|Wi-Fi, real-time location tracking and security sensors are important elements of IoT solutions|
The tracking of people, processes and things continues to grow, and that’s good news for systems integrators, who can add these services to their arsenal of offerings and boost their levels of recurring monthly revenue (RMR).
Real-Time Location Tracking
Global Positioning Systems (GPS) and Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) are great ways to not only add security, but operations management and logistical applications into the fold. GPS can both be used for internal efficiencies within security installing companies, and it can also easily be extended to new customers in a host of vertical markets.
Zebra Technologies Corp., Lincolnshire, Ill., recently commissioned an independent study with Forrester Consulting, Cambridge, Mass.: “Internet-Of-Things Solution Deployment Gains Momentum Among Firms Globally – Improved Customer Experience and Supply Chain Optimization Are Leading Business Benefits of IoT Solutions.” The study surveyed IT and business decision-makers in nearly 600 global firms in the retail, consumer products, manufacturing, transportation, government, oil/gas, healthcare and hospitality industries. The thought leadership piece brings new light to the ways various markets can leverage the Internet of Things (IoT) – defined as smart, interconnected devices – to “get more visibility into the identification, location and condition of products, assets, transactions or people to drive more effective and timely business decisions or to improve customer interactions.”
According to Mike Maris, senior director of Transportation and Logistics, Zebra Technologies, Lincolnshire, Ill., Wi-Fi, real-time location tracking and security sensors are important elements of IoT solutions.
“Real-time location systems provide detailed information on assets, people, parts and pieces,” says Maris. “It provides info on where a driver is and what he needs for a job. There are even sensoring shocks that alert if a truck is being driven hard and may jar sensitive electronic equipment. Customers are asking about these types of technologies; coming to us with problems and asking how they can solve them.”
RFID, GPS and Wi-Fi applications for contractors and their customers continue to mature and open new areas of specification
RFID, GPS and Wi-Fi applications for contractors and their customers continue to mature and open new areas of specification. Mark Fischer, technical consultant with SmartTek Systems, Reno, Nevada, said the object is to increase the envelope of what can be offered to customers.
Mobile Security Applications
He adds that dealers need to expand their potential by coming up with new services to generate additional RMR. “We provide the app and the infrastructure, and the integrator provides the service,” he said.
Fischer said SmartTek tracking not only includes GPS, but Wi-Fi connectivity in smart phones refines the location of a person or vehicle. “Accuracy has been increasing. Now, you can map locations with Wi-Fi, geo powers for triangulation by sector and even BlueTooth beacons.” SmartTek services integrate with professional central station monitoring services.
The company offers three different platforms: SmartAlert, SmartGuard and SmartTrack. SmartAlert expands physical security from the home or office to remote locations with a GPS-based panic button. “It solves a very real problem,” Fischer continued. “There’s the inability of the 911 system to locate mobile phones accurately. Once the SmartAlert app is loaded onto the user’s iPhone or Android device, the service works just like a traditional in-home panic button—with two activation modes: a virtual button on the phone or a wearable personal communicator. There’s also a privacy function that tracks only on alarm.” SmartTrack is a tracking and mobile productivity application that allows companies to track deliveries in real time, without installing a GPS in a vehicle. SmartGuard monitors real-time location of minors, with tracking and arrival alerts for family members.
The concept of accountability has become critical to security installing companies and their customers, and GPS and RFID provides yet another way to add revenue.