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This Is No Virtual Reality

If you feel like you are living in your favorite Sci-fi film, there’s a very good chance that you are actually living this reality. Our homes have smart devices for lighting, heating, cooking, washing, cooling and so much more. If your daughter is named Alexa, she surely has a nickname so she’s not confused with the popular automated assistant who keeps calendars grocery lists, plays songs, tells jokes and the list goes on. Machines are connecting our lives. Just as in our personal lives, we interact with and benefit from connected devices in our work lives.

Connected devices are the present and the future - there are now over 7.7B people on the planet and well over 9B Internet of Things (IoT) devices globally and growing. Knowledge of where all of these devices are and what other devices they are communicating with is critical for many business functions for visibility and management of their operations.

In Industrial IoT, businesses need to know where all of their equipment and assets are located, whether they are in a warehouse, in transit or in the field. At times, the devices have GPS embedded in them and they transmit their location coordinates at specified time intervals. This allows the business manager to ensure that the devices are where they are supposed to be. However, many times there is no GPS or the device is not locatable via GPS because it is deep within a truck or warehouse. Likewise, it may not be locatable via the serving wireless carrier, as it may be roaming on another network. Use of GPS is beneficial but it can also cause battery drain and may require the device to be serviced and updated more frequently, which increases costs.  In many cases, the added cost of GPS functionality may not be warranted.

There are other convenient options to tracking the whereabouts of your IoT devices. Most connected devices are programmed or can easily be programmed to report visible cell site or Wi-Fi details. Services such as LocationSmart’s Global Site ID (GSID), which allow you to locate GSM, CDMA, WCDMA (UMTS), LTE, 5G or Wi-Fi connected devices, provide businesses with a simple application programming interface (API) to pass the relevant parameters and receive location results within a second. This provides a practical option for track and trace, inventory management, device maintenance, audits, security and on demand visibility of your devices at any time. GSID services may also be used to augment GPS, when it is not available or to offload battery drain. It also serves as a second factor of location verification for security and other critical needs.

Whether locating field equipment, parts in transit, vending machines, ATMs or other equipment, GSID provides fast, reliable and hassle-free results. Embracing and learning from our connected world will continue to fuel the next Industrial Revolution.