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Providing Insight and Increasing Productivity with Asset Tracking in Losant

Julia Kempf
Julia Kempf 4 minute read

A physical space can provide a number of challenges when it comes to keeping track of assets. For example, I also work as an antique dealer, and frequently items get lost or stolen from the store. How can I keep track of my antiques, be aware of theft as it happens, and prevent theft in the future? IoT is the solution.

With IoT, I can build an indoor asset tracking solution that captures movement, usage, behavior, and/or security of assets in a physical space and report that information in real time using devices.  In my antique shop example, an IoT indoor asset tracking solution could alert me to theft and save time spent searching for resources.

But this isn’t just beneficial for my use case. Indoor asset tracking can be useful for a variety of businesses with indoor facilities, including restaurants, office buildings, campuses, homes, and even breweries.

Let’s dive into the ways Losant can provide insight into a physical space and increase productivity through indoor asset tracking.

Using Device Location Data in Losant

You can make any physical asset into a smart asset by attaching devices, such as Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), Radio Frequency Identification (RFID), or Ultra-Wideband devices. For example, if you work in a healthcare facility, you can attach a BLE device to a wheelchair to gather location data on the wheelchair’s location and movements using Bluetooth. By using secure MQTT, this device can report the location to Losant.

Diagram explaining how to gather location data in Losant.

Within Losant, the location data is recorded as state for the wheelchair device. From that positioning information, alerts can be created and the data can be visualized on a shared dashboard.

This information could allow a nurse in the facility to quickly locate the wheelchair for use by a patient by showing the wheelchair’s location on a map of the facility. This can increase productivity by decreasing the amount of time the employees spend looking for assets. See the example below:

Example floor plan.

Events

This location data can also be used to create events in Losant. Events provide a way to collect, view, and respond to exceptional occurrences. These exceptions could include a device entering a restricted area, disconnecting, or reaching a low battery.

Losant Workflows allow for configuring thresholds and creating custom alert logic within an application. These events can be added to a dashboard alongside the location of all of the devices to give full insight into what is happening within the space.

View of real-time location for all devices in a nursing home space.

The above example provides a view of real-time location data for all of the devices in a nursing home space. The events at the bottom of the dashboard were created by a Losant Workflow when an asset, such as an oxygen concentrator or wheelchair, moved to a forbidden space or room. These events can alert users of the application to exceptional occurrences in real time. If an employee is able to see that an asset has left the campus or has been moved to the incorrect location, this could prevent loss or even possible danger to sensitive assets and equipment.

Historical Insights

Thus far, we’ve used BLE device data to show real-time location information, but the same data can be used to show historical insights. The following example shows the average amount of time spent in each room by residents in a facility:

Average amount of time spent in each room by residents in a facility.

An Image Overlay Block queries the device state for each resident for the last seven days to determine the amount of time spent per room. This historical data can be used to make decisions about the space and determine which rooms were the most popular. This could lead to decisions about which should be cleaned most frequently or if time restrictions should be put in place, which could create a better living environment.

This data provides insights about the physical space, but Losant also provides the ability to create a custom-branded experience. The following example utilizes the same dashboard, but now the data is surrounded by a custom theme for Losant’s example company Kanarra. This was built using Losant’s End-User Experiences functionality, which allows you to build a full front-end custom view for your data.

Losant's components work together to create this full implementation.

Losant’s components are all working together to provide the full experience you see above. The BLE assets are reporting location data to Losant devices, which is stored in Losant as state. This state data is used within a Losant dashboard to render a virtual representation of the assets in the physical environment. Next, events are created when devices are out of bounds using the logic of the Losant Visual Workflow Engine. And finally, all of the pieces are put together using a Losant End-User Experience that provides a custom-branded way to view all of this data together.

How can I get started with Indoor Asset Tracking?

To ease the transition into developing your own asset tracking application, we’ve added a new Indoor Asset Tracker Application Template that, like the rest of our Application Templates, offers an example that you can use to kickstart your own thinking and building. This template is intended as a guide to visualize your own implementation. Due to the nature of your hardware, your devices may differ or include additional information, so this template provides a workflow to simulate devices moving across a campus.

The template combines multiple platform components that are prebuilt and ready for use and is configured with scalability in mind. The Losant components contained in this template can provide real-time and historical insight into the assets in a space and can increase productivity by decreasing loss.

Asset Tracking in Losant

Losant supports all of the pieces of indoor asset tracking within one platform. The built-in functionality of Losant components allows for a valuable way to learn information about a space while decreasing the time it takes to locate assets. Using Losant, you can build an asset tracking solution easier than ever before.

Explore the features of the Losant Indoor Asset Tracking Application Template with the engineer who built it in our Deeper Dive on-demand webinar.

Julia Kempf

Julia is a Solutions Engineer at Losant. When she's not building in the Platform or writing code, you can find her selling antiques, watering prize-winning orchids, or training as an apprentice falconer.