When customers hear about our AirFinder product, a common question is, “How is it like Apple AirTags?” Host Carson Garner answers this question and more in this solo episode of Get Linked, delving into the similarities and differences between AirFinder and AirTag specifically and commercial and consumer IoT in general.


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Episode Transcript

Carson: Welcome back to our Link Labs podcast, Get Linked. I'm your host, Carson Garner. We've got another great episode coming at you today. Today, I'm actually going to be flying solo as I discuss the topic of the differences between commercial and consumer asset tracking using the touch points of Apple AirTag and our very own Link Labs AirFinder solution. We will end the episode by giving you advice on how to make more informed decisions when investing in the right or the perfect asset tracking solution manufacturing or logistics operations. 

So we all know that efficient supply chain management is absolutely crucial in today's fast-paced environment where, you know, things are always moving so quickly and people are always having to catch up, and they want to have eyes on all of their different assets within their business. So a lot of companies are actually trending towards using devices such as the Apple AirTag, but they don't realize when they buy it, that the Apple AirTag actually falls short in a lot of different areas from a commercial standpoint. Apple AirTag was originally invented to be used as a consumer product to help people in environments of finding their wallets, finding their keys, finding more consumer, more personal items rather than being used at a commercial level or an industrial level. And a lot of companies these days are investing in these Apple AirTags thinking that they can track their fleet or track their small equipment in their manufacturing facilities. But they quickly find out that the Apple AirTag is not meant for that solution. And I want to clarify that this podcast episode is not a diss towards Apple or their AirTag device. It has its place and it's very, very, very efficient when you're trying to track your pets, like I said, wallets, keys, those aspects, it's very efficient and it can help you in finding what you need. But at a commercial level, like I said, you need something a little more. You need something that will provide you that supply chain visibility. You need something that will give you a great meter of distance. You need something that is based on GPS, based on cellular, based on Wi-Fi, not something that's solely based on Bluetooth. And what's great is Link Labs has the best solution on the market for tracking your commercial assets, especially in the manufacturing and logistics space. So let's dive into why AirTag is not as efficient as it could be in your supply chain.

AirTag utilizes Bluetooth technology to establish, you know, a connection between the tag and your Apple device. But unfortunately, Bluetooth alone has a relatively short range. And it doesn't allow you to get that full view of what you need in a more broader manufacturing or logistics environment. And AirTags are often ineffective in these complex supply chain networks. which often consists of warehouses, distribution centers, and transportation routes. So, all this to say is not the most efficient solution when it comes to a large range of tracking. On the other hand, our AirFinder solution here at Link Labs utilizes not only Bluetooth technology, but also it utilizes GPS, it utilizes cellular networks, WiFi, and it gives you the ability to use it at a commercial level, to hook our SuperTag Plus device on top of your trailer to give you that full view of what you need. Since our AirFinder device does have a SIM card in it, and it has the ability to connect to the cloud, it gives you a full view on a UI that we have. It gives you the ability to enhance your accuracy to give you a wider coverage and to provide you true real-time tracking capabilities. Because that's what the AirTag is missing is that true real-time visibility of your assets. And to give you a ping when something goes out of where it shouldn't be, or to just give you any type of asset tracking level of efficiency that you need. And with AirTag, it really only gives you that breadcrumb level tracking, but it doesn't give it to you at a wide enough range like our AirFinder does.

The second point that I want to touch on is AirTag's dependency on the Apple ecosystem. Now I will say that the Apple ecosystem is extremely popular, it's widely adopted at a consumer level, but it is not, universally utilized and it's not always going to be relevant towards your business, right? So if your business doesn't utilize an Apple ecosystem, it's going to be difficult for you to use the AirTag in your commercial setting. So what AirFinder does differently is it provides you with the ability to connect to any existing system that you have. If you have a telematics system in your trucking or transportation, or if you're in with some type of work in process managing system, it will give you the ability to integrate our device with that UI so that you can pair all your data together and put it into one centralized system that you like, that is familiar to your employees. That way you don't have to go through the whole training process and all of those different aspects that you would have to normally go through if you didn't have something that was reliant on other ecosystems. So for example, a lot of companies in the transportation or logistics space that use Link Labs' AirFinder actually prefer to push the data from our system into their system, into their telematic system through APIs and MQTT streams. And they have all the data in one centralized space. That way it's very easy, very convenient, very simple for everyone that works for the company. They have all their data in one spot so that if they go on there, they can find it. They don't have to go to multiple platforms. So just having that ability to integrate your systems, to combine things and make it more convenient and simple for your company makes you more and more of an efficient company to begin with. So just having that ability to combine different, platforms and existing systems with Link Labs AirFinder is what makes AirFinder stand out compared to an Apple AirTag.

Number three is Apple AirTag's lack of advanced data insight. So effective supply chain management requires not only tracking the physical whereabouts of your assets, but also analyzing data to optimize processes. You want to have the ability to look at that data and to make your business more efficient to identify bottlenecks, to make informed decisions, and to do things that would make you a better business. But unfortunately, Apple AirTag falls very short in this regard. While the AirTag does provide you location data, it shows you where things are through your Find Your iPhone app. It doesn't give you what you need to make informed decisions. And that's what also makes AirFinder stand out is its comprehensive data insights. You know, if you're a commercial business, you need to have this data that gives you the chance to not only have location, but also to know what the asset's doing, where the asset is with the location and how the asset's doing. So those three things are what Link Labs specifically focuses on the most. We want to give you the ability to know where your asset is, how your asset is and what condition is it in. Our system gathers data that helps you with asset utilization, transit times, temperature variations, and all these other different relevant parameters that could ultimately really improve the efficiency of your company. And so that is another area where it's absolutely crucial if you're a business to find the right solution that fits what you need. Because there are a lot of commercial asset tracking solutions on the market that actually don't provide that where, how, and what your asset's doing. They like to give you the location. They might tell you how it's doing, but they don't give you all three. And that's what you're getting at Link Labs. You're getting a full package that tells you everything you need to know about your asset and just the innovation, what Link Labs has done in the past and what we're currently working towards is just revolutionizing the game of asset tracking and doing it at a commercial level. So if you want to invest in a Link Labs' AirFinder solution, please, please, please go on our website and look at the different pieces of collateral. Start with all the different pieces of collateral that we have on each device. We have our On-Site solution for your warehouse, your indoor environment. And then we have our logistics solution, so our outdoor environment. So whatever works the best for you, get on our website and go find that. And then there's a button on our website to request a demo. And that is important because we want to know exactly what you need so that we can provide the right ROI, so that we can make sure that everything you need is what we can give you at the best and the most affordable solution. Because that is another thing that is what Link Labs is doing completely different compared to any other commercial asset tracking solution is we're providing the most affordable solution on the market. And so we are changing the game of commercial asset tracking and we want you to join us. So please reach out to us today or anytime in the future, we're always available to help you out.

Number four is AirTags vulnerability to interference or tampering. Now, this is a very big one in the world of commercial asset tracking because a lot of businesses, when they have asset tracking devices, they don't want to have to worry about it getting broken very easily or getting tampered with or anything of that sort. They want the tag to last them upwards of three to seven years. And with the AirTag, you're just not getting that. It's more of a consumer focused device. So they didn't build the products with the goal of having it to be super durable. And you can really tell, I know a lot of companies have talked to Link Labs in the past about the lack of durability that the AirTag provides. And that's why you have to upgrade if you're a business, you have to upgrade to a commercial asset tracking device like Link Labs' AirFinder, which has an amazing amount of durability and security from a software standpoint to a hardware standpoint. So we'll start from the hardware standpoint. So our, if you're talking from a logistics aspect, our SuperTag Plus, they're all IP67 rated waterproof solutions, as well as we have different cases and different things that we can put with the AirTag to make it even more durable. So, that's just one area, one device that's super durable, but all of our solutions, especially on the outdoor aspect for logistics companies, because we know that companies are especially fleet tracking companies, they want to have a super durable solution to put on their trailers. So we build our solutions with that mindset of how can we make this as durable as possible so that they can weather the storm of miles and miles and miles of being put on the road. So from a hardware standpoint, our solution is the most durable solution on the market for logistics, transportation, things of that sort. From a software standpoint, we have an amazing group of engineers here at Link Labs that work tirelessly to ensure that we are properly up to date with everything that we need to do from a cloud and software standpoint. And I know we had an episode, so I'm going to refer back to it. Episode three, we actually had one of our software engineers, our lead software engineer, John Johansen, who talked about overcoming cybersecurity and taking those proactive measures to ensure that you're not experiencing any cybersecurity threats from a business standpoint. So please, if you are curious about Link Labs software, or if you want to know more about how we are working towards having a very secure and stable software, please refer back to episode three. John Johansson is a genius when it comes to this stuff. So that's a great episode to give you what you need on the software aspect of the business.

Number five, and this is one we've kind of already talked about, but it's AirTags cost considerations. Deploying AirTag devices at a large scale is extremely costly.  One Apple AirTag is around 50 to 100 dollars. Uh, but you know, deploying it at a large scale, your company is going to have to invest in things like purchasing and attaching all these different air tags to each individual item. With Link Labs' AirFinder solutions, we provide it at a volume based level. So if you're a company that wants a thousand assets to be tracked, with air tags, you would have to pay individually, you'd have to buy each AirTag for each asset. But with Link Labs' solution, we can give you a price based on the volume of assets that you have, which will ultimately be extremely, extremely affordable compared to anything that Apple AirTag could offer to a commercial business. 

I want to finish this episode by giving you guys the tips on how to find the perfect solution. And I want to start by saying that a lot of people think that if AirTag doesn't work, since AirTag is such a well-known brand with Apple, they think that if it doesn't work, then people assume that others won't work either. I want to clarify that that is not true. You know, from a commercial standpoint, AirTag does not work, but there are solutions on the market like Link Labs AirFinder that are perfect for this, that will give you exactly what you need. And if you need granular level tracking, we'll give it to you, if you need two pings a day for seven years, we can do that as well. It's all about what the customer needs. And that's what makes Link Labs' solution such a great solution, because we can provide you with a catered solution to what you need, what your business needs, you know, from a battery life standpoint to a financial standpoint, we'll work with you to give you exactly what you need. So now that we've cleared that up, I want to give you a few tips, you know, and the first one is to do your research, things like watching this podcast or, you know, downloading things on our website that will teach you more about our devices, such as data sheets, white papers, things of that sort. Do your research to learn more about commercial asset tracking because it's a whole world. IoT is a whole large, large world. And it's so important to learn and to grow and to figure out exactly what you need before making a decision. Number two would be to know what you need, right? A lot of companies, they don't know exactly what they need. If you need, 1000 assets to be tracked, and you need it at this price point, go in with that in mind. Have what you need written out and know exactly what you need before even going to purchase. Number three, and it's simple, is to choose the right solution. And that goes back to doing your research and finding out what you need. Those two things will ultimately lead to finding the right solution. Because even if it isn't the AirFinder solution, even if you know, there's a solution out there that would work better with what you need. That is a solution you need to go with because at Link Labs, we strongly believe in helping our customers achieve what they need, not what we need. And so we always recommend if you find something that works better for you, or if you need it this way, and we can't provide it to you with the right ROI, we encourage you to find the right solution that fits exactly what you need. But thank you guys for watching today. I truly believe that the Link Labs solution presents the most effective choice for addressing supply chain issues. I don't think that there is another solution on the market that could beat our solution. Going back to what we said earlier, if you did find that solution, we would want you to seek that solution, but I don't think that you're going to find a better solution on the market for a better price point that provides the enterprise-grade capabilities that we do you know, that would be better for your business. When you implement our AirFinder solution, your business is going to gain a real time visibility into, you know, all of the assets that you have throughout the supply chain. And that's one really cool thing that we're, you know, progressing towards. We are combining our indoor and outdoor solutions seamlessly. And we're already doing this, but we're just trying to upgrade it to give you full visibility of where the main goal is. And I know Joe talked about this a lot in our past episode. But giving you that visibility from farm to table, you know, from warehouse to transportation to warehouse to transportation back to the consumer, you know, that is what we want to provide. We want to give you full visibility throughout the entire transportation. And that's what we're doing currently. And that's what we're working towards to make even more efficient. So our robust and reliable technology ensures seamless connectivity and wide coverage and our scalability. You know, we have the ability to scale so quickly as a company, and it's just amazing to be a part of such a great company that is all working towards the same goal of providing the right solution for our customers. So, thank you guys so much for watching, and I'm so excited for the future of Link Labs and what we can do for our customers. 

Thank you guys so much for listening to our episode today. Link labs is a leading innovator in all things, internet of things. Link Labs offers an asset tracking solution that uses technology to improve companies efficiencies. If you want to learn more about Link Labs, and asset tracking, and all the many benefits that we can provide to your company, visit our website at link-labs.com and be sure to follow us on all of our social media platforms at Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, subscribe to our YouTube channel, and of course, subscribe to this podcast for more episodes to come in the future. We look forward to seeing you next time and as always, thank you so much for listening in.


Written by Carson W. Garner

Carson W. Garner is a proactive marketing and business development professional with the goal of turning opportunities into sales. Carson is heavily involved with collateral development, website development, customer success, business development, and he hosts Link Labs' podcast Get Linked. He holds a Bachelor of Business Administration Degree in Marketing. Carson brings creativity, vision, and dedication to the Link Labs marketing and sales teams.

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