AirTags are the latest technology released by Apple, but can they help your company’s asset tracking and management needs? Asset tracking is helpful and often necessary when operating a business, but there are some solutions that will fit your needs better than others. If you operate a warehouse or an indoor facility, or even ship goods or products to and from a facility, you need a comprehensive tracking solution that uses a Real Time Location System (RTLS) solution. RTLS is a solution that tracks the location of items in real-time. So, do the new AirTags use an RTLS solution?
Consumer vs. Business RTLS Software for Asset Tracking
The simple answer is no, AirTags do not include an RTLS solution. While AirTags do track the location of personal assets in real-time to a certain degree, users must locate their belongings using their own WiFi or cellular service, and iPhone or other Apple product to access the Find My App program – it is not an inclusive or comprehensive system. Link Labs’ AirFinder Onsite, on the other hand, offers a complete RTLS solution.
AirTags connect with the Find My iPhone app. The app then allows users to track other Apple devices, such as a laptop, to an approximate location. Apple expanded the use of this app by creating these tags. Consumers attach the tags to an asset of their choice and connect the tag to the app. You can then label the tag you’re tracking and see it on a map to where the tag is located. Though helpful for consumer use, there are drawbacks to the Apple AirTag.
When purchasing an AirTag, you are not provided with the entire system for use. If you don’t have an iPhone, you can’t use the tag to track your assets. If you’re a Samsung or Google user for devices, you would have to purchase an iPhone on top of purchasing the tag. The iPhone must also have the latest software update, and the tags work best with the most recent iPhone 12. If you have an earlier generation of the iPhone, you’ll have less accuracy. While the tag provides decent accuracy, it won’t provide you a location when the tag is outside of Bluetooth range.
Testing, Testing… Do Apple AirTags Live-up to the Hype?
Link Labs’ Chief Engineer, Mark Bloechl, tested the AirTags within his home. He noted that there was a weak signal when there were multiple pathways to get to the tag. He also noticed anytime the object was more than 12 feet away, there was a weak connection. There is a “Lost Mode” for when the tag is out of Bluetooth range that will alert you when the tag is back in range, but what happens when you need your item right now?
The AirTag is tailored for consumers instead of businesses. This means it’s not scalable for your warehouse, facility, and/or logistics needs. It would be overly expensive to buy enough tags to cover all of your business’s assets and buy enough iPhones to provide tracking service to an entire team, only to not have adequate precision tracking. It’s obvious that the AirTag was created to locate consumer goods within a defined/limited area. It’s great for tracking your keys or your wallet, or an item that you use as a consumer and need to keep track of on a regular basis.
The Leading Provider for Enterprise RTLS Asset Tracking
Link Labs AirFinder Onsite is the leading solution for a business looking for a Real Time Location System solution (RTLS solution). Link Labs has been providing asset tracking solutions for companies since 2014. Link Labs provides you with the solution that best fits your company’s needs. We don’t just provide you with a tag to attach to your assets, we give you the whole system! Our RTLS software system provides you with submeter accuracy using Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) as opposed to AirTag’s use of Ultra-Wide Band (UWB). Our solution was created to help companies improve their workflow efficiencies. Companies can choose from either AirFinder OnSite – designed to help users locate assets within buildings and contained spaces – and AirFinder Everywhere – designed to help users locate assets inside, outside, and everywhere in between.
AirFinder stands out from AirTags in a number of ways. AirTags are priced at $25-$29 each before accessories, keychains, and of course the iPhone and required monthly Wifi and cellular service charge per user. AirFinder Onsite tags are priced more affordably at $8-$15 per tag. The cost effectiveness allows us to scale at an enterprise level. AirFinder also has a longer battery life than AirTag. While AirTag has a battery life of only one year, AirFinder has a battery life of five years or more.
AirFinder is the best option for companies looking for an RTLS asset tracking solution. Not only will your company receive the hardware needed to begin tracking critical business assets, but the software needed to track and locate those assets more precisely now and into the future.If you’d like more information on the AirFinder solution, reach out to an expert from the Link Labs’ team to book a demo and find out how AirFinder will help your company’s specific needs!