Losing something is infuriating. In the business world, losing equipment is not only infuriating, it is costly. Losing business equipment is always a real possibility because some people are interested in stealing the equipment. Fortunately, modern technology has provided several ways to keep track of equipment. Now there are ways to quickly find misplaced equipment. If the equipment has been stolen, it can be tracked and the culprits brought to justice.
Radio Frequency Identification tags are small passive devices that can be taped to a crate, embedded in clothes or even inserted into the body. When exposed to a beam from a special hand-held device, the tags reflect back a coded number. They were originally developed to keep track of crates in warehouses, but now they are used for routing packages and for recovering lost pets.
Global Positioning Satellite devices receive signals from several satellites at once and calculate from the time delays exactly where the devices are on the surface of the earth. If a GPS device is combined with a radio transmitter, a lost vehicle or art work can call you and tell you where it is.
Lojack is a system that starts sending a radio signal when the object on which it is hidden is stolen or lost. Police have equipment that allows them to receive lojack signals and see who the object belongs to. The devices are especially effective in locating stolen vehicles because the vehicle is very likely to be driven within range of a police car.
Telematics is a system for monitoring equipment, usually vehicles, through a combination of radio, telecommunications, computers and GPS. Telematics keeps equipment from getting lost by keeping the equipment in constant contact with a central computer. Telematic systems are routinely used to monitor fleets of trucks, boats, taxis and airplanes. Telematics systems can even automatically communicate vehicle-to-vehicle with safety alerts or weather and road condition warnings.
- rfid tags image by Albert Lozano from Fotolia.com