Losing your keys or sunglasses can be frustrating – losing big-ticket items or even your pet can be a nightmare. Luckily, these days there are many tools to help people track and recover precious belongings. Internet of Things technology is being used by a number of companies to tag things in case they are lost or stolen, much the same way IoT is being used by manufacturing to make supply chains and inventory more efficient. Except IoT tracking frequently uses GPS – or Global Positioning System – to determine the location of a tagged item, so the potentially lost thing can be found most anywhere on earth.
GPS and IoT Tracking
Thanks to the US Department of Defense, we have a set of satellites orbiting the planet that triangulate and calculate location, which is reported back to the ground. Since the 1980s, this system has been available to civilians, plus Russia and the EU have created their own satellite systems, and today, most smartphones have GPS capabilities.
Many industries use GPS combined with IoT for mapping, such as fleet telematics and automated farming applications, so it’s a natural fit for IoT tracking. These real-time systems feature a small GPS receiver that automatically sends location details via an IoT connection to a central tracking portal. The person who wants to track something is able to log into the portal and identify exactly where their item is at any time.
IoT tracking devices can be used for most anything you can put a sensor on. Whether it’s a golf cart or an air-conditioning unit or your dog, IoT tracking can help you find it if the item is lost or stolen and you’re using one of the many GPS-enabled trackers. These systems aren’t perfect, of course, particularly deep in cities with tall buildings where GPS suffers from ‘urban canyon syndrome or on heavily overcast days. But IoT trackers are helping reunite many people with their lost goods already, and the future looks promising for this technology.