Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Sigfox launches geolocation service for asset tracking

Steve Rogerson
February 28, 2017
Sigfox has announced a GPS-free IoT geolocation service to provide an economical way of tracking large numbers of assets around the world.
Enabled by Sigfox’s global network, now spanning 31 countries, Spot’it is an asset-tracking service that enables any existing Sigfox module to become a geolocation device, without the need to perform retrofit or hardware or software upgrades.
Spot’it does not require any additional hardware or upgrade, and the device does not have to transmit more messages, meaning there is no impact on the operating cost for users. It does not rely on energy intensive GPS technology, nor require additional processing or any more energy than what Sigfox-based devices already consume.
Spot’it is embedded in Sigfox’s global network footprint and represents its first global IoT geolocation offer. This allows the simplification of global supply chain management: once a device is registered into the Sigfox Cloud, the geolocation service is available in all territories where the network is present. Unlike traditional GPS-tracking, Spot’it works booth indoors and outdoors.
Spot’it has been specifically designed to unlock tracking capabilities for asset-intensive industries in markets such as supply chain and logistics in tracking of pallets, containers and so on, agriculture, retail, and construction.
Traditionally, companies have tracked their assets in transit by either scanning at points of contact or through GPS tracking. However, scanning at points of contact is often prone to error and loss in between touch points. Additionally, aside from the high cost of GPS hardware, the energy intensive operation means there is a high maintenance cost associated in continually replacing batteries. As such, GPS tracking is reserved for tracking high value goods and is uneconomical for tracking mass freight or assets.
“Spot’it is not only set to transform the global freight industry, but we anticipate that new services will be developed,” said Laetitia Jay, Sigfox CMO. “Imagine a new service where shipping companies can be alerted when containers stray into regions that they aren’t supposed to be in. From fraud detection to new insurance and geo-marketing business models, the possibilities are endless.”
Spot’it is the first big data based Sigfox service, based on a cloud intelligence, combining the signal strength indicators and deep learning programmes. Resulting from two years of research and development, and thanks to the devices metadata available in the Sigfox Cloud, this development enables Sigfox to offer a geolocation service that does not require any hardware or software upgrades, and has no impact on energy consumption.