Asset tracking refers to tracking the movement of physical assets, either by scanning barcode tags attached to the assets or by using smart tags, like 'passive' RFID, which broadcast their location, but which have limited transmission range (typically a few meters). Longer-range "smart tags" use 'active' RFID -where a radio transmitter is powered by a battery and can transmit up to 2000 meters (6,600 feet) in optimum conditions. RFID-based Asset Tracking requires an infrastructure to be put in place before the whereabouts of tags may be ascertained. An asset tracking system can record the location and usage of the assets and generate various reports.
QRCode Asset Tracking
Assets can be tracked via QRCodes, which is a cost effective way of tracking the location without significant capital investment. QRCodes are unique since they're globally recognized and significant numbers of smartphone users have QRCode tracking software installed.
GPS Asset Tracking
Assets may also be tracked globally using devices which combine the GPS Global Positioning System system and mobile phone Cellular network and/or Satellite Phone Satellite phone technology. Such devices are known as GPS Asset Trackers and are primarily differentiated from other GPS Trackers GPS tracking unit by virtue of the fact that they rely on an internal battery for power rather than being dependent on hard-wiring to a vehicle's battery. The frequency with which the position of the device must be known or available dictates the quality, size or type of GPS Asset Tracker required. It is common for asset tracking devices to fail due to Faraday cage effects as a huge proportion of the worlds assets are moved via containers. However  modern tracking technology has now seen advances in signal transmission that allows enough signal strength to reach the GPS satellite system which can then be reported via GPRS to terrestrial networks.
Popular Asset Tracking Tools
- EZOfficeInventory: General purpose asset and inventory tracking system
- ASAP Systems: General purpose asset and inventory tracking system
- Trackaid: Specialized asset tracking for cylinders
- SysAid: Specialized asset tracking for IT
- MapYourTag: Asset and inventory tracking app for smartphone and tablet PC (iOS and Android)
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