The Helium universe is vast and complex. Some hotspot owners don’t have the tools to make sense of all the data related to their hotspot’s performance. Those who manage large portfolios of hotspots lack the ability to automate payouts. While improvements are on the horizon by way of Helium Improvement Proposals, there are also 3rd-party software providers bridging the gap.
One of the most notable is Hotspotty, having recently launched V2 of their platform. Hotspotty bills itself as being an “all-in-one tool for building the Helium network.” The company offers solutions for analyzing data, planning hotspot placement, managing payouts, collaborating, and optimizing performance. These are all areas of importance and the company’s launch has attracted a fair bit of attention. Hotspotty was recently featured on the RAKStars Podcast: Episode 39.
The workflow provided on Hotspotty’s website can help understand how the tools are used and the use cases that inspired the company's founding. Let’s explore each of these a bit more.
Understand Hotspot Data
People spend a lot of time using the official Helium Explorer. It provides a great overview of the coverage map and the current state of the network. There are options to drill down and to explore the performance of individual hotspots in hex tiles. It gets used extremely frequently and is updated by the official dev team regularly.
However, the Helium APIs store quite a bit of additional information. The existing map can’t provide every single desired feature, so it makes sense that 3rd-party projects driven by community needs pop up.
In addition to providing a cleaner, better-organized view of hotspot performance, rewards breakdown, and wallet stats, Hotspotty also features a color-coded regional view, as well as customisable labels and a “time travel” feature to help predict future developments in a given space. These are obvious enhancements to the explorer map.
Optimize Hotspot Locations
While the explorer page can be skimmed for insights pertaining to ideal hotspot placement, that isn’t the primary purpose. It leaves a lot to be desired and perhaps rightfully so because the optimal placement of a hotspot can change dramatically over time. There is no way to control how or where others place their hotspots.
Hotspotty provides a planning tool to help visualize how your hotspots may perform and interact with each other. Specifically, the app provides a simulator of reward scaling which you can estimate earnings from new hotspots. Nothing like this exists in the explorer. You can also observe which hotspots are too close to witness each other. If there are too many hotspots in a particular area Hotspotty will give suggestions on how this can be resolved.
Collaborate with the Community and Your Team
With so many hotspots now on the network, it’s often hard to identify owners and to contact them. Hotspotty provides a standard way to opt in to this communication, once a user has verified their wallet they can send and receive messages. It can lead to productive conversations amongst hosts or other business-oriented discussions. While users can still have an expectation of anonymity, the platform will help spur more productive connections, hopefully leading to better optimisation of the network
Manage and Automate Partner Payouts
The most important feature provided by Hotspotty is the partner payout system. Although not yet live this feature is said to arrive within the next month. The idea behind this feature is that there are many investors and large Helium partners who loan out their hotspots to others. Those owners and the actual hotspot hosts then demand a straightforward automated compensation scheme. This currently does not exist and is implemented by each owner individually, often needing a whole team of people to manage.
There are certainly questions about how this would work technically and what cut of this amount Hotspotty will pay, but it’s a useful feature that if implemented correctly would be a phenomenal addition.
Hotspotty looks to be a powerful platform making great use of the Helium API. Over time, it is possible that some of the features will get implemented directly on the blockchain or within the Helium explorer page. Such is the demand for the features Hotspotty is offering. The platform aids greatly in simplifying, understanding and optimising the Helium Network providing an exceeding level of value to the Helium community.