By Pravinraj Panicker
In Asset Tracking

The word IoT is a magical buzz word these days. One would think – wasn’t one internet as we have it today, enough disruption to our world that we have another one following through. As one may put it “one wasn’t enough we have another one also to deal with”.

What does this new member bring in?

IoT – The Internet of Things basically is a network of “things”. What are these “things”? Basically, the idea here is that you can bring to life “things” in this wireless world by tagging them and giving them a network identity. Thus your purse which no longer had a meaning in a network or the wireless space suddenly can appear as a live traceable entity. A network of many such things is what the IoT consists of!!!


How do we “enliven” things?

We have many ways of achieving this these days and the options surely are getting better and wider therein. The choices to achieve this range simple NFC tags, RFID tags, blue tooth beacons, UWB tags, wifi tags, infrared tags, etc. The basic purpose of all these is to provide for an identity to the “thing” and connectivity. What the difference is in the wireless bands operated, the power consumption, sensitivity and signal strengths, etc. Thus each one comes with its own set of pros and cons.

How do we trace them?

Now that we have belled the cat, what we need is a listener to hear the bell. It is as simple as it sounds. Well actually in the wireless sense we would need these listening stations located around the place and also ensure that these are made aware of these tags which need to be tracked. If these stations hear any of these on the wireless network it starts picking up and recording the signal as received. These stations have their own listening boundaries. Each of these stations would pick up the signal from a particular tagged “thing”. Trace is basically being to able say where all the “thing” was heard while it was moving.

How do we track them?

Now having heard the bell we need to decide where the cat is located or has reached. The ball game gets a little trickier here. This is technically called RTLS (Real Time Location System) – which is the name given to this kind of system. These systems come as a package and a combination of software as well as hardware pieces as part of the solution. The job here is to be able to take these “traces” picked up by the listening stations and now piece them together to know where is it located i.e. pinpoint the position. There are a lot of upcoming tracking solutions and each uses its own set of strategies, techniques and tools to achieve it. The difference between them lies in the precision and accuracy of the location. The costs vary too depending on how much precision and accuracy are needed.

The catch and the chasm

The world of IoT is wide and also growing and its applications of it will keep increasing. Therefore it is very important for you to partner with a consultant who will help by understanding your needs and finding a suitable solution. Choose the problems wisely and choose your tools right.

Read on to see how these capabilities come in handy as the building block toward security:
How can IoT help real-time authentication of anything?
How does IoT/Automation stop Loss or Theft?
How do you ensure better security using IoT?

Feel free to connect with us to discuss or share your ideas. We provide IoT services as well as IoT solutions based on our ISaE framework.

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