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Companies Trying Sigfox Spot'It Tags for Low-Cost Tracking
The tags are designed to provide location data on Sigfox's cloud-based server without requiring an installation of readers or access points, or handheld devices to capture the data.
When the IoT tag transmits to the Sigfox network, the network uses signal strength, as well as its own cloud-based software, to identify that approximate location. Users can then access the information on the Sigfox-hosted server, and receive alerts and access analytics based on their requirements.
For example, if a logistics company were moving products from a warehouse to a customer, that company could attach a tag to one or more pallets being transported. As each tagged pallet was loaded onto a truck and then transported to the customer's location in another state, the system would identify the approximate movement of that load, and could send an alert if the load were delayed or seemed to be in the wrong location.
Sigfox is currently expanding a global network that provides the IoT location of sensors and things. Therefore, the coverage area in which Spot'It would operate is growing. As of last year, Orr says, Sigfox provided coverage for 20 percent of the population of the United States. By the end of this year, it expects that coverage area to have grown to 40 percent. Globally, Sigfox has a presence in 32 countries and plans to be in 60 countries next year.
Multiple customers are piloting the Spot'It system, Proithis says, using thousands of tags, typically on products moving through shipping and handling, though the use cases go far beyond logistics. "Even if not specifically in logistics," he states, "the system enables tracking of items that have not been able to be tracked before."
Once the Spot'It tags are ordered in high volume during the next few years, Proithis says, he expects the cost could drop below a dollar apiece.
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