Beacons Save Time and Money by Automating Asset Tracking

Organizations lose millions of dollars every year when high-value items and inventory are misplaced, lost or stolen. Employees waste time looking for these assets, and customers experience delayed order fulfillment and other service quality issues.

Beacon technology and the Wi-Fi network can be used to automate asset tracking and inventory management, improving staff efficiency and the customer experience while controlling costs. Beacons are small devices that are capable of transmitting data via Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) technology. They can be used to create asset tags that communicate with today’s mobile devices, with a range of about 230 feet.

Beacons offer many benefits over the radio frequency identification (RFID) tags that traditionally have been used for asset tracking. RFID doesn’t natively communicate with mobile devices, so it generally requires investments in specialized readers that operate on the same frequencies as the RFID tags. Range is also an issue. While active tags that broadcast a signal have a range of 300 feet or more, the inexpensive passive tags have a range of just three feet to 20 feet depending on the frequency used and other factors.

At HPE Discover in June, Aruba Networks introduced a beacon-based asset-tracking solution that is fully integrated into the Aruba wireless infrastructure, eliminating the need for a separate network. Organizations can leverage cost-efficient BLE-enabled tags to accurately track important items by using an intuitive, map-based mobile app or by integrating with an existing asset-tracking system.

The solution includes the following components:

  • Enhancements to ArubaOS and Aruba APs. This new software allows Aruba BLE-enabled APs and sensors to act as asset tag “observers,” creating an asset-tracking network out of the existing Wi-Fi network.
  • New Aruba Tags. Aruba Tags are slightly larger than a quarter, making them ideal for items that range in size from IV pumps in a healthcare setting to pallets of goods in a warehouse. The tags are designed to meet stringent environmental requirements and come with multiple attachment options.
  • Asset Tag Configuration App. Aruba’s configuration app makes setup and ongoing management of the tags simple. Assets can be designated with names, photos and optional IDs so that like assets can be searched for easily. Changes can be made quickly, near the assets, and all data is automatically saved in a central cloud database.
  • New features for the Aruba Meridian AppMaker. Organizations can now create their own asset-tracking app for iOS or Android devices using the Meridian AppMaker. The AppMaker provides a new SDK and APIs for seamless third-party integration and custom use cases.

Aruba Asset Tracking is one of the intelligent edge innovations unveiled at HPE Discover. The company also introduced its 8400 Core Switch Series, a new aggregation switch that delivers the performance, power, automation and troubleshooting capabilities necessary to address the challenges of mobile, the cloud and the Internet of Things.

Beacon technology can help organizations easily track valued items, improving organizational efficiency and minimizing the capital and operational losses associated with misplaced assets. Let Sequel show you how Aruba’s asset-tracking solution delivers these benefits using your existing Wi-Fi infrastructure, simplifying deployment and dramatically reducing costs.