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Case Haltian: a national IoT Smart Washroom retrofit bears remarkable fruit

Wirepas Helsinki Vantaa






A flawed washroom experience

With heavy traffic all day long, facility washrooms are rarely sparkling clean. There are spills, messes and cloth hand towel dispensers that run out of towel. Part of the problem is awareness: how do maintenance staff know when a washroom is getting messy or towels run dry? Until recently, the best they could do is constantly make the rounds from one group of washrooms to the next, hoping to clean up in time. But with lots of other mall areas to maintain, washrooms often get ignored – resulting in a less-than-stellar washroom experience.

Haltian Logo Black

Haltian helps companies digitalize their services, add business value and optimise operations. Their IoT device platform solutions often involve retrofitting devices in order to gather business data and realise efficiencies.


IoT alert system to the rescue

With the Internet of Things (IoT), all sorts of previously ‘dumb’ devices can be retrofitted to show status and send alerts. ‘Smart cleaning’ is just one example of this. A major global textile services provider teamed up with IoT solution provider Haltian and Wirepas to develop smart washrooms that notify staff by means of a smart phone app when maintenance will soon be needed.

Facility maintenance staff placed more than 20,000 sensors (with plans for 100,000 in total), at a very low cost per device, into various models of existing towel dispensers. No RF planning or expensive technicians were needed, thanks to Wirepas Mesh self-managing network architecture. This resulted in connected facility-wide networks that, together with occupancy sensors, give staff accurate predictions of towel refill needs as well as washroom traffic – the biggest indicator of maintenance needs.

There are many reasons why Wirepas Mesh is our go-to enabler for IoT device connectivity. One of the strongest is that Wirepas Mesh builds its own network. Nodes find each other, connect automatically in the most efficient way, and form a network that becomes more robust the bigger it is – often with a ratio of one gateway to some hundreds of nodes.

Tom Lindgren
VP Digital Solutions, Haltian

How does it work

Uniting best-of-breed components for low-cost installation

The Smart Washroom system consists of the Haltian Thingsee IoT Devices Platform, which connects Thingsee sensor devices and gateways – usually one per building – to the Thingsee Operations Cloud via Wirepas Mesh. Data is then fed to a customer-specific system back-end for analytics and application enablement.

All sensors are powered with long-life (3- to 5-year) batteries. They communicate with gateways using commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) ultra-low-power 2.4 GHz  hardware via the Wirepas Mesh protocol. Wirepas Mesh keeps power consumption to a minimum and requires no elaborate radio-frequency planning or installation: it uses each sensor as a relay to communicate with the next, even between floors, over frequencies opportunistically chosen for their availability. With Wirepas Mesh, every device added makes the signal stronger. Gateway devices then communicate over cellular networks for the collection and management of the data from the sensors to the Thingsee Operations Cloud. The Cloud feeds data to the end-client back-end system, which pushes notifications to maintenance staff handsets.

Wirepas Haltian refecase

True value

Data analysis for better business decisions

Collected over months and years, sensor data shows clear trends that can be used to further refine business processes. The biggest prize in any IoT network is this analytical data. In the case of the Smart Washrooms implementation, data analysis can be performed on office buildings, hospitals, schools or any facility nationwide, or on a single towel dispenser. Identification of trends based on time of day, day of week, official holidays and other factors can lead to ideal predictive maintenance, staffing and useful revenue projections. The advantage of the Wirepas Mesh/Haltian system is that it is entirely affordable, inexpensive to install in existing dispensers, and provides a clear path to return on investment – typically within two years.


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Haltian’s expertise lies in connected product design and development, with devices scaling into the millions, in the hands of global customers. Visit Haltian website.

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Wirepas Mesh is wireless connectivity software for massive IoT. Integrated into devices, it’s a scalable, reliable and cost-efficient IoT solution.



Minimal RF planning required

When network devices find each other automatically, forming a mesh network in the most efficient way possible, planning is straightforward. With Wirepas Mesh, every device extends coverage and strengthens the signal.


The fastest, least expensive installation

With a ratio of one gateway to hundreds of sensors and a self-provisioning network that can be installed by maintenance staff, even smaller companies can afford to build a data-rich IoT network using Wirepas Mesh.


Free-channel auto selection

The Wirepas Mesh network makes use of all available channels, automatically selecting the ones that are free. The result? You could have 1,500 devices within a cubic metre and no communication issues.


Our facility service provider evaluated different options and opted for the dynamic duo of Haltian Thingsee and Wirepas Mesh. The benefits are clear:

30% more

time for actual cleaning

When washrooms are replenished and/or cleaned only when they really need them, there is more time for actual cleaning, as opposed to walking. It also enables better resourcing and lower staffing costs.

40% fewer

washroom checks needed

When maintenance staff are alerted to dispensers running low on towel or a high level of traffic at a certain bank of washrooms, they know exactly when they need to make the rounds. This saves time and increases efficiency.

Customer love

66% recommend

When two of three consumers would recommend a mall based on the cleanliness of its washrooms, it proves that a simple investment in better washroom maintenance can deliver a handsome return.

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IoT Expert Jani Vehkalahti

Jani Vehkalahti

Wireless IoT expert