Kontakt.io hs just announced a new rnge of hardware platform on which a new generation of start-ups and applications around asset tracking and RTLS can be built. Kontakt.io offers gateway infrastructure, cloud platform and a range of different tag formats, which will enable low cost indoor asset tracking that is easy to deploy and manage.
In ABI Research’s latest RTLS/asset tracking report, we considered the traditional RTLS and asset tracking markets and how BLE Beacons and UWB are forecast to be major disruptors of the technology. While we see a number of companies developing sub-1m proprietary solutions (which is vital for a lot of traditional industrial applications), ABI Research also believes there is a long tail of small deployments for a low cost, “lower accuracy” solution.
The focus to date has been in high value markets like hospitals, assembly lines and supply chain, where the high cost of the technology can be absorbed or justified. But low cost technology like beacons means that suddenly commercial verticals like corporate offices can start to think about tagging rooms, equipment, staff and hot desks. Fleet management can extend into also tracking high value tools to ensure the right items are taken for a job but also that they are not lost or stolen. With the uberization of delivery, there will be a very big opportunity to use technology like beacons to maintain control of quality without incurring high costs. We also expect to see disruption in the traditional supply chin market with beacons enabling the move towards item level tracking. Already a number of pallet companies are looking at ways to integrate BLE beacons to facilitate this. We also see the inclusion of sensors as a great way of supporting low cost condition monitoring as it will take time for IIoT to move to integrated sensors.
In the report, we made a number of recommendations to BLE beacon vendors that don’t want to go down the road of high accuracy but still want to tap into the huge potential of this market. Kontakt.io has ticked a lot of those boxes including new form factors, sensor integration and extended battery life. At the launch Kontakt.io said its solution was three times cheaper than active RFiD, but with the gateway available for $89 it is a far bigger differential compared to traditional RFiD readers.
One of our other recommendations was to look at combining different location technologies, with Kontakt.io including RFiD along with BLE in its card beacon. This has immediate potential in extending existing RFiD-based access control deployments. There is also significant opportunity in the asset tracking space, enabling tags to be tracked across disparate technologies along the supply chain path.