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    5G

    5G technology is predicted to be equally or even more impactful than the creation of the Internet.  That’s a powerful statement.  5G is transformation because it enables low power data communication using phones as data access points for a wide range of tag readersmachine and environmental sensors.  

    The positive impact of the Fourth Industrial Revolution and its related emerging technologies will be fully realized through the wide-scale deployment of 5G communication networks in combination with other connectivity solutions. The key functional drivers of 5G will unlock a broad range of opportunities, including the optimization of service delivery, decision-making, and end-user experience. 

    5G is critical because it enables unprecedented levels of connectivity, upgrading 4G networks with five key functional drivers: superfast broadband, ultra-reliable low latency communication, massive machine-type communications, high reliability/availability and efficient energy usage.  

    The main advantages of the 5G are a greater speed in the transmissions, a lower latency and therefore greater capacity of remote execution, a greater number of connected devices and the possibility of implementing virtual networks (network slicing), providing more adjusted connectivity to concrete needs.

    • Greater speed in transmissions: Speed in transmissions can approach 15 or 20 Gbps. By being able to enjoy a higher speed we can access files, programs and remote applications in totally direct and without waiting. By intensifying the use of the cloud, all devices (mobile phones, computers, etc.) will depend less on the internal memory and on the accumulation of data and it won’t be necessary to install a large number of processors on some objects because computing can be done on the Cloud.

     

    • Lower latency: Latency is the time that elapses since we give an order on our device until the action occurs. In 5G the latency will be ten times less than in 4G, being able to perform remote actions in real time. Thanks to this low latency and the increase of the sensors, it is possible to control the machinery of an industrial plant, control logistics or remote transport, surgical operations in which the doctor can intervene a patient who is at another side of the world with the help of precision instrumentation managed remotely or the complete control of remote transport systems, automated and without driver.

     

    • Greater number of connected devices: With 5G the number of devices that can be connected to the network increases greatly, it will go to vast scale versus per square kilometer. All connected devices will have access to instant connections to the internet, which in real time will exchange information with each other. This empowers IoT.

     

    • Network slicing: The 5G also enables implementation of virtual networks (network slicing), create subnets, in order to provide connectivity more adjusted to specific needs. The creation of subnetworks will give specific characteristics to a part of the network, being a programmable network and will allow to prioritize connections, as could be the emergencies in front of other users, applying for example different latencies or prioritizing them in the connection to the network so that they can’t be affected by possible overloads of the mobile network.

    GPS

    GPS stands for Global Positioning System. The system involves a network of satellites orbiting around the Earth and devices that can help determine an object or a person’s location. GPS has a range of uses, from military exercises across the globe to directions that help drivers find their way.  

    GPS tracking requires a tracking device installed in a vehicle, on a piece of equipment, or worn by a person. This tracking device provides information about the person or object’s exact location so that it can report details on where a vehicle, equipment, or person is located. A GPS tracking system does this by using the Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) network. This network consists of satellites that communicate with GPS devices to provide information on the current location, direction, time, and speed of the people and objects being tracked.

    GPS tracking can be utilized to track any object or person that is valuable to an organization, real-time, everywhere in the world where satellites can see tags.  Whereas GPS has become a seamless part of our day-to-day lives for many applications, GPS has been leveraged significantly for:

    • Military Use of GPS: GPS began in the military more than 50 years ago, and the military continues to use it to track aircraft, troop movements, navigation at sea, and more. GPS navigation in military is especially important for those stationed in unfamiliar territory or units moving at night.

     

    • More recently, advancing GPS technology has allowed the military to make use of UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles). These UAVs (sometimes referred to as drones) are a life-saving technology as they allow us to see and operate in some of the most dangerous places on Earth, without putting our servicemen and women in harm’s way. They can be operated remotely and are often used for intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance missions.

     

    • Search and Rescue: GPS Tracking plays an important role in search and rescue operations, allowing rescue personnel to keep track of the locations they’ve covered, look at the big picture in a search operation, or even pull GPS data directly from a lost individual’s GPS device or phone.

     

    • When a search and rescue operation is looking for survivors from a major disaster or trying to locate a missing person in an undeveloped area, they use a grid system. This ensures that each area is searched thoroughly, and no area is searched twice at the expense of other locations.

     

    • GPS Vehicle Tracking: GPS tracking has a number of commercial uses, and one of the most powerful is the deployment of GPS devices to track commercial fleets. By having a GPS on every vehicle, companies with fleets can keep track of exact driver location and status, glean powerful insights about fleet efficiency, and be able to provide roadside assistance immediately if necessary.

     

    • GPS is a vital part of modern fleet tracking systems in order to keep track of vehicle activity and location, improving safety and efficiency. GPS vehicle tracking has proven to be a valuable inclusion in any fleet’s operations. In addition to making dispatch and routing easier and more accurate, GPS systems in vehicles have been shown to reduce accidents by 38% ensuring a better reputation for your brand’s fleet.

    GSM

    GPS / GSM tracker utilizes either the Global Positioning System satellites or the Global System for Mobile Communications to determine precise location. However, while GSM and GPS tracking devices both accomplish similar tasks, they do so in very different ways.  

    Both GPS and GSM tracking are accomplished by a receiver collecting data from at least 4 satellites in order to determine precise position. GPS / GSM tracker devices accomplish this task by referencing information from the cellular tower that is closest to the GSM / GPS tracking device. Between the two technologies, GPS systems are capable of much more precise location measurements, within a meter, whereas with GSM tracking technology, positioning can be determined within 10 meters. 

    GSM tracking is ideal for any organization that needs visibility of goods, assets, personnel and vehicles on the move, no matter where they are. In contrast to GPS systems, real-time data such as motion, position and temperature, can be transmitted from anywhere in the world where there are mobile networks.

    • Typical tag costs are around $40.00 to $75.00/each.

     

    • Tag detection distance is generally up to approximately 1,500’.

     

    • Large native ecosystem: Bluetooth technology was invented around the rise of the internet (ca. 1994), and has become a trusted, integral part of our technology landscape. BLE Smart tech is enabled in billions of smartphones, computers, tablets and devices. It’s an enormous network of devices capable of communicating to each other. With an intelligent mobile phone app and a small BLE-COM module or Bluetooth tag, BLE technology can be rapidly adopted for industrial and environmental monitoring systems.

     

    • Bluetooth Low-Energy (BLE) = more data, less energy consumption: Bluetooth Low-Energy (v4.x) excels in situations where sensors and devices need long-term deployment with extended battery power. BLE tech works on advertising and “wake up and send” technology. The big advantage to BLE 4.0 is vastly improved power consumption and reduced communication requirements done by simplifying the protocol and allowing the devices to skip connection intervals to conserve battery when not needed.

     

    • Communicates without wires or Wifi, with low-energy: BLE allows sensors to communicate data without wires, USB converters, Wifi, cellular or any other connection. Creating local communication networks allows for site-specific data transmission. Of course, the cool thing is that Bluetooth can integrate via cellular, Wifi and LTE Cat-M1 gateways, creating large networks of bi-directional communication.

     

    • Low cost: Due to its standardization and long-term use globally, Bluetooth is one of the least expensive, ubiquitous technologies of all the IoT tag and detection technologies.

     

    • Connects RS-485, RS-232, SDI-12 devices using several industrial serial protocols: Bluetooth works with standard industrial protocols (Modbus RTU, Modbus ASCII, etc.), making it an ideal IoT transition tool.

     

    • Reliable data broadcasts: One of the highlights of Bluetooth technology is its adaptive frequency hopping method of broadcasting. What does this mean for a user? Basically it means Bluetooth signals adapts to the surrounding environment, and this reduces interference, compared to other technologies. The big thing about frequency hopping is that it allows the devices to operate in noisy environments well and avoid channels that are being used by WiFi or other bluetooth or 2.4GHz devices.

    WIFI

    Wi-Fi is a radio-frequency technology for wireless communication that can be leveraged to detect and track the location of people, devices and assets, and can be easily activated for indoor positioning with existing Wi-Fi access points (APs) and hotspots. Incredibly vital and widespread, the Wi-Fi ecosystem is ubiquitous all throughout our daily lives. Wi-Fi is everywhere, especially in our indoor spaces, used by nearly all wireless devices and network infrastructures – including smartphones, computers, IoT devices, routers, APs, and more. Like other communication protocols including BLE and UWB, Wi-Fi can be used to transmit data between devices using radio waves.

    The range of Wi-Fi positioning can differ depending on factors such as whether you are using Wi-Fi APs or sensors or the nature of the indoor space. Wi-Fi operating at 2.4 GHz generally performs at a range up to 100 meters (with optimal conditions and deployment), and can even be used in outdoor environments where adequate infrastructure is in place. 

    • WiFi tags generally cost around $40.00 to $60.00.

     

    • WiFi tags typically have a detection distance of up to 100 meters.

     

    • Leverage Existing Infrastructure: Wi-Fi gives organizations the ability to activate indoor positioning and localization with existing Wi-Fi infrastructure and no additional hardware.

     

    • Omnipresence: The wide availability and presence of Wi-Fi devices, allow for indoor positioning that draws on BYOD (bring-your-own-device).

     

    • Scale Easily: Easily add specialized Wi-Fi sensors to strengthen and scale indoor positioning, depending on the coverage and precision you require.

    ble bluetooth

    Bluetooth Low Energy, or BLE, is a radio-frequency (RF) technology for wireless communication that can be leveraged to detect and track the location of people, devices, and assets for many indoor positioning use cases – including asset tracking, indoor navigation, proximity services and more. Incredibly widespread and accessible, Bluetooth is a technology prevalent throughout indoor spaces and supported by so many of today’s devices. Like other communication protocols including Wi-Fi and UWB, BLE is used to transmit data between devices using radio waves.

    BLE beacons detect people and object tags. They are small, versatile, and low-power Bluetooth transmitters that can be detected by wireless devices like BLE-enabled smartphones. Beacons can be deployed in fixed positions, such as mounted on walls or structures, or placed on mobile assets, to provide location references for indoor positioning applications.

    BLE indoor positioning solutions use either BLE-enabled sensors or beacons to detect and locate transmitting Bluetooth devices, such as smartphones or tracking tags throughout indoor spaces. Location data collected by the sensors or sent from beacons to mobile devices is then ingested by various locationing applications and translated into insights that power multiple location-aware use cases.

    • Typical tag costs are around $40.00 to $75.00/each.

     

    • Tag detection distance is generally up to approximately 1,500’.

     

    • Large native ecosystem: Bluetooth technology was invented around the rise of the internet (ca. 1994), and has become a trusted, integral part of our technology landscape. BLE Smart tech is enabled in billions of smartphones, computers, tablets and devices. It’s an enormous network of devices capable of communicating to each other. With an intelligent mobile phone app and a small BLE-COM module or Bluetooth tag, BLE technology can be rapidly adopted for industrial and environmental monitoring systems.

     

    • Bluetooth Low-Energy (BLE) = more data, less energy consumption: Bluetooth Low-Energy (v4.x) excels in situations where sensors and devices need long-term deployment with extended battery power. BLE tech works on advertising and “wake up and send” technology. The big advantage to BLE 4.0 is vastly improved power consumption and reduced communication requirements done by simplifying the protocol and allowing the devices to skip connection intervals to conserve battery when not needed.

     

    • Communicates without wires or Wifi, with low-energy: BLE allows sensors to communicate data without wires, USB converters, Wifi, cellular or any other connection. Creating local communication networks allows for site-specific data transmission. Of course, the cool thing is that Bluetooth can integrate via cellular, Wifi and LTE Cat-M1 gateways, creating large networks of bi-directional communication.

     

    • Low cost: Due to its standardization and long-term use globally, Bluetooth is one of the least expensive, ubiquitous technologies of all the IoT tag and detection technologies.

     

    • Connects RS-485, RS-232, SDI-12 devices using several industrial serial protocols: Bluetooth works with standard industrial protocols (Modbus RTU, Modbus ASCII, etc.), making it an ideal IoT transition tool.

     

    • Reliable data broadcasts: One of the highlights of Bluetooth technology is its adaptive frequency hopping method of broadcasting. What does this mean for a user? Basically it means Bluetooth signals adapts to the surrounding environment, and this reduces interference, compared to other technologies. The big thing about frequency hopping is that it allows the devices to operate in noisy environments well and avoid channels that are being used by WiFi or other bluetooth or 2.4GHz devices.

    LoRaWAN

    Data transmitted by a tagged object or person is received by multiple gateways, which forward the data packets to a centralized network server. The central server in turn handles packet filtering, security and network management. LoRaWAN is largely used to increase ability to communicate over longer distances, sometimes in conjunction with other technologies like GPS. This enables customers to implement advanced RFID solutions for a wider range of applications and use cases, customized at an affordable price point for a broad array of environments.

    RFID empowered with LoRaWAN can supercharge facilities through IT and office asset management, production line material flow, consumables replenishment, room utilisation, state change notification, space/asset utilisation, field operations, ports, construction and mining, emergency detection, worker accountability, fleet monitoring, yard management and much more.

     

    • Tag costs are generally around $40.00 to $75.00 each.

     

    • Tags have battery and a typical lifetime of 2 to 7 years.

     

    • Tag detection distance is 1,000’s of feet indoors and miles outdoors.

     

    • LoRa WAN is particularly well suited for outdoor tracking applications, while also providing indoor tracking solutions.

     

    • LoRa radio modulation allows deep indoor penetration, making it possible to reach energy meters, controls modules in elevators shafts, or parking sensors located in basements and undergrounds.

     

    • LoRaWAN provides high availability and capacity networks to support thousands of connected end-devices and millions of messages transmitted.

    ultrawide band

    UWB RFID technology shares all the properties as does Active RFID, while providing unrivalled precision, transmission speed, and reliability. UWB is often the technology of choice for indoor localization of moving assets in complex and space-sensitive environments. UWB is considered the gold standard of indoor localization technologies thanks to its numerous advantages over comparable technologies such as RFID, BLE or WiFi. It is an ideal solution for location-based automation. UWB RFID typically enables defining object and people locations to within less than 10”. UWB combines very short impulses that move at the speed of light. The arrival time of the signal is measured precisely over a high bandwidth, thus determining the position of the transmitter with high precision.

    UWB RFID helps solve prevalent industry challenges, including extensive search times, lack of documentation, error-prone manual processes and sustainability.

    • Tag costs are generally around $40.00 to $75.00 each.

     

    • Tag detection distances are up to approximately 650’.

     

    • Tags are optionally available with light and sound emitters to help guide staff right to needed items.

     

    • Ideal for environments where both real-time location data and precise location data is required.

     

    • Precise: UWB provides accurate distance and locating even in dense environments.

     

    • Secure: Prevents relay attacks against devices and tags.

     

    • Real Time: Fast localization ensures easy location of people and objects.

     

    • Efficient: Low power consumption and energy efficiency through ultra-short air time.

    Active rfid

    Whereas barcodes, NF RFID and UHF RFID tags are generally very small and flat, without requiring a battery. Active tags require larger, more expensive tags, that have batteries. However, the capabilities of Active RFID versus NF or UHF RFID are significant. The choice of RFID technology is primarily driven relative to real-time versus choke-point tracking and the distance of detecting tagged people and objects.

    • Active RFID tags generally cost around $25.00 to $75.00 each.

     

    • Tag battery life is generally 2 to 7 years, depending on how often the tags are programmed to transmit a location signal.

     

    • Detection distances are generally up to 1,000’.

     

    • It is useful to contemplate Active RFID as establishing ‘circles’ or ‘cones’ of RFID radio waves that can be of any size, from a few feet to hundreds of feet. The art of Active RFID is determining how many readers to deploy and calibrated for what distances.

     

    • Ideal for large operations, such as manufacturers and distributors, with the ability to deploy a limited # of Active RFID readers provides real-time asset, equipment and personnel location data throughout the facility, both indoors and outdoors.

     

    • An excellent technology for real-time personnel mustering.

     

    • Also enables worker safety capabilities, such as ‘man-to-motorized-equipment’ safety zones, duress ‘SOS’ button and man-down detection based on lack of movement over a period of time.

    UHF RFID

    When business and organizations think of RFID, they are typically thinking of UHF RFID.  UHF RFID is the most prevalent type of RFID technology implemented for tagging and tracking assets, equipment and vehicles, because the tags are inexpensive and UHF RFID offers detection distances up to 40’ with standard tags, or 100’ with larger, specialty tags.  UHF RFID is ideal for wide areas, such as a dock door or a passageway from one part of facilities to another, and at standard sized doorways and checkpoints.  UHF RFID is faster and easier to perform inventories, because the mobile scanner has a detention distance up to approximately 20’, so, many tagged objects can be scanned simultaneously and quickly from-a-distance.

    • Low Tag Costs: Standard UHF RFID tags typically cost around $0.10 to $0.25 and are available in a wide range of sizes and materials, preprinted or printable with sheet or roll printers. Specialty multi-surface and on-metal RFID tags generally cost around $0.75 to $2.50, depending on quantity and style.

     

    • Improves access control systems because many personnel can be detected and all personnel detected going through doors or any access control point, a significant advantage over prevalent NF access control systems where a single person can open a door, but many people may go through the door without being detected.

     

    • Ideal for passively tracking assets, tools, file folders, weapons, police evidence, museum artifacts and similar objects that move from storage to circulation for short and long term assignments. All tagged objects are automatically detected and their location identified as in-storage, in-circulation and/or transferred to a specific place or person.

     

    • Excellent for operations that require frequent inventories, speeding inventory processes, reducing excessive stocking and rentals and dramatically reducing the time required of staff to perform inventories.

    Barcoding

    Barcoding is the most extensively used tracking technology in the world, replacing paperwork, spreadsheet and manual software applications with the ability to scan barcodes to speed processes and eliminate errors.  The TrackingSystemsIoT software platform supports 1D, 2D and QR Code barcode technologies.  Barcode scanning is accomplished using PC-based USB scanners, such as for check-in and check-out, and mobile scanners that can be used anywhere, such as for inventories, and the data syncs to TrackingSystemsIoT software via cloud, Ethernet or USB connection.
    • Barcodes eliminate the possibility of human error. The occurrence of errors for manually entered data is significantly higher than that of barcodes. A barcode scan is fast and reliable, and takes much less time than entering data manually.

     

    • Using a barcode system reduces employee training time. It takes only minutes to master the use of barcode scanners for reading barcodes.

     

    • Barcodes are inexpensive to design and print. Generally they cost pennies, regardless of their purpose, or where they will be affixed. Barcode labels and tags can be customized economically, in a variety of finishes and materials.

     

    • Barcodes are versatile. They can be used for any kind of data collection, such as asset and equipment transfers, placing objects into storage or pulling objects from storage, cycle counts and inventories.

     

    • Improved and faster inventories. Because barcodes make it possible to track inventory so precisely, inventory levels can be reduced, lowering overhead costs. The location of assets and equipment can also be tracked, reducing the time spent searching, and the money spent replacing equipment that is presumed lost.

     

    • Barcodes provide better data. Barcodes provide fast, reliable data for a wide variety of applications.

     

    • Data obtained through barcodes is available rapidly. Since the information is scanned directly into the central computer, the data is available immediately.

     

    • Barcodes promote better decision making. Because data is obtained rapidly and accurately, it is possible to make more informed decisions. Better decision making improves operations, and saving time and money.