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Tracking Assets and People

Whether it’s a million-dollar crane or a $100-drill, knowing where your tools—assets—are can save a lot of money and aggravation. Of course, this means there are a lot of companies that want to help you track those assets—and in some case, the people who use them. It’s a big business, as Juniper Research found out.

Asset tracking in this context refers to systems that leverage wireless connectivity to remotely monitor assets’ locations, based on real-time data, and with the aim of better managing asset condition. A new study from Juniper Research has found that global spend on asset tracking by enterprises will increase from $16 billion in 2022 to $45 billion in 2027 – a substantial growth of 184%. The report forecasts that the number of assets tracked will reach 24 billion by 2027, increasing from only 8 billion in 2022.

The management and security of high-value assets are becoming of significant importance for many stakeholders, and demand for technologies that provide realtime monitoring within the supply chain is growing. The research predicts that the growing availability and affordability of asset-tracking solutions will drive adoption of managed services amongst the largest enterprises that operate their own supply chains for high-value assets. It envisages that the most sought-after solutions will be those which can demonstrate a return on investment by minimizing theft and loss of assets during transit.

Juniper urges asset-tracking platform providers to include real-time monitoring solutions that can leverage multiple technologies, including 4G, 5G, and GPS (global positioning system). Widely used today, GPS is a cost‑effective technology, however, the comprehensive network capabilities of 4G and 5G must be implemented to monitor assets with the highest values. The report predicts that this increasing reliance on 5G will present significant opportunities for hardware vendors over the next 5 years. It anticipates that the growing demand for “always connected: supply-chain solutions will drive the interest in 5G-enabled asset-tracking hardware.

In turn, supply chain hardware vendors must focus development on sensors that leverage the data-intensive nature of 5G to provide features such as realtime anti-tampering notifications. Even so, 5G is not the only technology available for tracking valuable assets. By employing multiple technologies for communication and tracking, vendors will be able to circumvent local deficiencies in telecommunications networks.

One approach to providing the broad technology needed is through mergers and acquisitions. RFiD Discovery, for example, has acquired Tracktio through RFiD Discovery’s parent company Paragon ID. Tracktio is a Spanish provider of asset and people tracking solutions specifically designed for industries operating in complex and hazardous environments.

Headquartered in Barcelona, Spain, Tracktio’s software platform, TrackSphere, integrates major tracking technologies for a wide range of applications including geofencing, asset tracking, production monitoring, operational maintenance, lone worker supervision as well as overall workers’ health and safety. It provides a comprehensive API for easy integration with clients’ existing software systems like ERP (enterprise-resource planning).

The acquisition of Tracktio will enable RFiD Discovery to expand its solutions to include technologies such as GPS, LoRa (Long Range Radio), UWB (ultra-wideband), and optical identification. In addition, the TrackSphere software platform, which is designed to be white labeled, no-code configurable, and API-expandable, is ideally suited to be sold through RFiD Discovery’s growing partner community.

This follows RFiD Discovery’s acquisition of Apitrak, a French-based technology company, in 2021, and all three companies will work closely to combine their expertise and create a complete location-tracking platform, able to support all available technologies and provide solutions suited to a wide spectrum of applications, environments, and customer requirements.

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