Low-Power Design for Multi-Year Battery Life

Every element of the mcThings Platform is designed to extend the battery life of devices in the field, minimizing service requirements and maximizing up-time.

5+ Years

is the amount of time an practical sensor-IoT-device combo should operate unattended in the field...

IoT devices need power, but not every IoT device can be plugged in. Using a low power device gives you the ability to retrofit existing equipment, lowers your cost of installation, and opens up availability in remote or inaccessible locations. With a low power solution, tool tracking, and monitoring of unpowered equipment are substantially easier.

Scenarios where Low Power devices are critical

  • No local power available – Picture implements at a remote field location that is only occasionally active.
  • Re-wiring the host device is expensive – Imagine trying to install additional sensors into 10,000 already active fridges and freezers.
  • Hard to get to – You may need to monitor areas that are difficult for conventional power plugs. Imagine a sensor on the top of an elevator, or deep in an HVAC system
  • Form Factor – Development of small, mobile IoT devices like tool trackers require a low power solution.
Our devices are designed to use primary cell batteries (AA, AAA, CR2032) rather than integrated rechargeable lithium-ion batteries for several reasons.

  • Fast and easy exchange of depleted batteries.
  • IP67 environmental protection due to not needing a charging port in the chassis.
  • Extended temperature range, suitable from -40°C to +60°C
Rechargeable Lithium Ion Batteries are great for phones, but problematic for IoT Devices because:

  • They don’t have the length of life. Expect a quality rechargeable to need charging every 3 months
  • That means additional charging infrastructure: docks, dongles, cables and bricks.
  • Degradation over time: the older a rechargeable battery is, the shorter each discharge cycle.
  • Environmental sensitivity: rechargeables often struggle in extreme conditions and can be hazardous.

Each component of our platform works with low-power consumption in mind...


  • We use the lowest power consumption version of each sensor and component on our integrated devices.
  • Our external mcBus connected sensors support passive and actively powered configurations.


  • We use state-of-the-art Processors and build our devices with low-power components from the ground up.
  • Our communication design emphasizes low power: mcAir is built by us specifically to use low power.
  • Our devices don’t speak directly to the internet, that relay happens at the gateway. Which means we can use very short messages through a Ticless Rtos: effectively the device goes to sleep when there is no data to send, rather than constantly waking and checking on a set schedule.
  • mcScript is built as an event driven system, not a pulling system. It reacts to the external stimuli rather than reaching out regularly to continually “wake” the device.
  • All this means a device running AA batteries and an LTE connection should have a 2 to 5 year battery life
  • When using AA batteries and an mcAirLR connection, device battery life can be as high as 10 years.


  • Are the internet protocol connection point for many devices in the field.
  • A single gateway, or gateway cluster, can facilitate thousands of devices spread over a wide area.
  • Our LTE-M systems enable roving and remote gateways.

The Cloud

  • There’s nothing low power about what’s happening on the cloud…
  • But the cloud is where we manage the software and script updates that leverage low power features in devices.
  • Our cloud system is also where you’ll find your battery levels and estimates, so that you can schedule replacements before a device “goes dark” and minimize downtime.

  •  All our code operates with low power in mind
  • mcScript is built as an event driven system, not a pulling system. It reacts on external stimuli rather than reaching out regularly to “wake” the device.
  • Our system facilitates mist computing which means less unneeded data transmitted, which means a lower power footprint for each device.