As a pioneer in the use of Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) location services to enable organizations to deliver a more personalized mobile computing experience within a confined space, Mist has been extending the reach of wireless networks. Now Mist is applying that same technology to physical assets that IT organizations need to track.
Mist today unfurled an Asset Visibility Service that makes it possible to track third-party BLE tags to assets in a way that allows a Mist access point to locate them using embedded BLE antennas, as long as they are within 2,000 feet of a Mist access point.
The service is managed via an application that makes extensive use of machine learning algorithms to also discover where those assets are and how often they are being used. Jeff Aaron, vice president of marketing for Mist, says that capability eliminates the need for site surveys, while at the same time allowing organizations to make sure those assets are living up to usage expectations.
“Knowing where a device is and that it is turned on is not the same thing as knowing how good it is,” says Aaron.
In some cases, the BLE tags are attached by the original equipment manufacturer (OEM). In other scenarios, IT organizations might take it upon themselves, especially when the assets that need to be tracked span multiple manufacturers. The Mist application itself is based on containers and Big Data technologies that enable Mist to scale up the application as demand changes across a broad set of customers accessing its cloud application, adds Aaron.
It’s no secret that lots of physical assets, ranging from loaders in a warehouse to generators, regularly get lost or stolen. At the very least, BLE location services should make it a lot simpler to know the difference before somebody winds up filing a police report about a missing asset that no one is really certain was ever stolen in the first place.