The first time I purchased a home was the first time I heard the phrase “location, location, location.” Of course, the real estate agent was trying to tell me that location was the most important attribute on my list of must-haves.
That was before mobile devices had GPS, Bluetooth, or the ability to run apps. Now as developers are bridging the digital and physical worlds, the phrase takes on new meaning to me.
The first generation of mobile apps didn’t leverage physical location. Then GPS-enabled apps led to applications that could navigate me to a new place such as a restaurant. Next came Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) beacon-powered apps that allowed me to navigate to a new place indoors, such as my doctor’s office inside a hospital. Further advancement allowed me to find people in the same venue as me, such as a corporate office.
What about finding things?
Real-time asset tracking solutions are not new. The ROI is proven with staff time saved and more efficient asset utilization, but the solutions weren’t easy to install and set up. What is new is the lack of requirement to install a whole network of readers/sensors/exciters/listening devices throughout your facility. There is no requirement for regular calibration, either.
Asset Tracking Made Easier
In June, Aruba announced a new product offering that provides location information of valued assets without the need for handheld readers or an entire network of reader devices throughout your facility.
How is that possible?
Aruba has been shipping Wi-Fi access points with embedded BLE radios for almost two years. In the first phase, these APs could be used as BLE beacons to provide location information to mobile applications and enable exciting use cases in corporate campuses, airports, retail stores, stadiums, and hospitals. Now with only a firmware upgrade, those radios can be used to track physical assets.
Aruba Tags, which are a little larger than a few quarters stacked on top of each other, can be attached to assets so that the location of the asset can be seen on a digital map. Now I can have a mobile app on a common smart device that allows me to search for an asset near me, and give me indoor turn-by-turn directions to reach it. Since the Aruba solution is built on the robust Meridian platform, it is not just one vendor’s app, but the data can be shown in your own custom app or also in a third-party asset management application.
Location-based asset tracking allows customers to get even more value out of their Aruba Wi-Fi infrastructure. Employees no longer need to waste time searching for items when they need them. Items can be found when they are due for maintenance. Cost savings are also possible because you are better utilizing the assets that you have. No need to lease or purchase more if what you have is used to its optimum potential.
As I learned from my real estate agent, it is all about “location, location, location” when it comes to optimizing business practices, too. And better yet, the IT networking team can play a role that increases efficiency and saves money.
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