Asset Tracking – what is this and which use cases do different asset tracking approaches offer? This text is intended to give you a quick overview of Asset Tracking without going too far into the technical details.
Asset Tracking: The tracking of goods
Asset tracking is the tracking of goods and objects. Either the presence of an asset at a defined location can be communicated or complete movements of the asset in a defined area or a defined room can be shown. Which type of tracking you choose depends largely on the requirements of the use case and the desired results. Depending on the requirements, different technologies are also used.
For example, a three-dimensional real-time tracking of an asset in the room can be implemented with ultra-wide band technology (UWB). With this technology, positioning accuracies of less than ten to 30 centimeters can be achieved. However, such precise and continuous positioning is often not necessary at all.
Communication of position and status data in industry 4.0
In the manufacturing industry with fixed production lines, it is usually only important to know at which station of a defined path a good or a production part is currently located. Of course, this type of asset tracking is much cheaper and faster to install. Integrated Beacon/RFID solutions are often available for the requirements of industry 4.0. This is all the more so as it is now possible with Sensor Beacons to communicate further information in addition to pure position determination. For example, the respective ambient temperature can be communicated, which offers many advantages in the food industry.
Tracking of free movement sequences
The tracking of a free movement sequence, i.e. not only knowing, is my asset at location A or location B, is particularly important in the tourism, health and retail industries in a special form of asset tracking, in person tracking. Here it is important to know customer flows or patients’ and guests’ routes. On cruise ships or in other tourist facilities such as amusement parks or resorts, for example, kids trackers are offered which enable parents to view the location of their child on their own smartphone at any time. MSC Cruises is a pioneer in this field and customers’ opinions are clearly positive. Pure beacon technology is used for this type of tracking. The person to be tracked is equipped with a bracelet with integrated iBeacon. Via BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy), the beacon permanently communicates its location to recipients, who in turn send the position data to a server from which the data can be retrieved by any authorized person.