Bosch entered an open pilot phase with a Bluetooth tracking tag, dashboard and app. We haven’t tried it yet, but it looks great.
You can register tools, people, etc. and associate Bluetooth beacons with them. When a user’s Android or iOS phone with their app is within the vicinity of the Bluetooth beacon, you can get an update on the dashboard with relevant information. The beacons they are selling along with this tool have a range of about 30 meters.
While the system seems well-designed, it remains to be seen how it looks in implementations with a limited amount of workers or phones nearby. The workers presumably have the app downloaded and location services turned on. Without using fixed gateways to pick up data from the beacons, the deployment cost is, of course, less, but the location data is limited to the phones nearby. While phones can be left on site, if they’re not specifically built for reading data from the sensors, depending on the phone results could be off by more than if the tracking was being done by sensors specifically built for reading Bluetooth devices. High-level accuracy would not be possible – but this level of zoning depending on who is around will not be needed for many applications.
All that said, this is one more indication that the asset tracking market is gearing towards Bluetooth. It’s exciting to see another product on the market.
Read more on Equipment World.