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Kizy Tracking Solution Uses Cellular Network to Locate Goods
The company is marketing its RTLS service as a low-cost alternative to conventional RFID, by employing battery-powered tags that communicate with GSM cellular towers instead of dedicated readers.
Sep 03, 2014—
Newly founded technology company Kizy Tracking has developed what it describes as a low-cost alternative to conventional RFID or GPS solutions that is able to track goods anywhere within range of a GSM cellular radio tower. The only hardware that users need purchase is a battery-powered K-1 GSM Tracker tag, priced at $35 apiece; the only other expenses are a $1 activation charge and a daily $0.25 fee to access location data on a hosted server. The Swiss firm is selling its K-1 GSM Tracker tag for use in containers or with cargo that is shipped, in many cases, around the world.
Kizy was launched on January 1 of this year to provide a tracking solution that would cost less than conventional RFID, but would also be more automated than solutions utilizing bar codes, which require manual scans. The company's name, pronounced "kee-zee," is derived from the words "tracking" and "easy." According to Ruud Riem-Vis, Kizy's CEO, the use of traditional battery-powered RFID real-time location system (RTLS) tags for tracking cargo loaded into vans in cartons or containers can be unrealistic, due to the need for a reader infrastructure wherever the cargo is transported. This can be particularly cumbersome, he notes, if readers—along with the cables required to connect those devices with a back-end server, and to provide the necessary power—must be installed along a supply chain route. In the case of passive RFID tags, handheld or fixed readers must be provided to users throughout the supply chain. Alternatively, Riem-Vis says, some vehicles come equipped with GPS systems that can send location data back to a server, but require a power source that may not always be available.
The K-1 GSM Tracker tag measures 100 millimeters by 48 millimeters by 9.8 millimeters (3.9 inches by 1.9 inches by 0.4 inch)—about the size of a small cell phone—and features movement and light sensors, as well as GSM radio. Citing the Swiss tradition of making watches and long-lasting batteries to power them, Riem-Vis says his company developed the tag to use only the minimal amount of power necessary, thus ensuring that it can transmit a signal for up to a year without requiring a battery recharge, via a standard mini-USB cable.
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