Apple AirTags vs. Link Labs AirFinder: what’s the difference in terms of IoT asset management? With the recent release of AirTags, this question has likely been circulating throughout a variety of commercial industries in search of an IoT device management platform. We’ve learned that AirTags are suitable for consumer needs, whereas AirFinder is an asset tracking hardware system complete with IoT software suited for commercial deployment.
IoT asset management is a platform that oversees the lifecycle of asset monitoring from start to finish within a commercial environment. That is tracking, reporting, and maintaining critical assets. This empowers companies to know their assets’ information in real-time, eliminating the need for human effort. Imagine a system that allows you to optimize the function of business assets across the board, for an immediate Return on Investment (ROI). So, how does AirFinder beat AirTags in IoT Asset Management?
Critical Components of an IoT Asset Tracking Platform
All IoT asset management platforms have critical components that enable organizations to manage their assets more efficiently. Here’s a look at those components and how AirFinder ranks above AirTags.
The device types implemented vary depending on use case and the object that needs to be tracked. For example, AirFinder is a complete system, including asset tags, location beacons/access points, a gateway, and a cloud-based IoT platform. Some customers may only need to track assets indoors whereas others only need to track outdoors and some need both indoor and outdoor asset tracking. Some companies may need to track equipment, others, people. That is why it’s important to have hardware that adapts to user-specific needs. When you invest in Link Labs, you’re granted a full operating system to better manage assets that scale to meet business-specific needs.AirTags, on the other hand, are a standalone product offering that must be used alongside an existing Apple device, which can then be used to access the tracking software application. This approach to IoT makes it difficult to implement at a commercial scale, as all of the components must already be in the user’s possession or purchased separately.
How is the equipment mentioned above connected? You’ll need reliable network access everywhere your tracking devices may be deployed. Commercial and industrial IoT applications often leverage a secured network to accomplish this. With AirFinder, you have access to Symphony Link™, an end-to-end wireless solution designed specifically for low-power wide-area network applications. This patented wireless technology achieves carrier-grade connectivity. Its range is 20 times that of WiFi, and it costs pennies on the dollar when compared to cellular.
As with the Apple AirTags’ components needed to track assets, with this device you also need to already have access to or invest in a wireless provider. That could be either through your at-home WiFi or cellular provider, such as Verizon.
You’ll also need a way to remotely manage connectivity, monitor device locations, and access device analytics. These roles are performed through an IoT software platform. AirFinder comes integrated with a platform to enable the tracking of an asset, along with other critical asset data such as temperature, seamlessly from desktop to mobile. This allows team members in different locations to simultaneously track this critical information.
If you decide to invest in the Apple AirTag, and already have the other required components, such as an iPhone, you’ll be able to access their version of a “management platform”. This is a pretty basic mobile application you download on your device, called “Find My App”, that allows you to find your asset’s location within a certain range. It is limited in that you can only see the estimated location, but not other data.
Benefits of IoT Asset Management
Now that we've looked into the requirements of an IoT asset management system, it's clear that AirTags are not a comprehensive IoT platform. If organizations would like to reap the benefits of one, they will need to implement AirFinder.
Typical workplace processes rely on some degree of manual work, which takes time and opens up the door to human error. But with a proper IoT software platform in place like AirFinder, you increase operational efficiency and productivity, resulting in more efficient resource utilization. With automated processes, such as alert notifications detailing critical asset information and reports covering asset data over a designated time frame, you spend less time manually generating this type of information and can make quicker and better-informed decisions.
Real-Time Tracking and Analyzing
When your system is connected 24/7, you can use the IoT platform to check a device’s location and status in real-time, alongside other key metrics that can be used over time to analyze the asset’s lifecycle. These real-time, automated metrics are a critical component, as they help to improve manufacturing and other workplace processes with the aid of machine learning and artificial intelligence, an important part of the fourth industrial revolution.
Return on Investment
Organizations can lose hundreds of dollars if their assets are not properly managed and accounted for. The ROI is immediate once an IoT Asset Management system is in place. With real-time location information surrounding your most critical assets, you can have a recovery plan in place in the event of loss or theft.
Wrapping it Up
From the critical components of an IoT asset tracking system to the benefits they provide, it’s a clear choice that AirFinder beats AirTags when it comes to having a comprehensive platform for commercial and industrial needs.
At Link Labs, we provide the best fit solution for your industry. If you would like to see for yourself how AirFinder works, request a demo today.