There are many benefits to implementing tracking technology in the workplace, including that of Bluetooth asset tracking technology.
Effective asset tracking can allow businesses to access data in real-time and reduce the possibility of assets being lost or stolen. While also helping to remove costly ghost assets, analyse asset conditions, and plan effective maintenance schedules.
What Is Bluetooth Asset Tracking?
In its simplest form, Bluetooth asset tracking works by using wireless technology to create connections between an object and a tracker.
These trackers are then paired with either a smartphone or Bluetooth-enabled device, which uses two-way communication to locate the object.
Bluetooth technology essentially uses radio waves to exchange information between devices over a short distance. As well as being able to capture the real-time location of Bluetooth-enabled assets, the technology can also produce a report on the physical condition of almost all enabled equipment.
What Are the Benefits of Bluetooth Asset Tracking?
A key benefit of using Bluetooth to track business assets is the ability to use two-way communication. This feature can then allow several devices to locate one another at the same time.
For example, if a business sets up a network of tags to track several assets, they can all be used to find each item individually. Which essentially makes it different from other technologies, such as GPS tracking.
Another major benefit of using Bluetooth to track industrial assets is the ease of compatibility with devices such as smartphones. This can work by data being automatically captured by a mobile app and transferred to the cloud for processing.
The beacon technology found in Bluetooth tracking allows for pin-point and effective real-time location tracking, which can be significantly less expensive than other real-time tracking technologies such as RFID and GPS tracking.
Real-time tracking is made possible when the software application receives data from Bluetooth hardware, such as tags and beacons. The asset tracking software can then process this data and produce human-readable results for review.
Depending on the software these results could include a map of the asset’s current location, a history of its movement, a log of employees who handled the asset and more.
Factors to Consider When Using Bluetooth to Track Assets
However, when considering Bluetooth technology in the workplace, it’s important to factor in the cost. For example, Bluetooth tracking tags.
These tags can come with an expensive up-front cost and are usually limited to a short working distance when compared to other types of tracking technology.
Another consideration for using Bluetooth devices is their dependence on battery life. For example, having an asset tracking solution that offers Bluetooth tracking via an app may quickly drain the battery of the device.
Whereas an RFID device could be seen as a more beneficial option in terms of battery life.
What Are the Alternatives to Bluetooth Asset Tracking?
In a similar way to Bluetooth Asset Tracking, RFID uses a reader and a tag to track assets. The tags are inactive until the reader activates them, at which point the tag transmits data back.
RFID also has a similar short-distance coverage range to Bluetooth, but a much shorter one than GPS.
Another alternative is Wi-Fi tracking technology, which can be used in a similar way to a GPS device. Wi-Fi trackers can determine where assets are located in relation to the signal strength of ‘hotspots’.
A hotspot is a physical location which has been set up using a router connected to the internet.
The tracker uses the hotspot’s geography and signal strength to determine an asset’s approximate location within a few metres.
Because of the reliance on these physical hotspots, Wi-Fi tracking can be seen as a more accurate method of tracking than Bluetooth and RFID. But this technology can also have its limits, for example, Wi-Fi tracking can be troublesome in rural areas where there are fewer hotspots.
Bluetooth tracking is constantly evolving with efforts to reduce the cost and offer efficient options that can fit a company’s needs and budget.
With select asset tracking software applications, businesses also have the option to design their own entire tracking system. For example, they can create a system that will track assets indoors automatically through Bluetooth, without any human participation.
If real-time asset tracking is a business’s priority it is hard to look beyond Bluetooth asset tracking technology. As opposed to the slightly more expensive traditional technologies of RFID and GPS.