Wi-Fi

Offline Analytics Play an Important Role in Business

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Offline analytics sounds like a phrase straight out of the twentieth century. Nothing could be further from the truth. It is a creature of the 21st century and is a key component of analytics, deriving information from an accurate offline source. Standing shoulder-to-shoulder with other analytical tools, it aids in capturing information about the customer in the brick-and-mortar setting . By identifying, measuring, and quantifying critical consumer events, offline analytics enable companies to reach viable analytical results and is the focus of Netclearance's foot traffic-counting packages.

Getting straight to the crux, offline analytics, "can actually help you increase engagement and sales, letting you analyze how people are behaving inside your store, thus giving you tremendous insights on how to improve layout, marketing, and customer experience," as reported by Venn. The important next step is to employ the technology that best obtains the information desired for the specific business. Capturing information about  dwellers versus passers-by in front of a store call for different approaches.  It is as simple as using the right tool for the right job.

Netclearance employs a system to capture the required information that leads to the most informative results, giving business owners insight into how they can increase sales and profits. After losing to web tracking ads for years now, store owners have regained the advantage. The reason given by ShopperTrak's chief executive Kevin Kearns is, "When you look at something on the web, you get ads that pop up and follow you around – companies like that have much better advantage over bricks-and-mortar retailers and so they're under more pressure to equalise the playing field," according to The Guardian. This is how foot traffic-counting equals the score.

The offline analytical package that Netclearance provides begins with its mBeacon3 Sniffer. It collects Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and BLE traffic from enabled smartphones and sends it to the cloud or store locally on device's memory. From there, the information makes it to Netclearance's analytics engine.

The amount of on-site information provided by Netclearance's analytical package is quite rich. It correlates sales data with foot-traffic, provides queuing times, helps provide insight to promotions and marketing, gives client counts, reveals where customers stay and how long (dwell) they remain in locations throughout the store. Plus, it offers this powerful marketing tool for multiple sites or locations. 

For further information and the impact of measuring foot-traffic on your sales, visit us athttp://www.netclearance.com

Wearable Technologies in the Enterprise - Why Would Your Organization Not Use Them?

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Wearable technologies in the enterprise are technological solutions that make good sense, period.  For instance, why not have a smart badge that could let your team leads know exactly where your employees are?  Suppose there is an emergency?  Suppose you need help within minutes or even seconds in some type of crisis situation?  Would you not want to know exactly who might be nearby to help?

There are any number of given scenarios where a smart badge would be a great help.  It would also be great to have a smart badge simply to park with a piece of expensive equipment, letting you know at all times where in the plant that equipment is.  

Of course, there's a great deal to be noted about the efficiency improvements that can come about by the use of wearable technologies in the enterprise, like smart badges.  "Frederick Taylor would have loved to have been able to monitor the efficiency of workers with wearable sensors. Tesco uses armbands to track how workers are transporting goods in their warehouse. Employees like it because it saves them from having to carry and fill out clipboards of paperwork," according to an article by Jonathan Duffy titled Wearable tech gives businesses a competitive edge.  

Of course your work crew are trustworthy folk, but visitors and vendors maybe not so much.  A smart badge would be a good thing if there are very sensitive corporate assets or systems that could be breached by unauthorized persons who try make their way into areas they clearly don't belong.  Better to keep a closer watch using the additional safety of a smart badge that can track them within meters anywhere indoors.

Smart Badge Technologies in the Enterprise Work to Improve Businesses

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Wearable technologies in the enterprise serve to improve business processes in many effective and creative ways. A simple badge the size of a credit card recently released by Netclearance serves as an excellent paradigm. Though the initial reaction to the term ' wearable technology' may lead some to imaginative conclusions, the technology is real and ground-breaking. With ever evolving advantages to enterprise, from their bottom-lines to the efficiency of their operations, wearable technology is proving its value everyday in the business world.

What may appear as a simple badge that identifies the wearer, upon further examination reveals a highly complex communication device. Embedded in the badge's, or mBeaconCard, manufacture is a Near Field Communication module and a Bluetooth Low Energy radio. Though an observer may see just a picture and wording, the badge is actually a transmission tool sending data packets to Netclearance's mBeaconGW, or IoT gateway. 

More than just being able to track an employee's movement and location within several feet, the badge finds use in tracking goods as they travel through a facility. Security and timing underscore this function. Knowing where goods and individuals are in the enterprise's facility is always an important concern.

As a convenience, an individual can use the badge to buy goods. 

The BLE also interfaces with, as reported by IOT Journal, "Netclearance's mCloud Content Management System software [and] is used to collect and manage the data transmitted by the badge, and from there it can be sent to Netclearance's business application or analytics software." This clearly indicates that the badge belongs to an integrated system with the potential to update and analyze facts as they change real-time. This also includes third-party applications and analytical platforms.

With an eye on the need to adjust in the facility's environment, smartphone communication is possible with the proper software.  With the NFC reader capabilities, the technology finds utility at the room-level for tracking in large facilities. 

The capabilities continue to expand. Already Netclearance offers a vibration sensor and magnetic sensor using an embedded accelerometer. This technology employs trigger tracking. As the name suggest, a motion or contact event must occur before the badge triggers the software or application systems by transmitting the required data.

Banks can leapfrog third-party mobile wallets with their own solutions

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Technology is changing the world, day by day. And with each day, its reach broadens -- now, the smart phone has been introduced to two-thirds of American adults. And with those smartphones, the world of technology is reaching into an enormously consequential domain: finance. The flow of money across the globe, between individuals, institutions and vendors is incredibly lucrative for many, but there is an upstart in the traditional models of payment. Now, instead of swiping a credit card when paying for something, customers can use mobile wallets instead.

A mobile wallet, even though linked to a bank account, often is administrated by an outside source -- for example, Apple Pay. A customer paying with Apple Pay will draw money from their bank account, but use an app on their phone at the register. The upside to this is that customers no longer have to lug around all of their credit or debit cards; the downside, for financial institutions at least, is that companies that create and administrate these apps (like Apple, Google, et al.) charge fees to the banks.

Thus, banks are at a huge disadvantage -- and with the growth of mobile wallets, they stand to lose even more. If banks do not act to catch up to third-party mobile wallets, they stand to lose out on the important stream of money across the globe. However, some banks are slowly working on developing competing mobile wallets -- but they may not work, or may come to late.

For the financial institutions that are really aware of the importance of mobile wallets (like Danske Bank's MobilePay), they are taking advantage of turnkey solutions -- easily implementable systems that can help them make up ground and maintain their bottom line. Danske Bank, a leader in the field with 30,000 merchants across Scandinavia, has opted to use a solution called mBeaconPay by Netclearance. And it's working: the mobile wallet is among the top three mobile apps in the region.

So the question is really whether banks want to invest in their own success. If they use turnkey solutions like that offered by Netclearance, they stand to make up ground against third-party mobile wallets. If not, they have a long road ahead of them.

Branded mobile wallets help retailers boost customer loyalty

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Although the Uber moment for banks arrived last year, there is still time for them to create new revenue streams, or face the consequences of not doing so.  Decreasing revenue and increasing costs are forcing banks, including big names such as Bank of America and BNY, to lay off employees and automate functions. This tactic of slashing costs can be helpful up to a point, but what about exploiting new markets and technologies to create business and healthier balance sheets?

The mobile payments space is full of competition, with upstarts like Square and titans like Google and Apple all vying for a slice of the market. However, it still presents growth opportunities for banks. Customers want an app that allows them easy access to products they like, which Apple, Google, and Square have all failed to deliver.

On the other hand, Starbucks has enjoyed the rewards that come with their successful mobile payment and reward application. By building a product that works for both their customers and for the company, they have seen enormous success, with 21% of all Starbucks transactions involving their loyalty program. Their loyalty program is easy to use, and encourages spending, meaning those on both sides of the exchange leave happy.

How can banks create an equally tangible and profitable product? Banks have access to huge, proprietary data about their customers’ spending habits, which some have begun using to offer customers more personalized experiences and recommendations. When combined with partnerships with outside retailers and firms, this data could be used to drive spending and create customer satisfaction on a larger scale than the loyalty program for a single company.

Of course, banks are not technology companies by nature, and it requires a huge amount of work to bring a viable and useful product to market. Netclearance Systems Inc can help, with its existing technologies and experience in the fast-growing space of mobile payments. Its services, such as mBeaconPay, can help ensure client satisfaction with mobile banking apps by refining existing recommendation technologies. In doing so, Netclearance can contribute to client retention and creation.

Wearable Technologies in the Enterprise Give Businesses a Competitive Edge

Wearable technologies are the next evolutionary step in computing. Businesses are already finding a multitude of ways to profit from them, and the wave is just beginning.

Wearable Sensors Enable Physioletics to Improve Workplace Efficiency

Frederick Taylor would have loved to have been able to monitor the efficiency of workers with wearable sensors. Tesco uses armbands to track how workers are transporting goods in their warehouse. Employees like it because it saves them from having to carry and fill out clipboards of paperwork.

Some Wearables Even Track Worker Health and Fatigue

The technologies are not only about efficiency. In the construction industry, now sensors can notice when a backhoe driver's head falls forward or their back slumps. That indicates they're tired or even that they experienced a "microsleep," where they actually did fall asleep for a fractional second. When operating heavy equipment, that's plenty long enough for a mistake that could cost somebody an injury or their life. Therefore, if the continues to work, they're at greater risk of an injury. Some wearables can track such longterm health indicators as rates of breath and heart beats per minutes.

Displaying Hands-Free Data

20 years ago, Boeing began using technology that allowed pilots to see critical information without having to glance down at dials. Now, many technicians from wire assemblers to plumbers can access instructions without having to use their hands to thumb through instruction manuals. Some smartglasses allow the workers to talk one-on-one with a remote expert.

An EEG headband developed by Melon may help knowledge and creative workers by monitoring their brain waves to determine when they are about to have a new idea and to track at what times of day or under what circumstances they are most productive.

Increasing Security

One obvious use of wearable technology is to monitor employee locations. Along with that, it could track visitors to make certain they remain within authorized areas. Employees with authorization could enter restricted areas with less hassle over identification. It could also keep them away from areas under construction or repair.

Protecting Police, Firefighters and Soldiers

Police are wearing technologies to track their activities to better respond to allegations of abuse. One city in California had complaints against police drop by 88 percent. And police in trouble no longer have to call on their radios or rely on a citizen to call 911 if they're unable to. The military can also track activity as well, to respond more quickly when someone attacks soldiers. Sensors can let firefighters know when they're approaching dangerous levels of heat and gas.

Many Employees Like the New Technologies

According to Goldsmiths, University of London, these new technologies improve employee satisfaction by 3.5%. That's from a survey taken of 4,000 adults in the United States and the United Kingdom. One out of every three reported that wearable technologies had enhanced their careers.

Netclearance has launched a suite of wearables for the enterprise including the mBeaconSense and the employee mBeaconCard badges that can help monitor employees and visitors. It also works as a way for employees as a way to signal for help during emergencies. Wearable technologies in business enterprises are here, and are going to become mainstream in the years ahead.

Three Ways LoT - Location of Things Can Benefit Hospitality Providers

Resorts and hotels have many moving parts – guests checking in and out, bags being moved, and food getting served. Every hour of every day, guests are in their rooms, or lounging in the resort spa, restaurant, bar, or poolside. There are many ways that premiere resorts can benefit by implementing LoT - Location of Things technology into their services.

  • LoT - Location of Things Systems Help Guests: The grounds of your resort are foreign to many of your guests. Unless they have been there before, many guests may feel overwhelmed by the size and scope of a high-end resort. LoT systems can help guests navigate resort grounds without ever feeling lost. LoT systems can help guests plan their day better by telling them how far the spa is from their room, as well as things like how many guests are currently at the spa and if there is a wait time. 
  • LoT - Location of Things Systems Help Staff Stay Productive: LoT systems are helpful in assisting staff with locating rooms and areas of the resort that require their attention without delay. With Location of Things technology staff can even locate specific guests anywhere on the grounds with ease. LoT systems support orderly rest and meal breaks, as well as effortless clocking in and out.
  • LoT - Location of Things Systems Make Guest Services Seamless: Guests can order services to meet them in their room, poolside, in the lounge or spa or wherever they are on the resort grounds. If they need help figuring out if they have time to visit the pool before dinner, they can map how long it will take them to get from their room to the pool and from the pool to the dining hall. If guests need help, they can quickly call for the nearest staff member with the push of a button or look on a map to see where the closest staff members are near them.

Other hotels have already implemented Location of Things systems to assist with personnel and guest monitoring. Netclearance is the premiere provider of solutions and information for implementing LoT - Location of Things systems into your resort's offerings.

LoT - Location of Things - Making Sense of IoT Data

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The world is awash in smart devices.  So much so that at times, these devices seem to dominate every aspect of life.  The city of Augsburg in Germany has gone so far as to embed traffic lights in the pavement, because "Pedestrians were so busy looking at their smartphones that they were ignoring traffic lights," according to an article by Rick Noack dated April 25, 2016 in washingtonpost.com titled "This city embedded traffic lights in the sidewalks so smartphone users don't have to look up."

Smartphones, smart engines, smart aircraft, smart cars, smart UPS delivery trucks, smart gas meters, smart Johnny Walker Blue Label whiskey labels, smart trash collection equipment, and smart cow locating/monitoring equipment...these are just some of the examples of the IoT as reported by Christina Mercer in the April 2016 issue of computerworldUK.com.   It's safe to say that the IoT is just getting started; the list of applications and devices and smart technology of all forms will only continue to grow.  She goes on to say, "Reports suggest there will be 25 billion internet-connected things by 2020..."

Behold the next major wave of development to follow the IoT:  It is called LoT -- Location of Things:  "When a concept is as far-reaching as the Internet of Things (IoT) — involving literally billions of elements — we need principles for organizing and making sense of the data it communicates.  That’s where an emerging IoT subcategory known the “location of things” comes into play. Location is a vital dimension of the IoT concept that encompasses the ability of “things” to sense and communicate their geographic position," from a blog by Christian Lundquist published on April 26, 2016 in internetofthingsagenda.techtarget.com.

Of course we are familiar with GPS technology and search engines such as MapQuest, Bing, Google, etc., that help immensely with zeroing in on out-of-doors locations.  However, "Lots of our devices and sensors — along with other assets, people and content — are inside buildings, where GPS has no real reach. That’s where indoor positioning systems (IPS) are creating the next big buzz within the location of things. As IPS technology continues to be enhanced and as more apps that harness its power become available, we’ll see a slew of new data becoming part of the location of things," from the same article quoted above.  

For the business decision maker it quickly becomes apparent that such technology affords tremendous advantages.  If let's say you are warehousing and distributing large stores of Johnny Walker Blue Label whiskey, a smart label on each bottle might be very helpful in certain circumstances.  Same thing for very expensive equipment and tools -- if you happen to be in charge of a big factory or machine shop or warehouse, wouldn't you want to, for example:

-Understand where your high value assets are located at all times.

-Know where your vehicles are, all over the plant.

-Help keep your operating costs down with insight into how to improve logistics management and operating processes.

-Keep track of the 10,000 pallets you just shipped and to your factory's distribution center.

--From the NC_brochure_logistics_091815, downloaded from netclearance.com/industries.

Manage your assets and improve your logistics with superior insight -- using technology from Netclearance, at the cutting edge of the LoT - Location of Things.

Please contact us for more information about real-time tracking of high value assets and inventory, and about business intelligence, mobile customer engagement, and other workplace management solutions .  Thank you. 

 

 

Using LoT - Location of Things to Improve Business Practices

A lot of buzz has lately been generated about LoT - Location of Things, or the function of geography within the Internet of Things (IoT). Corporations and organizations can improve their business practices by using LoT technology within their existing systems.

A few examples of how we can optimize your current business practices more efficiently with Location of Things:

  • An employee walks into the building and forgets to clock in - our systems allow you to track these employees as soon as they enter the building using a smart badge.
  • Your warehouse supervisor struggles to keep up with the maintenance needs of your large-scale facility - our resources create immediate, real-time tracking of maintenance requirements and allow you to track humidity, light, and temperature where you store your assets.
  • Shipment supervisor needs to share stats and shipment details with multiple staff members - cut out one extra step and one more string of unnecessary emails with automated tracking across multiple users.
  • Need to streamline payments - our mobile payments based on active RFID technology streamlines your customer experience.
  • You want your guests to know about the new amenities offered at your hotel- use our systems for on-site engagement of guests in the hospitality industry.

Netclearance Systems, Inc. is the leading provider of cloud-based tracking and analytics solutions. We offer state-of-the-art active wireless sensor technology and software to drive real-time customer and workplace insight for optimized decisions and increased margins, using IoT and LoT to enhance your organization.

Please contact Netclearance for information on LoT technology and how it can change your world. Visit us at RFID Journal Live in Orlando, Florida, May 3-5 Booth #728B

LoT - Location of Things Technology Aids in Hospital Patient Care.

The face of medical treatment is changing and LoT - Location of Things is at the heart of it.

A quick explanation: The Internet of Things, or IoT, refers to things connected to the internet, laptops, I-pads, cell phones, vehicles, people, even appliances. The location of things, or LoT tells you where those things are in real time.

In a hospital setting this will have many applications. Hospitals will know the location of specialized equipment, hospital beds and wheelchairs. Medications can also be tracked. An inventory of the supplies that keep a hospital running will always be available. More importantly, hospitals will know the location of doctors, nurses, other staff, patients, and visitors.

Active RFID tagging is an ID system that uses small radio frequency identification devices for identification and tracking purposes. They are capable of receiving, storing and transmitting digital information. 

A patient bracelet or badge with an active RFID tag, will not only give the location of a patient, but all the information on medications and treatments. At birth a baby might wear a bracelet with an RFID tag. All the information about the child will be on the tag. With LoT the location of the baby is always known.

A medic alert bracelet with an RFID tag, will let a doctor know the minute that a person wearing a medic alert enters the hospital. RFID tags will also alert the attendant or EMS when the patient is in, or near, a properly equipped ambulance, possibly leading the ambulance to the correct location after a 911 call.

IoT and LoT are changing not only medical treatment, but the world. Please contact Netclearance for information on LoT technology and how it can change your world. Visit us at RFID Journal Live in Orlando, Fl, May 3-5 Booth #728B

LoT - Location of Things - Pinning Down The Internet Of Things

Knowing the location of things (LOT) completes the picture for enterprises that exploit the world of the Internet of things (IOT) as part of their business processes. Combining IoT and LoT gives the fine-grained insights that only coalesce as the big picture on the larger scale. When you have a geospatial understanding of your connected devices, it adds the final piece of the puzzle of your operations.

Where Are Your Connected Devices?

The Internet of things connects remote digital devices that share sensor data and sometimes offer automation features. The IoT ties everything together via the Internet to gain valuable business intelligence from all of the data transmitted by the device.

Geo-location information systems are Big Data applications that deliver floods of valuable business intelligence. LoT is the technology that makes this possible businesses of all sizes. Adding a smart beacon tracker to each connected device puts it into an information matrix from which you can find patterns by applying visual analytics.

Necessary And Sufficient Data Integration

The IoT provides necessary solutions for enterprises with dispersed assets, but that is not enough to give you accurate real-time intelligence by itself. Users need to know about the state of devices, the sensor measurements that they provide and the locations from which they report. By tracking these three factors in real-time companies can apply the kind of Big Data analytics that delivers true insight and reveals hidden opportunities.

Fine-Grain Data And The Value Of Big-Picture Patterns

Companies competing in industry segments that use the IoT will get improved business intelligence from LoT applications. Many segments are now using Big Data to make smarter decisions and creating competitive advantages.

In diverse fields such as agriculture and supply chain management, the ability to use fine-grain geospatial information is revolutionizing the way that businesses draw conclusions from data and make decisions. Real-time tracking and location solutions for logistics, healthcare, workforce-management are paving the road for a smart IoT infrastructure.

Netclearance Solutions Complete The Picture

Netclearance puts this capability into the hands of the enterprise. The location tagging technology that put your assets on the map will give you levels of understanding and abilities to forecast future trends that have never been possible for you before. Visit us at RFID Journal Live in Orlando, Fl, May 3-5 Booth #728B to see the latest trends and solutions in LoT.

The Value of LoT - Location of Things Technology in Retail

Retailers today are looking for effective ways to streamline operations and increase revenue per square footage. By using state-of-the-art wireless sensor technology are able:

  • To see which products and locations in your store are most popular?
  • To know which marketing displays are most effective?
  • To learn how long customers typically wait in line at different times of day?
  • To have your customers pay quickly and easily?
  • To know if enough employees are available to help customers?
  • To know when your employees arrive, where they are in the store, and when they leave?

For retailers this sounds like a dream come true, but with LoT - Location of Things it can be reality. LoT combines location with Wi-Fi or Bluetooth devices such as smartphones, smart badges, shelf sensors, merchandise sensors.

LoT allows retail businesses to track and communicate with customers, then accept payment for merchandise from a mobile wallet. With LoT you also know how often a customer shops at your store. If you have a customer loyalty program, you will no longer need to stamp or scan cards. If you have a tourist based business, you will be able to see if your customers are from out of town.

LoT can tell you when an employee enters and leaves your business, no more punching a time clock. You know if your employee is on the sales floor, at the cash register, or in the stock room.

Using active and passive RFID technology you can track sales and inventory. Not only you will know if an item is in stock, but where that item is in your store. You can easily keep track of when sales happen, which employees really sell products.

Best of all, now retailers can do all this, and even more, remotely. LoT - Location of Things, will take retail business operations to a new level and Netclearance can help you get there. Contact us to learn how LoT solutions can be applied to your retail operations.

Visit us at RFID Live on May 3 - 5, 2016 Booth 728B  Orange County Convention Center in
Orlando, Florida and discover what LoT can mean for your business.

Effective wallet strategies give financial institutions an edge in a mobile centric world

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Financial Institutions' Mobile Wallet Strategies are becoming a top concern as banking is more frequently completed via mobile wallets. According to an article on PaymentsSource.com, 2.6 billion people in the world now own smartphones, and by 2020 that number is likely to jump to 6.1 billion, or 70 percent of the world's population. Further, it is now estimated that 69 percent of mobile users conduct their banking via their mobile device, or "mobile wallet."

Pymnts.com reports that, according to a study by Javelin, in 2014 most people who conducted banking via their mobile wallets did so using their financial institutions' mobile banking app. However, in 2015, this trend changed, and PayPal and Visa apps surpassed financial institution apps as the preferred mobile wallet providers. This new trend tends to leave financial institutions "out of the loop" when it comes to mobile wallet transactions. Further, rather than developing their own mobile wallet-friendly apps, they are relying on third parties such as Apple Pay and Android Pay.

So how can financial institutions step up their game? First, they will have to modify their perception of customer service to pertain to mobile interaction, placing less emphasis on factors like bank location and face-to-face interaction and more emphasis on factors like app development. Second, according to an article in Mobile Payments Today, financial institutions should develop "stepping-stones" toward the mobile scene, such as cardless ATMs. Finally, according to the same article, financial institutions should implement customer value and loyalty programs for customers who use their apps. 

Netclearance offers products, a plan, and the technology that is synonymous with the mobile wallet. As consumers choose to pay daily using their cell phones at various merchant locations, it is time for financial institutions to extend their arm of influence and corner this market. Facilitated by mBeaconPay technology, Netclearance eliminates the middle man so common in these transactions and offers a streamlined system between only the customer, the merchant, and the bank. 

 

 

LoT - Location of Things the Real Value Behind IoT

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The world of technology is, at its most basic level, a human-driven phenomena. As such, it’s subject to all the psychological foibles of our species. One of these is known colloquially as the “wow factor.” It refers to how those who first hear of a new advancement become excited at its sheer ingenuity and novelty. Their initial reaction is, “wow; that’s cool!” It’s only after the excitement fades that someone says, “Hey, what good is this thing anyway?”

The “wow factor” has played a major role in the public’s perception of the soon-coming Internet of Things or IoT. There’s something about the idea of a world made up of objects all linked together that resonates with people on a primal level. Perhaps the concept appeals to our innate sense of oneness with all creation. Perhaps not. Either way, the prospect of an interconnected society has some people saying, “Great! Now what do we do with it?” That’s where LoT - Location of Things comes into the picture.

LoT refers to the ability to locate and monitor all types of things in real time. The advantages of this capability are immense. Take for example networks. Whether they're used to transfer information, energy, goods, or human beings, networks are essential to modern life. When they break down, the consequences can range from minor inconvenience to life-threatening emergencies.

This is where LoT proves so useful. It enables personnel to monitor all types of networks of things for signs of trouble. In the event something goes wrong, it guides them to the exact point of failure. It can even give them vital information about the nature of the breakdown, speeding repairs and minimizing problems.

Needless to say, this technology has enormous potential for making the world a safer, more secure place in which to live. At Netclearance, we have developed pioneering LoT capabilities that can benefit your organization in multiple ways. Contact us today to find out more.

Visit us at RFID Live on May 3 - 5, 2016 Booth 728B  Orange County Convention Center in
Orlando, Florida (www.rfidbeacons.com)

Understanding LoT - Location of Things - The Killer IoT App

There is currently much hype surrounding IoT, or the Internet of Things. IoT refers to the integration of internet-based technology into every-day items, such as wristwatches and other jewelry, key chains, home appliances, pets and almost anything. A less popular buzzword, but one that is essential for understanding how IoT adds value to an organization, is LOT -- the Location of Things.

Location of Things technology spans the area of identifying where IoT devices are located in relation to their origins, destinations or other adjacent devices. What is the value of sensors capturing identity, environmental data, and status among other things if the consumer of this data doesn't have the contextual location information to give this data some meaning.

By adding "context" to the billions of location-aware sensors and devices that will be part of the IoT ecosystem it will open up unlimited  opportunities to enhance customers’ experience, improve service quality, margins and reduce operational expenses across a wide range of industry verticals and the public sector. 

There are several enablers to LoT such as:

  • LPWA (Low-Power Wide-Area) networks that allow a mass market for low-cost long-range low-power connected network of objects. Analysts forecast that there will be 2.7 billion LPWA connections by 2022. 
  • Indoor positioning thanks to proximity context-aware devices like Wi-Fi, UWB, Mesh and BLE-beacons.

So get ready for a much wider usage of the term LoT. In the near future, Location of Things will help bring "context" to the "who" and "what" provided by the billions of IoT nodes and sensors that will populate our planet over the next decades to come.

Netclearance has been developing LoT technology and solutions since its inception for a multitude of industrial and consumer applications with the goal to add value to your IoT applications. Contact us to learn more about our IoT location gateways, readers and sensor nodes that can bring "context" to your IoT atmosphere.

Visit us at RFID Live on May 3 - 5, 2016 Booth 728B  Orange County Convention Center
Orlando, Florida (www.rfidbeacons.com)

IoT Payments Solutions Overcome Traditional Card Terminal Boundaries

IoT payments are the wave of the future when it comes to exchanging currency. According to LetsTalkPayments.com, new apps, operating systems, and hardware are being developed to accommodate this trend: "Internet of Things is attractive for fintech, not only for software and hardware developers, but also for banks and other FinTech companies to enable innovative payment experiences and provide wide range of methods to accept payments using NFC chips, payment apps, sensors, tracking devices, etc."

Indeed, Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and other credit card and banking companies are all jumping on the bandwagon, racing to implement Internet of Things payment services. In particular, they are targeting wearable and carry-able devices, such as watches and key chains, thus appealing to costumers' senses of fashion and sleek design. For example, an October, 2015, article in Mobile Payments Today states that "MasterCard announced at the Money20/20 conference in Las Vegas that its initial partners in this endeavor include fashion designer Adam Selman, automotive giant General Motors, wearable technology company Nymi, smart jewelry company Ringly and Bluetooth locator TrackR."

Beyond fashion, safety and security are key benefits of the new technology. According to an August, 2015, blog on Transfirst.com, "In the payment space, the Internet of Things is evident in digital wallets that securely store a user’s payment information and passwords, enabling consumers to use an electronic device to make transactions." Such devices will keep passwords secure while their owners carry their "digital wallets" on their wrists and in their purses and briefcases.

So get ready to join the wave of the future with IoT payments. You will join a growing number of businesses accepting payments from wearables, garments, motor vehicles, and mobile devices.

Netclearance offers a complete portfolio of IoT gateways and end devices to implement your IoT payment strategy. Contact us to learn more.

How to Develop an Effective Mobile Loyalty Program with Smart Beacons

So you have decided to jump at the idea of starting a mobile loyalty program for your business, now what?  What are the next steps you should take?  How will you go about creating your program?  We shall provide answers to these questions for you now.

 

Come Up With a Plan

First answer the question, "will it be geared toward individual consumers or businesses?  This is an important factor to ponder.  You will need to tailor your program to the type of clients you are aiming to attract.  It is possible to cater to both, individuals AND businesses.  In that case, you would likely want to develop two separate programs to accommodate the specific needs of each type of patron.

 

What Features Will You Include?

It is important for you to plan what features you want to include in your loyalty program.  For instance, will repeat customers earn points toward their reward?  Do you have another plan in mind for how they go about accumulating credits for their purchases? 

After you decide this, you must figure out what form the reward itself will take.  Will it be a deeply discounted item or a free one?  Will there be a monetary limit to what that offer can be applied to?  Will there be any kind of limit on how often rewards can be redeemed?  These are all necessary features to decide upon before you hire somebody to develop your program.

 

Sound Advice for Creating Your Program

First, it is advisable to make a list of everything you want to include in your loyalty program.  This will be the basis of the program so do not leave anything out, write down all details.

The most critical aspect of this whole loyalty thing is to hire the right company to design your program.  Netclearance can guide you every step of the way.  With smart beacon loyalty solutions like Bounty you want to ensure you keep customers returning to your business.

Nordic Countries Becoming Cashless Societies?

Denmark and Sweden are on the way to becoming Cashless Societies in coming years. In another post this blog addressed recent news in Denmark, where they are considering legislation that would allow select benefits to refuse cash payments.

Now, Sweden has taken another step to make cash less of a necessity and more of a burden. Their banks are making it harder for Swedes to hold onto cash. 

The Sverige Riksbank, Sweden's central bank, recently decided to keep its benchmark interest rate at -0.35%. The banks they lend to actually lose out by holding onto the money. Retail banks have not yet imposed negative interest rates, but they might. The cost of that negative interest lending has to be soaked up or passed on to businesses and individuals. 

Swedish retail banks are encouraging people to move away from cash in other ways. Swedish banks have also started to remove cash ATMs in rural areas. If people aren't using much cash, they must not need the ATMs. This move roughly corresponds with a drop in the amount of cash in circulation. 

A Business Insider article reports that the value of paper Kronor in circulation has dropped, from about 100 billion in 2009 to around 80 billion in 2014.

In a relatively cash-free Sweden citizens will have to either spend money or let the bank take it, in the form of negative interest. They'll likely spend their money, electronically, spurring economic growth. 

In short, Sweden is using less and less cash in an environment. Negative interest rates are a reality for banks and a real possibility for businesses and individuals.