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Remote monitor `achieves the impossible`

01 November, 2004

Remote monitor `achieves the impossible`

A British company has developed a technology that uses the GPRS phone system to monitor remote sites in a novel way. In most industrial applications of GPRS, it is used to allow remote mobile users to access central Web servers hardwired to the Internet. But in the new application, developed by Cirencester-based Dexdyne, the remote plant becomes the Web server, connected wirelessly to the Internet via GPRS. The user can then access it like a regular Web site, via any browser. No special software is needed.

Dexdyne`s Netrix GPRS Gateway is said to simplify the task of adding monitoring to remote plants, and to be more efficient and cost-effective than traditional dial-up systems. The system was demonstrated on MMI Solutions` stand at the recent Drives & Controls Show.

"Many of our industry peers believed that this service could not be made to work in this way using GPRS," says Dexdyne`s managing director, Bharat Gupta. "It is very satisfying to have achieved what many thought would be impossible."

He sees the new technology as an ideal replacement for the expensive private radio networks traditionally used for telemetry from remote sites such as water pumping stations. It could also be used for mobile applications such as asset tracking.

For example, in one pilot application, the system has been linked to a GPS (global positioning satellite) system and used to track the positions of tractors as they move around a farm.

The Gateway is designed to optimise the data traffic and to keep GPRS bills low. It uses 128-bit security to limit access to authorised users.

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