It is a truth universally acknowledged that people are not always completely honest. Theft deterrence, asset security, protection, tracking is an important subject. And it’s not just asset protection but personal security as well.
Bluetooth based BLE beacons lend themselves as an obvious solution. Any beacon from any vendor can be used for the purpose although some have special features like motion sensitivity or button triggered notification.
Beacons are cheap, last a long time on a single coin cell battery. Their detection can be done in a variety of ways. iPhones, Android devices, Raspberry Pi equipped with bluetooth dongle. There should now exist specific hardware solutions as well.
In general a beacon keeps advertising all the time and it’s either detected by the device tasked with keeping watch over it or it isn’t. You can safely assume that when it’s being detected the asset tagged with the beacon is in close vicinity of the detector. When isn’t then it’s either somewhere else and returned later or lost.
Let me give a few examples how asset tracking can be used in a couple of situations.
One example not so obvious is rental places. The problem may not be that rented assets are not returned but instead that the employees are not completely honest about how many times a certain bike, scooter, etc. was rented.
Another example is assets within a large building like wheelchairs in a hospital. Each department is supposed to have a certain number of them but what they can locate may be less. The missing ones could be in transit, at another department or maybe stolen out of the hospital.
If you have enough number of detectors for tracking these assets it’s fairly easy to tell where they are based on the data collected by the detectors. In the rental example when an asset tag is not visible it can be assumed that it’s being rented. In the hospital example well placed detectors and in what sequence beacons register with them can provide a high level a certainty in regards to their current location. Placing detectors near exits and docks can enable a real-time warning system to alert security before an asset is lost. When something does get lost and no longer detectable inside the building GPS and WiFi based trackers can still provide a solution.