcome of the ongoing work that it is undertaking with Farnborough International Airport.” adds Peter Karney, Digital Catapult, Head of Product Innovation.

AltoNovus selected to provide a solution for Farnborough International Airshow

AltoNovus proposed a solution that would help the Airshow’s Venue Facilities Management Team by monitoring security, access, footfall and environmental conditions. LPWAN sensors positioned around the site captured access to critical areas, such as washroom facilities and high-traffic parts of the Exhibition and Conference Centre.

The solution provides the Venue Facilities Management Team with data that will help them to optimise the management and maintenance of facilities, based on automatically collected data.

Alan Lappin, AltoNovus Ltd Business Development Director, said: “Our S30 devices monitored footfall through the male and female washrooms, which provided actionable management information, presenting the Venue Facilities Management Team with the opportunity to prioritise demand and deploy cleaning staff to the highest points of need, in near real time. Meanwhile, our E40 temperature/humidity devices delivered empirical evidence of the ‘climate’ inside the Exhibition and Conference Centre, which reassured the Farnborough Management Team. The benefits for customers are obvious and should enhance the customer experience and satisfaction levels.”

A key feature of the AltoNovus design is that its devices, leveraging LPWAN technology, can operate for 10+ years, before their batteries require replacement. The long range, low power consumption and low price of LPWAN enabled sensors lends them to this sort of application as they simplify the installation and allow for rapid deployment and redeployment of large numbers of sensors at a venue that is frequently reconfigured.


AltoNovus benefits from new leads, increased exposure and ongoing engagement with Farnborough International Limited Management Team

Geoff Dean, AltoNovus Ltd Managing Director, said: “Working with Digital Catapult has given us increased profile and generated leads that we hope will help us to take the next step from prototypes to production models. We’ve also enjoyed meeting other operators in this field, as well as gaining useful insights on patenting, data protection, business planning and marketing.”

Digital Catapult gave AltoNovus the opportunity to showcase its solution at the Farnborough International Airshow, which attracted more than 80,000 trade visitors* in 2018. Exhibiting at the air show generated several leads for AltoNovus, helping to increase brand awareness, and introducing it to new collaborative and manufacturing possibilities.

In addition, working more widely with Digital Catapult has helped AltoNovus to meet other LPWAN experts and innovators and to refine its market offering.

Dave Smith, Head of Venue Facilities at Farnborough International Limited (FIL) and Trials Sponsor for the Farnborough deployment, added, “As part of our work together at the Farnborough International Airshow, Digital Catapult introduced FIL to AltoNovus Ltd. This enabled a successful collaboration, with AltoNovus trialling LPWAN-based systems during the Airshow. A range of AltoNovus temperature, humidity and people counting sensors were installed in our new Exhibition and Conference Centre. These bespoke data gathering devices provided invaluable data to assist FIL with maintenance planning, labour scheduling and financial forecasting. We are now exploring a possible contract for the permanent deployment of AltoNovus devices at Farnborough, as a result of the Digital Catapult introduction and the successful AltoNovus/FIL trials collaboration that followed.”


Leads from the Farnborough International Airshow continue to be explored by AltoNovus, including continuing discussions with the Farnborough Facilities Management Team.