Use Bluetooth 4.0 to keep track of your Devices and Your Business Assets

bluetooth trackersOne of the challenges that business owners face is tracking inventory or assets. But with the advent of Bluetooth 4.0 you can track inventory or assets with ease and at a reasonably low cost.

These Bluetooth tracking devices can attach to almost anything such as Smartphones, tablets, laptops, briefcases and even storage keys.

Once you’ve paired the tracker with your iPhone or Android phone, these devices work by sounding an alarm when the tracker and your Laptop get separated from each other. This can be helpful if someone tries to walk off with your briefcase. But you can also set up ‘safe’ zones, such as your home or office, so your phone doesn’t start beeping every time you wandered away from your wallet. However if you did lose your wallet in the office you can open the app and press a button to make the tracker start beeping so you can then locate it.

There are several companies that provide inexpensive options to help you find your smartphone or laptop just by using a smartphone app. The cloud is more than just digital assets storage or the moving or corporate data – it can be a tool for protecting, securing and monitoring physical assets too. The Internet of  Things (IoT) is connecting people to the cloud in unique and powerful ways. Enterprise versions of some of these devices will empower businesses and help them to keep track of all their assets.

Hipkey ( For those with no inventory, but a few assets to monitor, HipKey is a good Bluetooth tracking device – keeping your tracked item connected to your iPhone. The device is aimed at consumers, but if you have a small number of devices or people and are also iPhone users, this one is fast and easy and will locate assets up to 50m. At $89.99 it is a little expensive if you have multiple items to secure. It’s currently only available with IOS app.

Sticknfind ( If your business needs to go beyond tracking a couple of items, you will probably want to invest in the StickNFind sticker. These are quarter-sized stickers that come in several colours, which you can attach to anything you want to track. StickNFind also has inventory managing “Enterprise Beacons” that will help you track larger numbers of items. These keep track of inventory in real-time, increasing security and decreasing inventory time. Turn your iOS or Android devices into radar so that you can find up to 20 StickNFind marked devices in a 30-meter radius. A pack of 2 costs £49.99.

Tileapp ( The power in the Tile app, is that you can grant access to different phones, so it would allow you to have a team of people locating a lost item. This distributed network is key for Tile: other people can’t see your tiles without permission, but if they have the app running in the background and your tile is nearby, you’ll be able to see where it is. Tiles are cool looking devices, but don’t offer as many features as some of the newer trackers. You can’t set up safe zones and there is no two-way buzzer. Worst of all, you can’t change the battery, when it dies in a year you have to throw away the entire tracker and buy another one. Compatible with both IOS and Android 4.4 Kitkat or higher. Tiles will set you back at around £22.50 each.

Protag (, have three products in this market, the G1, Elite and the Duet. Both the G1 and Elite are credit card size cards that have the unique feature of a USB charging port, which prolongs its useage, whereas the Duet runs off a small coin battery. The Duet is more aimed at consumers and comes in multiple colours. Another handy and unique function that all of the Protag products have is two way buzzers, so if you end up losing your phone, you just press the button on the locator to sound an alert on your phone. The Protag G1 is priced at £20.97, the Duet £24.90, and the Elite £66.34.

Lassotag, (, is one of the least expensive, available to buy online at only $19.99. It comes in three colours and has a range of up to 50ft with a battery life of three to six months, the larger model called the LassoTag HD, has a rechargeable battery instead. There are some unique features, for example, the app shows you the tracker’s battery life and temperature. And you can personalise the sound your phone makes when you’re too far from the tracker – even record your own voice. But no geofence and no two way communication, plus there is an annual fee for some of the features.  You can connect up to 6 Lassotags to your device. Only available on IOS.

Tintag, (, boast of being the first item tracking device with an ever- lasting battery. Whilst all the above devices either use a small coin battery which will need to be replaced every 3 months or so, the Tintag comes with a rechargeable battery. You charge it using the home base charger and after 6 hours charging it’s good for 4 months. TinTag also has an online community, (similar to Tile) so if someone finds your lost item and enters your Tintag unique id, a notification will immediately be sent to you, with the location of your item. Compatible with IOS and Android the Tintag is currently only available to purchase on the Indiegogo crowdfunding website :

TrackR, (, offers ‘Crowd GPS’. None of these Bluetooth trackers have GPS, so you can’t look up their location on a map. But Tile, LassoTag and TrackR, all offer a cloud based service so that anytime someone with one of these devices walks past your lost thin, that person’s phone silently notices it and lets you know. Your phone lights up and sows the passerby’s location on a map. The concept is brilliant, but in practice they’ll need to sell a lot of the devices to make the service work properly. The TrackR has a sharp design that can also be engraved, works up to 100ft, compatible with IOS and Android as is available to pre-order on their website for $29.

Bluetooth Low Energy is better for your health!

Wearables like Google Glass, Samsung Gear Live and the Apple Watch are a growing tech category. But do they pose serious health risks?

These gadgets put wireless technology right on your body, increasing exposure to radio waves when we’re all already carrying wireless smartphones, laptops and tablets.

The good news is that most wearables use Bluetooth technology, which emits much lower levels of radiofrequency, or RF, than cellular-based smartphones and other devices that use Wi-Fi.

Bluetooth Low Energy, is a lower power technology than classic Bluetooth typically used in headsets, and operates at powers a lot lower than mobile phones.

The output power of some Bluetooth Low Energy trackers is so low, the FCC does not require them to be tested for Specific Absorption Rate (SAR), a measure of the rate at which energy is absorbed by the human body when exposed to RF radiation, including microwave radiation). Cellphones and laptops, on the other hand, must pass strict SAR testing requirements, since they operate at higher power levels.

But many wearables don’t limit their radiation to Bluetooth. Products like Google Glass, Recon Instruments’ Recon Jet and Optinvent’s ORA use Wi-Fi, too. And that is sounding the alarm for some health professionals.

“Wi-Fi is very similar to cellphone radiation. You definitely don’t want to put these devices near your head or near your reproductive organs” for extended periods of time, said Joel M. Moskowitz, Ph.D., director of the Center for Family and Community Health at the UC Berkeley Prevention Research Center School of Public Health.

Source : Fox News

Retail Embraces iBeacon Technology

footfallAs more retailers embrace Beacon technology, could it be that this new technology is the future for these bricks and mortar retailers.

Back in August Macy’s announced it would roll out over 4,000 iBeacons to its 786 stores across the USA and a whole host of other retailers and  brands have now joined them.

Crown Estates, who own a good chunk of London’s West End shops have developed a Beacon app and installed Beacons into many of its Regent Street Stores. Real estate developer Simon is deploying Beacons across its 240 malls and shopping centres across the USA, and Apple and Disney both announced it was deploying beacon technology at all its stores to help connect with their customers based on real-time data regarding each shopper’s location at those sites.

Whilst retailers are all racing to implement Beacon technology to engage with their customers – here are just a few of our  thoughts before you consider using Beacons in Retail:

1) The customer has to download an application in order to interact with any Beacon placed in store. Is this one app? Or will they have to have one per store? There are some applications that will work with multiple stores, but in order to be able to push relevant content and promotion messages the application needs to be connected to some the in-store loyalty scheme. The big question here is, as a customer how many individual store apps would I want on my phone? Make yours stand out!

2) How do I get the app? Like with all traditional marketing, you have to make your customers aware that you have an application that could benefit them, you need to promote this to them in the same way you market all your other products. What are the benefits? There will be an education process to make your customers aware they can get discounts and incentives on their device.

3) I’ve downloaded the store’s application,  I walk into the store – will my device automatically connect with a stores Beacons? No – you have to have your Bluetooth turned on and only then will your phone pick up the Beacons. A significant amount of in-store marketing will have to also be done to promote this.

4) My Bluetooth is on, I have the app, when I walk past the beacon what am I likely to receive? This very much depends on the retailer and how integrated their application is. At a basic level you may get a notification alerting you to a sale or discount on items in the store. However retailers with their own loyalty schemes and fully integrated customer databases, could actually send you out notifications about products that it knows you’ve bought in the past, offering you specific discounts on these items. This retailer will use your previous buying profile to maximise the chances of you spending more whilst in their store.

5) How many alerts will I receive? Now this is the question! A recent study by inMarket found that customer engagement decreases when platforms oversaturate. The study found that if a customer received more than one push notification from a Beacon platform in the same store, app usage among exiting users declines by 313 percent. The same goes if the notifications customers received were irrelevant; the app gets deleted.

6) Can a store track me as I walk around their store. Yes – if you have your Bluetooth turned on and you have the app on your phone. This is a great way for retailers to get a better understanding of their customers habits in store; what aisles they visit, how long they dwell, repeat visits etc. Using this information it can provide intelligence that will help with future store layouts. Of course if you turn your Bluetooth off – you can no longer be tracked. The incentive for the customer here is to provide them with store maps to help them locate items within your store a lot quicker.

7) Does it work on other devices other than Apple? Yes! Apple has definitely stolen the march here and even cornered the phrase ‘iBeacon’. But Beacon technology will also work across Android and Windows, depending on which Beacon vendor you decide to go with. (see also Android devices more optimised for Beacon Technology)

There are some great benefits why as a retailer you should invest in Beacon technology, some consumers will completely embrace it, others will turn off. But like any other retail marketing, try it, test it, learn from it. If its done right you’ll get a much better understanding of your consumer buying habits and see an increase in your sales.

Retailers trialling iBeacons right now:

Crown Estate, UK 

Macy’s, USA

Apple, USA

Disney, USA

Trinity Shopping Centre – Leeds, UK

House of Frazer, UK

Target, USA

American Eagle, USA