Asset tracking devices are security devices for finding stolen items. They may as a side benefit perform an audit role because of the fact that all the equipment communicates regularly with the server. This ensures it is also in good condition leading up to an attack. So far something in excess of 500 items have been recovered using the BB3 since its launch in 2010. That is something like £12.5million in equipment recoveries alone.
The BB3 is available in a number of different packages depending on battery size. The standard configuration lasts three years (based on 4 reports per day) and has GPS and GSM based positioning, as well as motion sensors and an RF ID beacon. It does require a SIM card and the position and control of the unit can be managed online through one of the existing server applications via a web browser. Alternatively, larger clients take an API feed, in .XML format direct from the servers and integrate it with their existing software solutions.
GSM trackers make use of the eNCell positioning system to resolve their location. eNCell came from a piece of cold war technology designed originally to track stealth aircraft. It works by using data from the GSM network and then running it through a super computer with an accurate terrain model. The result is a series of overlays for every GSM cell site that can be matched to the information reported by the asset.
The accuracy of eNCell on mainland UK is 300m 95% of the time. The advantage of GSM trackers is that they do not need to acquire a GPS signal, which takes time, power and more importantly is easily jammed. When outside the UK, GSM trackers use local eNCell information where available or default to one of five cell ID databases. This is far less accurate than eNCell but can still be used in conjunction with a beacon tag to effect a recovery.
A watch style tracking device with assisted GPS. Optionally it can also have a tag fitted. The unit lasts for 72 hours on a single charge based on one report every fifteen minutes. It does date and time and looks to all intents and purposes like a normal sports watch. The major difference being it is being monitored in real time through the online application.
There are a number of variants of the watch tracker have been done for clients, including panic buttons, dead man switches, automated help messages and the like.