RFID vs BLE: What to choose for asset tracking?

The future plans for beacon technology integration is trailing in popularity behind online basket comparison (42%), in-store Wi-Fi (54.3%), scan-and-go (59.3%) in-store bookmarking (62.8%). – Statista.

 

If you are into asset tracking technology, you will narrow your preferences into two major technologies – Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) and radio-frequency identification (RFID). BLE solutions, however, have evolved over the years to be a precision inducing solution for asset tracking.

RFID solution comprises of tags, readers and software. The RFID tags are used to locate assets while the readers is a device used to gather information from an RFID tag, which is used to track individual objects. And a software is meant to compile the data from the reader and share it with the user. BLE solution used beacons and a mobile app or a software. Beacons are used to locate the asset and send the signal to the server. A mobile app or a software then interprets the signal to the user.

Current asset tracking methods and tools

Passive RFID:

These tags only work at very close range. While they do broadcast their location information, it has a very short range. Therefore, a scanner must be brought close to the tag in order to register and record presence. Hence, it isn’t ideal for asset tracking.

Bluetooth:

It doesn’t require interactions or active scanning. It has a capability to deliver information on real time. Significantly, BLE solution is capable of serving several use cases simultaneously.

What makes BLE solution an ideal technology for asset tracking over RFID?

Precise location identification

With beacons you can get to 5m accuracy both indoor and outdoor (depending on the environment). The typical accuracy of RFID is very low compared to beacons.

Cost-effectiveness

Beacons and RFID devices cost almost the same. However, BLE solution for asset tracking needs no other expensive readers. By installing a mobile app on the phones of the factory staff, you turn them into readers and save the amount that you’d normally need to spend if you go with active RFID.

Automatic scan and position update

Unlike passive RFID and barcodes, you don’t require to manually scan a tag to update an asset’s location. The mobile devices identify a beacon in range automatically via an app when the users get in the proximity of the beacons attached to the assets.

Use cases of BLE solution for asset tracking in various industries

Manufacturing

 

Essential BLE use cases in manufacturing industry include tracking of the logistics, employee and equipment.

BLE solutions help with intralogistics and tracking assets that haven’t yet reached the assembly line. BLE solutions help prevent the missing of any assets or equipment with precision tracking. Asset theft or misplacement can be a huge setback for manufacturing industry which can be solved by implementing BLE solution. The users can receive an alert if the asset is moved beyond the rage. Hence, active tracking from beginning to end is used to erase a substantial amount of inefficiency.

Logistics

 

BLE solution can benefit the logistics and transport industry by increasing effective storage, powering data analytics, and decreasing shipping mistakes.

BLE solution enables the users to track assets with ease and reliability which ultimately enhances the increased flexibility. The shipments or assets to be delivered can be easily found and optimized as more data like location is collected in real-time.

Healthcare

 

BLE solutions for healthcare improves the following operations:

  1. Effective tracking of medical devices
  2. patient tracking
  3. Automated medical record access
  4. Handling staff allocation

Business Services

The BLE solutions can be used in offices for the following purposes:

  1. Employee tracking
  2. Tracking office assets such as laptops and storage devices
  3. Automated login and logout time of employees

BLE solutions for office purpose are more affordable, practical, and scalable.

Bluetooth 5: the future of asset tracking

 

Below are the Bluetooth 5.0 enhancement:

 

  1. 4 times the range
  2. 800% more broadcast messaging capacity
  3. 2 times the speed

With the latest Bluetooth 5.0, BLE solutions have become more reliable for asset tracking. At LetsNurture, we believe that beacons are a step towards a future where assets will track themselves and tell you where they are just like an individual.

With our unique asset tracking solution, we are adhering the technological advancements by implementing BLE solutions. If you have any further query or would like to discuss this further, we would be glad to have a discussion with you. Please write to us at info@letsnurture.com.

BLE Solutions: New age security for homes and offices

Imagine, your cousin arrives at your home couple of hours early, but you’re stuck at work with prospect of getting home for hours. Your neighbor has a spare key but they aren’t at home either. It’s snowing outside, and your cousin’s taxi is long gone. Lately, there was very little that could be done to help in such situation. But thanks to a iBeacon-powered home automation solution, potentially controlled by you from your smartphone, your cousin can gain entry while keeping your home safe and secure.

How Do Smart Locks And Bluetooth enabled Beacons Keep Your Home Safe?

 

Smart locks with iBeacon solutions keep your home safe in numerous ways, and Bluetooth technology has a major role to play in all of these variations. First, Bluetooth is in use in so many different products, as compared to competing technologies. Almost every smartphone comes equipped with iBeacon, and the same can be said for the vast majority of smart devices on the market. With so many smart devices being capable of using and communicating with beacon, it makes it much easier for homeowners to integrate their smart locks with other smart devices. This casts a much wider safety net, which will help keep homeowners safe.

Also, in comparison to smart locks and smart devices that run solely on Wi-Fi connectivity or other similar protocols, Bluetooth devices are much safer, especially with the advent of the low energy feature of iBeacon. Smart locks and smart devices with these capabilities do not have to be constantly connected to the Internet, which drastically reduces the chances of someone hacking into your home. In addition to this, they operate with the minimal use of power, which in turn makes them long lasting and efficient. These two features go hand in hand to make it nearly impossible for someone to infiltrate your network. Bluetooth enabled iBeacon transmissions are also done through adaptive frequency hopping. This doubly ensures that the proper transmissions are being sent from one point to another without any external interference.

The main flaw of iBeacon transmission over ad hoc networks is the lack of network access control, however, this issue is nullified by authentication methods that make sure that only

The main flaw of Bluetooth enabled iBeacon transmissions over ad hoc networks is the lack of network access control, however, this issue is nullified by authentication methods that make sure that only authorized ‘nodes’ can inject traffic into a network. In this case, your smartphone would be the authorized node attempting to communicate with your smart lock.

Reach us to Know more

 

LetsNurture is the leading IT service provider having years of experience of website development and application development. Moreover, we believe that BLE solutions are taking the world by storm. Then, why not share your thoughts with us on iBeacon solutions or approach us for your requirements? Get a free quote from us or write to us info@letsnurture.com

Columbus State University Activates New iBeacon Technology to Aid Student Safety Efforts

Beacon app development is a proven mettle for state-of-the-art technologies within the limited period of time. Let’s see how Beacon based solutions are the pertinent source for enhancing the the field of Education.

Columbus State University has teamed up with Piper Networks to create a campus safety tool for students. The partners have deployed a network of wireless Bluetooth beacons across campus that can help students feel safer and more connected.

By utilizing iBeacon app development, the university made the University Police accessible to the CSU students. If the students should have a safety concern or want to report suspicious behavior, this app allows anyone to call campus police directly or text the police with their accurate location data based on the nearest iBeacon’s unique number.

Beacon app development for the ‘Safe Campus’ Program

“The Safe Campus program provides an easy way for officials to accurately and rapidly assist the students, even if they are not sure of their exact location,” said Mark Lott, interim chief of University Police. “This technology is another layer that we can add onto the many things we undertake on a daily basis to help our students and employees feel safe.”

Columbus recently became the world’s most fully deployed iBeacon city with over 1,250 beacons and 85+ businesses and organizations using the beacon app to share messages that include simple text notifications, Piper-only specials, photos, videos, links to websites or social media, and even Apple Passes.

Interim chief of University Police, Mark Lott, says, “The Safe Campus program provides an easy way for officials to accurately and quickly dispatch assistance to the student, even if the student is not sure of their exact location.”

Mark Lott says, “This technology is another layer that we can add onto the many things we undertake on a daily basis to help our students and employees feel safe.”

Campus safety and support with beacon app development

Apart from the safety measures, there are other benefits of beacon app development that enhances the Campus operations.

  1. Enhancing the campus navigation
  2. Automatic check-in for class attendance
  3. Professors can create polls and share information easily for specific students
  4. Students can share the assignments with students in the close proximity

Read more benefits of beacon app development in the education industry

Reach to us to get a peerless proximity solution

Are you a university administrator interested in working with beacons and have more questions about how universities use beacons? We’re always open to chat! Write an email to us at info@letsnurture.com.

Apple’s iBeacon & BLE technology: Reshaping The Future of Hospitals!

The beacon technology might not have nailed it in all the domains but is surely making a mark by offering great features for hospitals. The latest technologies are transforming the bequest systems including the usage of software on smart phones, patient charts and more.

Apple_iBeaconThe professionals today are quite open to adapting iBeacon and Bluetooth low energy technology. So what does this brilliant technology offer to hospitals? Let us have a look:

a) Patient cyclopedia

Hospitals staff in today’s age is getting over the traditional patient charts and is looking for digital alternatives. Doctors and nurses can now be equipped with iPads which are connected to the hospitals network so that they can get all the information about patients. It is a great way to amalgamate patient’s information, get back the lost charts, enhance the data accuracy and secure the sensitive data.

The introduction of iBeacons has blessed the doctors with relevant patient files as soon as they enter the room so that they do not have to ask their names. It is now easy to keep the patient’s name private instead of being loud about it!

b) Lost and found

The nurses working at the hospitals will now breathe a sigh of relief! Be it machinery, patient bed or wheel chair, nothing will go missing; thanks to the ibeacon technology. Instead of spending finances on replacing the missing hospital equipment, deploy the ibeacon technology and you are done! It will be a sensible decision on your part as these devices have a long battery life. Once hospital staff inculcates beacon tagging, they will be able to locate the lost equipments instantaneously. Apart from that, managing the equipment inventory will also become as easy as a pie!

c) Spot them

Wouldn’t it be great to find the staff or the person you were looking for? iBeacon technology will help you to find the staff that is on call or working in the hospital. The nurses will now be able to reach the doctors in case of emergencies and also find the other staff members without disturbing them . Although tracking the staff might raise privacy issues, they can be lessened by modifying security controls.

d) Steer your way through

Easy navigation is probably one of the major benefits of beacon technology! When your GPS do not work in internal areas or multiple floors, beacons are a blessing in disguise. Once iBeacon technology is implemented in the hospital, it will guide the visitors and the hospital staff to reach their desired destination through a simple map. So no forgetting, where you parked your car or where your relative is admitted! Apart from this facility, the application also offers contextual information about the waiting times and gives important notices to the staff and patients.

e) Check in at ease

Automated patient check-ins will now be a reality. If the patients keep visiting the hospital for regular check ups, treatments or therapies, the application will automatically identify them and checks them in on the front desk. It will also provide the patients with information about the hospital division they should go to, the waiting time-lines and other information.

Hospital_iBeaconIt wouldn’t be surprising if you get to see the hospital staff smiling due to the lessening of painstaking and prolonged procedures! Welcome iBeacon…

For questions and queries.

iBeacon vs NFC5-Major Differences

It will not be long before Apple’s iBeacon will take over the world with its smart technology and easy payment systems. iBeacon is giving NFC5 major competition in terms of preferred use and technology.

NFC

NFC or rather Near field communication is a short range wireless technology that requires a distance of 4 cm or less to establish a connection. The users can share short data between a NFC tag and between android devices. The passive NFC devices have tags and other transmitters that send information to other similar devices without the support of a power source. While, the active devices can send and receive data and communicate well with each other along with passive devices.

Android Beams use NFC to alter bluetooth on both devices and pairs them. It can disable the bluetooth automatically on both the devices once the work has been completed. This has been used well in Samsung Galaxy device.

What are iBeacons?

Beacons is a fresh core location API in Ios7. It allows any ios devices with Bluetooth 4.0 (or BLE- Bluetooth low energy) to know where it is in relation to other such similar devices. The devices can connect with each other via iBeacons, knowing the actual location without the need of Wi-Fi or GPS technology.

Apple has come up with a smart technology for users that makes their shopping experience better. The iBeacons permits users to know about a nearby store and be guided into the store’s layout, have product information and pay it automatically through their device without standing in a queue.

Major differences between NFC and iBeacons

It would be interesting to see some major differences between iBeacon and NFC.

iBeaconNFC

OS Support Android, Windows Phone and iOs Android and Windows Phone Technology Bluetooth Low Energy Near Field Communication
Scan Distance Up to 50 m Up to 10 Cm
Manufacturer Support 10 out of 10 9 out of 10
Average Cost Estimated $ 25-50 Less than $ 1

We have seen here that iBeacon uses operating system support for Android, Windows phone and iOs, while NFC has operating system support for only Android and windows phone. While the former uses BLE technology, NFC uses near field communication.

How can iBeacons be compared to NFC in terms of distance and average costs

What is interesting is that iBeacon scans distance up to 50 m while NFC scans distance of up to 10 cm-a major difference. Besides, iBeacons currently supports all top 10 mobile manufactures while in comparison, NFC supports 9/10 mobile manufactures. NFC goes ahead of iBeacons in terms of average cost. The average cost of a NFC is less than $1 while for iBeacons, the cost goes between $ 25 to 50.

Use of iBeacons and NFC across other Platforms

iBeacons is preferable as they are an open API and have the feature of touch to configure for the Apple TV. They also support the Xbox that enable people to configure their game boxes from their iPhone. Moreover, iBeacons can be used to lock or unlock BLE compatible cars or home doors when they come within the range.

While NFC on the other hand still needs to update this kind of collective features. With BLE chips found easily in tablets, laptops and smart phones, iBeacons can utilize this to provide a secure and fast mobile payment system for the users.

However, NFC seems to be ahead in reach of mobile payments. It is integrats with major payment terminals at leading retailer joints due to contactless bank cards like VISA. The NFC payments has a support of all major mobile manufacturers except apple as well as the payment industry.

Beacons make shopping experience simple and easy

Beacon has a range of 50 meters. This helps to get that information about special offers from a shop. This in turn proves to be helpful to send a personalized message from a location and past records. It can direct a user to a particular product and make shopping very easy and fast.

In comparison, NFC has only range of 4 cm. This helps to anyone to get extra information on a specific product.

NFC tag base application development contact beacon application developer.

Blog-iBeacon Wonders: Theme Park using iBeacon in Netherlands

A theme park in Netherlands has come with a new app that will use the iBeacon technology. The app users will get extra information on their smart phones as per their location in the park. This technology is inventer by Lab Werk a dutch agency. It is for the  first time, a technology of this type will be applicable in an European theme park.

Lab Werk Developing Tulpenland with iBeacon Technology

With iBeacon’s Bluetooth technology, LabWerk, in partnership with Fluwel’s Tulpenland will place number of beacons around the park. It will send messages to the visitor’s mobiles when they visit the park. Marije van den Hoek from Tulpenland said We’re looking forward to implementing this new way of sharing the story of the tulip. We see iBeacon technology as a great way to engage with our visitors, particularly those of a younger age, who can be quite difficult to connect with.

How the Park will Benefit from iBeacon Technology

With iBeacon technology, the park visitors will have more information in different formats. Moreover, with this app, innovative content will be offered to customers in a more creative manner. Soon, the use of audio and video will be added with the information for customers who would be interested to know more details about tulip.

iBeacons will add more attractions and innovative features in the near future. However, this technology will be ready from April 2014.

Some Information about LabWerk and Tulpenland

LabWerk is a start up in Amsterdam that uses iBeacon technology in its applications. Moreover, their engaging platform gives a unique user experience by local content delivery, contactless payments and precise indoor navigation with customer behavior analysis.

Tulpenland provides educational knowledge for every age group sharing the actual story behind the tulip. However, Tulpenland is open regularly from April to October from 10 am to 6 pm.

To develop beacon application contact us.