How to Choose a Smart Tracker?
Whether you want to track, trace, manage assets, secure people’s safety or take care of personal tracking, a smart tracker is one of the best ways to achieve your goals.
The latest generation of IoT GPS trackers go beyond monitoring locations. You will also be able to rely on them to automate solutions, create more effective processes, better protect your investments, improve delivery performance, allow smoother operations and reduce risks for your employees and business.
If you’re considering buying a tracker for the first time or looking to upgrade, our guide for choosing the best smart tracker will help you understand the different types of devices and their latest features. Even if you already have a Smart Tracker, this guide will help you get to know more about it so you can maximize its functions.
How to choose the best device?
There are 4 main types of assets tracking devices depending on the location where they will be used and the use case they will be performing for.
Firstly, you can find durable and robust trackers for tough environments like industrial sites, transportation, construction, airports and harbours, mines, oil and gas or warehouses, where the tracker needed has to be more robust and resist harsh environments and weather.
For these use cases, trackers like the Industrial Tracker or Compact Tracker are usually ideal.
The Compact Tracker is a solid, light weighted device, built for heavy-duty tracking. It has a compact and robust form factor designed to resist harsh surroundings, being dust-proof, waterproof and even resistant to explosive atmospheres, a feature certified by ATEX. This device will enable you to perform seamless asset tracking and management in any industrial environment, whether it’s for heavy-duty assets or small equipment, also taking advantage of its long battery autonomy.
On the other hand, the Industrial Tracker is a large-scale, high precision tracker, designed to stand the test of time. It is a solid tracker also built for heavy duties. The Industrial Tracker is a highly versatile multi-mode tracker with a large battery and embedded sensors and long autonomy.
Secondly, asset tracking and tracing of mobile assets is also a day-to-day need. For these use cases, smaller and lighter trackers are normally required.
The Abeeway Micro Tracker, the Gemtek Asset Tracker or the Lansitec Smart GPS Tracker are perfect for these situations. The solutions offered by Abeeway and Gemtek are simple, but powerful tracking devices which fit in the palm of your hand. These versatile and multi-purpose trackers have a small size and long battery life, making them the ideal products for numerous tracking applications like valuables, people or pets. They also offer access to a variety of personalized functionalities at the touch of a button.
On the other hand, the Lansitec GPS LoRa Tracker can also be used to locate scooters, people or property, whilst being compliant with the LoRaWAN 1.0 protocol. It has all the needed characteristics for a Smart Tracker like longer standby-time and no network usage cost compared with the traditional GPRS based solutions, as well as a lower price.
SODAQ’s LoRaWAN Cattle Tracking collars are the perfect devices to track cattle anywhere in the world. This device embeds a microchip LoRa module for communication, so the devices can connect either over a public or private network.
Gemtek also offers a Cattle Tag designed to contain RFID for cattle identification and also LoRa transmission for network servers to position each particular cattle based on RSSI data from receiving gateways. The internal battery can sustain continuous LoRa transmission every 15 minutes for 1 day without charging and each tag is equipped with a solar panel to keep charging and replenish the battery for continuous operation.
The next most required application you need to know about is personal tracking, which allows you to always know the location of your mobile workers and personnel to reduce risks and injuries. This is best achieved through the Smart Badge, a precise tracker which locates workers and employees no matter where they are, whether indoors or outdoors, all through a compact card format which is ideal for personal usage, as it can be worn with a lanyard, attached to clothes or easily fit in a pocket.
If you are a manufacturer and would like to create your own customized tracking devices to perfectly fit your needs, the Abeeway Geolocation Module might be what you are looking for. Designed for those use cases where engineers need to focus on the specific use case and optimize time-to-market and cost, this device helps to achieve your goals by using less complex PCBs to reduce certification risk and budget, as well as testing time and cost for mass production, offering indoor and outdoor asset location, safety and productivity solutions or consumer tracking applications, all on one module.
The features you need to know about
Smart Trackers handle complete, high performing, power-efficient, and low-cost IoT multi-technology for LoRaWAN™.
With advanced location-solving algorithms, these trackers bring geolocation intelligence with advanced service quality, extended battery life, and smartly configured multimodal behaviour.
Smart trackers offer:
- Long battery lifetime achieved by low peak current, which allows batteries to work at maximum capacity, offering continuous use of devices during months or years.
- High sensitivity and accuracy. These trackers can embed multiple geolocation technologies such as GPS, Low Power GPS, Wi-Fi sniffing and Bluetooth low energy.
- Light and high resistance
- Smart Multimode Configuration. Trackers can actively change tracking modes and optimize their performance.
- Sensor-based positioning trigger. Devices are also equipped with SOS/panic buttons, allowing location tracking in specific use cases.
- ATEX Certification. Some of the mentioned trackers also count with this certification, proving that they are resistant to explosive atmospheres.
How accurate are Smart Trackers?
Smart trackers can contain connectivity to more than one type of technology to help ensure the best reach at each moment.
The devices can use one or all the technologies out of the following:
- Wi-Fi/BLE, normally used for indoor geolocation.
- GPS/LP – GPS. This type of technology is usually used for position updating via public networks in the city and connected areas.
- LoRaWAN. This technology is used in areas where other types of connectivity don’t reach, normally because of undeveloped connections.
Knowing your goal
Before buying a tracker, think about what you really want from your device. Make sure your tracker connects to the right technology to be able to offer coverage for all the distance involved in your project, make sure it is compatible with other devices which might be needed at the same time, and remember to check if the device will resist the area in which you want to place it. Once you have established your goals it will be much easier for you to not get lost in the vast offer of smart trackers on the market.
Want more help finding the right tracker for you? Don't hesitate to contact us here.