With ubiquitous location available, the use cases are endless for high-value asset tracking and enterprise applications. More information allows for better decision making all along the value chain. From the manufacturing floor to the end user, or the farm to the table, having location information allows for an entirely new set of applications that enable increased productivity, open new revenue streams, and enhance the human experience.
INDUSTRY 4.0 | IoT
Farms and ranches have used autonomous tractors for a few years, but the emergence of broadly available and less expensive location solutions gives rise to a completely new set of agricultural applications. Consider livestock health and the ability now to monitor the heart rate of a cow close to birthing a calf and her precise location, or the location of a feed truck when sensors indicate which troughs are close to empty, so feed deliveries can be rerouted to those troughs first. Location sensors can relay data on soil moisture in a given location to re-direct an irrigation system on where to focus its next watering cycle.
Getting product from the manufacturer to the end user requires multiple steps from door to door. From a giant warehouse in California, a dump-truck manufacturer can use a location sensor on a truck from the time it rolls off the assembly line while it’s still inside the warehouse, then track it as it’s loaded onto a flatbed truck, which takes it to a train yard to be shipped 1,000 miles away to the commercial construction company that purchased it. All along its journey, this dump-truck can be tracked, allowing the construction company to manage projects and and crews more efficiently by understanding exactly when this new truck will arrive.
Once deployed in the field, the construction company can continue to track the location of the dump-truck and schedule the redeployment of the truck and applicable crews for the next job.
INDUSTRY 4.0 | INDUSTRIAL IoT
The manufacturing industry is transforming with the advent of IoT applications, including predictive maintenance and asset tracking, not to mention the analytics that are generated through automation. Consider a huge factory floor with an assembly line that is fully automated, which communicates with maintenance crews when certain conditions flag a need for attention. Using location sensors, the maintenance crews can immediately locate each other, tools needed, understand the potential problem and find the exact location that needs maintenance. Utilizing the data generated from these communications allows future episodes to be addressed before they create a work stoppage.
Recent disasters, along with new E911 services, have put a focus on public safety applications, especially relating to location information. Consider the consequences of an earthquake and a building collapse in which people are trapped inside, or a flood that leaves people stranded either outside or inside a structure. Or an emergency where the patient might be incapacitated after contacting 911 services. The ability to quickly locate someone in peril can save precious minutes as well as save lives.
SHIPPING | TRANSPORTATION
Millions of shipping containers travel around the globe transporting both hard goods and perishable products. Picture a shipping company that employs location-based technologies by using sensors that can detect moisture, temperature or velocity – or whatever criteria is demanded by the products being shipped. The shipping company can now not only track where the shipment is geographically but can also track if a refrigerated container is above a certain temperature, or if there is an abundance of moisture in a container that should be dry and air-tight.
Location-based technologies also allow the shipping company to more closely track where the containers are in relation to where new loads of cargo waiting to be shipped are located. The data sets from these applications can be paired with external data to understand how to more efficiently manage fleets of containers.
From Fido to a Fitbit®, location information enables an entirely new set of applications for consumers to enjoy and business owners to utilize in promoting their products and services. The ability to track wearable devices inside to outside without missing a beat enables device manufacturers to create an endless array of form factors for new applications in the location market. And with extended battery life, consumers will not have the inconvenience of having to recharge every day.