Commercial asset tracking doesn’t have to be complicated, but it can be overwhelming to read about the various options and capabilities of wireless communication technologies used in commercial asset tracking. As not all commercial asset tracking solutions were created with the same capabilities, it’s critical to invest in a solution that will be the most beneficial to your company.
IoT asset tracking technologies continue to improve as more and more commercial industries search for a way to simplify workplace processes. For example, LoRa (Long Range) technologies and devices are a type of wireless IoT network consisting of chips and sensors to provide service that functions on its own – not a user’s WiFi or cellular service. LoRa systems have a bandwidth and range that exceed both WiFi and cellular service, making it an ideal choice for companies looking for a flexible and economic solution for commercial asset tracking.
A common communication technology used in a LoRa system is Bluetooth Low Energy (LE). Bluetooth LE saves even more energy than similar technologies while providing the same long-range capabilities. The most recent communication technology advancement in the world of asset management is what Link Labs refers to as Xtreme Low Energy (XLE®).
Range Capabilities of Bluetooth LE and XLE®
Link Labs’ Bluetooth LE and XLE® are both LoRa, low-energy technologies that stem from traditional Bluetooth. Both technologies allow companies to track assets to their desired location; however, each uses a different method of doing so. Whichever communication technology you choose to implement depends entirely on your company’s use case.
When it comes to range capabilities, both solutions utilize long range (LoRa) communication technologies to calculate the approximate location of asset tags. The difference lies in how the beacons are set up inside of a facility.
Proximity-Based Location Tracking with Bluetooth Low Energy
A system operating on Link Labs Bluetooth LE provides location accuracy to the closest beacon. The Bluetooth LE beacons can be placed wherever you want/need and still provide an accurate location - you determine the density based on your accuracy requirements. Asset tags adhere to the nearest beacon to determine location. This type of technology is most beneficial when a facility wants to track equipment in specific areas. . Equipment operating throughout a facility will calculate its location based on the closest beacon and the user can visualize location on Link Labs’ real-time IoT software platform.
Phase-Ranging Location Tracking with XLE®
With Link Labs XLE®, users can receive up to meter-level accuracy of a tagged asset. Beacons are laid out in a grid pattern, typically in the ceiling of a facility. This setup allows the location of the tag to be tracked on xyz coordinates as a series of beacons send out phases or “waves”. The coordinates overlap so the tag can determine its precise location.
Additional Benefits of LoRa Asset Tracking Systems
LoRa systems strike a balance between efficient range capabilities and cost. Link Labs’ system uses off-the-shelf Bluetooth LE tags making the IoT platform significantly more cost effective than comparable solutions. That, along with a longer battery life, allows users to save maintenance costs by not replacing batteries as frequently. Other solutions like Ultra-Wideband (UWB) have tags that are up to 7 times more expensive and require additional infrastructure and maintenance. UWB is the gold-standard for asset tracking and can get up to centimeter-levels of precision, but most commercial settings do not need that level of accuracy and will pay significantly more for it.
Wrapping it Up
No matter your company’s use case or industry type, there’s a communication technology and commercial asset tracking system for the job. Bluetooth LE and XLE® both offer valuable range capabilities that can be customized to your specific need.
If you’re looking for an asset tracking solution and aren’t sure if Bluetooth LE or XLE® is best for you, book a demo for more information!