How to use RFID and BLE asset tracking systems together: it’s a beautiful thing when technology works

How to use RFID and BLE asset tracking systems together: it’s a beautiful thing when technology works

For all the complexity involved in the logistics of moving equipment, hardware, and goods around the world today, there are really only four standard asset tracking technologies used globally:

  • Active RFID
  • Passive RDIF
  • Bluetooth Low Energy
  • Barcode

What’s challenging for those responsible for tracking and monitoring the movement of equipment, whether it’s around the world or down the hall, is that all of these technologies have pros and cons. Any of these technologies could work in almost any situation. Choosing the right technology for an organization ideally depends on what your company or your team’s’ goals are for tracking and monitoring assets, but also depends on the budget available.

The good news is, however, resource managers don’t have to struggle with trade offs for choosing one technology over another in any given situation. The best approach, most of the time, is a hybrid one: using two technologies together that can compensate each other’s weaknesses and compliment each other’s strengths.

Better still, a hybrid approach doesn’t need to cost a fortune either. Your organization can monitor and track equipment locally as well as throughout a building or a campus by leveraging the strengths of passive RFID tags along with bluetooth low energy (BLE) tracking systems.

Strengths of RFID asset tracking technology

Choosing active or passive RFID systems depends on if you need a low-cost way to track assets in one location or through a chokepoint or if you need to monitor assets in real time across a broader geographic footprint.

For the former situation, such as tracking IT hardware checked out from a helpdesk or equipment loaned frequently between departments, passive RFID is the way to go. When the assets your tracking are further afield, such as equipment being shipped across the country to job sites, you need active RFID.

What about when your situation calls for both tracking assets on site and monitoring them as they are shipped to other locations? Do you have to pay for expensive active RFID transmitters as well as passive RFID tags?

That’s where BLE asset tracking can help when used in tandem with a passive RFID tracking system.

Strengths of BLE tracking

BLE tracking systems combine the benefits of active RFID – continuous monitoring of equipment without the benefit of controlling access through on central location – but at a lower price point.

Because BLE tags have lower energy demands, the tags last longer, as long as months at a time. They can also leverage existing technology your teams are already using – smartphones or tablets that are bluetooth-enabled can ready BLE tags, so there’s no need for expensive active RFID receivers.

Most organizations are facing a variety of resource tracking situations; just about every organization has assets they’d like to better track and monitoring that move around and are not stored centrally. But not every organization has the budget for custom-built active RFID tracking systems.

In those situations, Asset Vue can help assemble the right hybrid solution leveraging the best features from any asset tracking technology.

The experts at Asset Vue can provide a
free proof-of-concept to  help you find out how a hybrid asset tracking system would work for your organization.