GPS with Bluetooth®: Award Winning BLE 5.0 Gateways and Tags

Digital Matter

Digital Matter has included Bluetooth® as an important technology in its product range. We see Bluetooth® as an enabler for local communications between our devices and other tags, devices, sensors, or mobile phones.

Our first devices to feature this functionality are the Remora2 and the upcoming Guppy Bluetooth® Tag, G120, Eagle and SensorNode Bluetooth® will also be Bluetooth® enabled.

How Does it Work?

The Remora2, G120, and Eagle all have a Bluetooth® 5 module on board. These devices operate as ‘gateways,’ enabling them to scan for other Bluetooth® devices within range, like our Guppy Bluetooth® Tags, or other third-party Bluetooth® tags and mobile devices (contact us to discuss third-party device integrations).

If a gateway device detects a Guppy tag nearby, then we can report the approximate position of the tag. Battery-powered ‘gateways’ scan periodically, but powered devices can scan for other Bluetooth® signals constantly. Our Guppy tag transmits beacons approximately every 2 seconds.

Digital Matter gateway devices maintain a ‘tag list’ and report intelligently on a change in the information – uploading when:

  • A new tag is found (comes within range)
  • A tag is lost (goes out of range)
  • Periodic update of the list

The gateway device reports a collection of information about the tag:

  • Tag serial, type, battery level, temperature, transmit power level and signal strength
  • The gateway device knows its GPS location and can infer an estimated position for the tag based on the data received.

Find out more about Asset Tracking with Bluetooth® here.

What are the Applications?

The applications are truly endless, but tracking with Bluetooth® is well suited for asset management and cold chain monitoring.

The Guppy Tag is a low cost, compact (runs off just 2 x AAA batteries), and won’t require a SIM or data plan. This means it can be readily attached to almost anything to provide low-cost asset location. It is particularly useful for low value or smaller assets, where it may not make commercial sense to attach more robust devices, such as the Yabby GPS or Oyster2.

Asset Management

Automatic Inventory Management – If a Guppy Bluetooth® Low Energy is attached to each item of stock, the number of tags that report to a gateway device can be used to count the stock level at a location.

Monitoring equipment across multiple sites – If a gateway is placed at each site, the gateway to which a tag is reporting to indicates which site the tagged asset is located.

Hire Equipment – Monitoring equipment entering/leaving the yard based upon whether it is in range of a gateway or not.

Bin Location Tracking – Knowing where bins were dropped off and by which truck. The truck will contain a gateway device, and when the tag attached to the bin is ‘lost’ (out of range of the gateway) – the bin has been dropped off at this location.

Trailer Tracking – With automatic scanning of which pallets are on the trailer. A gateway device would be attached to the trailer and a Bluetooth® Low Energy tag on each pallet.

Temperature Monitoring with SensorNodes

The upcoming SensorNode Bluetooth® is Digital Matter’s Bluetooth® Low Energy version of our SensorNode Device. This allows a wireless link to the main tracking device from a variety of sensors, digital inputs, and analog inputs for remote input monitoring with no wiring.

The SensorNode can monitor the temperature in the back of a truck, for example, and transmit to the Bluetooth® enabled device (G120 for powered or Remora2 for battery-powered). Third-Party Bluetooth® sensors can also be supported.

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