Typically, organizations that want to implement a remote monitoring IoT solution do not realize the full scope of the process. Not only can it take years to deploy, but often, they find themselves left with too much data that does not solve their problem. “Presently, over eight billion IoT devices are connected worldwide. Yet, the IoT industry witnesses a slow growth rate,” states Pierre Parent, CTO and General Manager at GeoTraq. This is mainly due to the complexity of existing IoT solutions that eventually deliver little value and end up as expensive vanity projects. Given the present scenario, “It is time to approach IoT differently, be a bit more practical, and a lot smarter,” urges Parent.
GeoTraq’s value proposition is straightforward—results-driven solutions for simple IoT applications. The company has developed state-of-the-art penny-sized Mobile IoT modules for asset tracking and remote monitoring. The modules are plug and play with connectors for easy attachment of antenna, battery, and desired sensors. And owing to their ultra-small size, the modules can be discreetly and conveniently placed inside or on assets and equipment of any size. By transmitting very small packets of data on a schedule and sending instant alerts for trigger-based events, GeoTraq aims to deliver their clients the right data at the right time. GeoTraq’s niche Mobile IoT connected modules will address two of the biggest challenges in today’s IoT space: lengthy deployment timelines and data overload.
A New Class of Mobile IoT Modules
To date, when companies want to access data from connected sensors on a wireless network, they must implement complex technology components and build new, expensive networking systems. In most cases, organizations must take the onus of developing specific hardware with the right sensor type, followed by control processors and a wireless communication module. If that wasn’t enough, companies even have to go through the hassle of getting skilled electrical engineers to design a printed circuit board for mounting all the components together. The entire IoT implementation process from prototyping, designing, testing, and manufacturing to attaining licenses and certifications takes months or even years to complete. Eventually, what starts off as a simple need to monitor the air pressure in an air conditioning unit, takes a whole new turn as organizations end up spending more time and effort building an IoT solution from scratch instead of focusing on their core business goal.
“At GeoTraq, we have broken down a complicated device design process into a few quick steps,” states Tiffani Neilson, VP of Marketing at GeoTraq. To kick-start an effective GeoTraq enabled IoT solution, a client needs to clearly define their objectives and plan the design for their end device. In some cases, clients have inserted and connected GeoTraq’s ultra-small modules into a battery-powered asset and attached an antenna to create a working IoT tracking device in minutes.
GeoTraq’s niche Mobile IoT connected modules will address two of the biggest challenges in today’s IoT space: lengthy deployment timelines and data overload
Powering the Next Generation of IoT
GeoTraq helps clients save even more by providing NB-IoT and LTE-M connectivity through Mobile IoT networks that leverage existing cellular infrastructure. Mobile IoT refers to global, low power wide area (LPWA) managed IoT networks that intelligently connect IoT devices everywhere LTE networks are present. “Organizations should consider the installation and management of required network infrastructure in their facility, manufacturing plant, or other location in need of remote monitoring,” mentions Neilson. GeoTraq aims to reduce complexity and streamline the process for deploying IoT solutions at scale. The economy of GeoTraq’s Mobile IoT solution is that it enables clients to take advantage of low-cost connectivity without shouldering the responsibility of infrastructure management. “Our modules bring mobility and visibility to clients wishing to deploy sensor-integrated IoT solutions over large areas,” stated Ms. Neilson. Equipped with the latest in NB-IoT/LTE-M, low power positioning technology, GeoTraq modules deliver highly accurate indoor and outdoor positioning for location, as well as relay sensor data for remote monitoring. To this point Parent adds, “GeoTraq fills the gap beyond what can be offered through the limited confines of a fixed location or IoT gateway.”
"GeoTraq is not just efficient, it’s the smart choice for businesses that want to implement an IoT solution that makes dollars and sense"
GeoTraq’s modules truly represent the future of IoT. The GSMA recently announced that Mobile IoT is now available globally and coverage is expected to reach approximately 93 percent of the world’s largest IoT markets. To give a brief backdrop, the GSMA is a trade body dedicated to raising the standards for the global mobile industry in line with the UN’s sustainable development goals. Last month, GeoTraq became an Associate Member of the GSMA to stay ahead of the necessary compliance and interoperability standards.
GeoTraq offers two types of hardware, a Tracker-Module explicitly designed for asset-tracking and location-based services and a Sensor-Module for remotely monitoring conditions from external sensors. GeoTraq also provides a Sensor-Controller to compliment the Sensor-Module, which is an I/O expansion for Sensor-Modules that will support hardware implementation for up to 8 analog and digital sensors.
Less is More
One of the best features of GeoTraq’s modules is the flexible and customizable nature of data delivery. Clients can schedule reports at intervals that best fit their needs (weekly, monthly, or daily) or receive instant alerts for trigger-based events. Trigger points are based on conditions, patterns, or readings from sensors, and the modules are intelligently designed to send only relevant information as opposed to tons of unnecessary data.
“Unlike most IoT solutions that function as ‘always-on’ connections, GeoTraq’s modules are engineered to operate in deep sleep mode 99 percent of the time, optimizing battery life, with the ability to ‘wake up’ the module if conditions are met that trigger an alert to be sent,” points out Ms. Neilson. She adds, “Businesses don't need to swim in oceans of data, they need the data that matters most, such as if the bank vault is open, the propane tank is empty, or if there has been a temperature increase in the cold storage. The ability to receive immediate notifications for equipment issues and asset performance will increase the chances of preventing or resolving problems before they become critical.” Essentially, the modules only wake up to transmit an alert if a notable detection, consumption, or reaction occurs. GeoTraq modules are managed through their backend platform called WebTraq, which will allow clients to manage and monitor their devices through APIs. Users can leverage the platform to integrate with the IoT platform of their choice or legacy system to easily pull data for visualization or reports.
Delivering IoT Outcomes that Matter
Given its efficacy and versatility, GeoTraq’s IoT modules expect to make their way across industries ranging from agriculture to cold chain, the energy sector, and even the military. A particular case which stands out is how GeoTraq’s solutions are impacting firearm tracking. Gun theft around the globe is a critical issue, and more than half a million firearms are stolen each year in the U.S. alone. For a problem that can result in dire consequences, GeoTraq comes to the rescue with an extraordinarily simple solution. By embedding the Tracker and Sensor-Modules into gun grips, government agencies and law enforcement can easily track weapons to save both money and lives. Beyond simply tracking, imagine the degree of accountability that law enforcement agencies can administer with GeoTraq. Owing to event-based notifications, the modules can report pertinent information related to when a gun was drawn and fired, from what location, and so on.
In days to come, the company is looking at making a bigger impact on the natural resources sector as well as the supply chain. But frankly, the use cases for GeoTraq modules are limitless given their compact size and intelligent data generation capability combined with Mobile IoT connectivity. “GeoTraq is not just efficient,” adds Ms. Neilson, “it’s the smart choice for businesses that want to implement an IoT solution that makes dollars and sense.” For IoT projects that require small amounts of data, GeoTraq is nothing short of a magic bullet that exemplifies the power of simplicity and smart technology.