New promising methods and devices are continuously evaluated - all with the goal to provide goods position and status at scale. Connected location solutions are defined by devices that position and communicate with our cloud service stand-alone from any access point devices. Most commonly we find different types of GPS-trackers that connects to the portal using legacy cellular or any of the newer LPWAN technologies.
Different applications have different requirements. Sometimes it is not possible to use any of Proximity Location Service or Precise Location Service due to difficulties in providing connectivity through a gateway. For these situations we need devices that can communicate their position and status directly to the portal. These types of devices provide something we call Connected location services. These devices often have more electronics with larger batteries meaning they are higher at cost than a corresponding tag. They also connect with the cloud service a few times per day rather than several times per hour, or even several times per second, using the Proximity and Precise Location Services.
A device may use multiple technologies to acquire their position to maintain a battery life as long as possible. Most often base station(s), through which the device connects, can be used to provide a rough position. Other methods include scanning for nearby WIFI-networks, or fixed Bluetooth beacons, that can be translated into a position on the cloud side. The most well known and commonly used positioning method is satellite based communication such as GPS. These devices are often known as GPS trackers and have been used for many years to position goods.
Existing GPS trackers often comes with a high cost per unit and a relatively short battery life as GPS consumes lots of power. To read satellite signals a free line-of-sight is also needed which often is a problem in logistics.
Connectivity always comes with a cost. With base stations there is always a service provider that need to cover their costs. Communication over longer distances also require more energy meaning larger batteries and more expensive devices. The CargoBeacon platform support devices using several types of connectivity technologies such as Lora, Sigfox and Narrow-Band IoT. Due to recent advances in connectivity and closing down old cellular networks in Asia we have found that legacy 2G cellular connectivity have become very relevant for our business again from a scale-ability perspective.
Looking for scalable track-and-trace technologies? Look no further, get in touch and let us know your thoughts!