3 ways to track people using location-based services

Location tracking is becoming a popular way for apps to keep track of their users and organizations too are becoming aware of this. Things in transit can be tracked and notified, users can get to know of exciting offers nearby and many more utilities can be served. Location analytics is becoming a way of understanding the phenomenon of moving within the purview of GPS.

More importantly, location tracking can be boiled down to a minute level where even retail spaces become available for tracking and real-time suggestions can be provided to individual customers who are involved in purchasing. In fact, it is here the innovations must occur to revolutionize what you understand by location-based services. Unlike GPS signals, which operate when there are no inhibiting boundaries like walls within the line of sight, you need new technologies to make it feasible.

Wi-Fi: a solution

Wi-Fi vendors already provide location-based services, although it is at an optional level as of now. However, since Wi-Fi is pervasive in these retail spaces, using Wi-Fi to track locations could be a lucrative option, leading to more enhancements in the technology. One of the major problems of this technology, however, is that it doesn’t care for user consent.

So, Wi-Fi devices will take your MAC address, and as long as you are within the network of scan, you can easily be used as a location point and updates can be sent in your smartphone. In fact, having a smartphone with you enables the Wi-Fi to extract more information about your location and you can be privy to unique information regarding the retail space.

RFID: a useful alternative

RFID is basically a tag that uses magnetic detection method and usually has an item attached to it. There are thousands of variants of RFIDs, so you know what is happening to the book around the library or what check post a car is crossing. RFIDs can further be implemented in conjunction with other close-circuit equipment like Wi-Fi.

However, such a tracking method seems excruciatingly tiresome precisely because these objects are mostly non-electronic and hence, you need to put a tag on them. However, the utility of RFID is in the fact that it requires no power source and once tagged, it can be used for years to detect. So, it could possibly be a great alternative where using power sources or bulk networks is not feasible, such as old libraries.

Bluetooth: The greatest hope

Bluetooth may well be the solution everyone is looking up to. Bluetooth beacons are truly beacons of hope for the retail chains who want to implement close-circuit location tracking. Using a technology called BLE or Bluetooth Low Energy, they ensure that even within very small ranges, users can be tracked effectively. However, the decisive aspect of such beacons is that they require user consent, like you need for Bluetooth pairing.

However, BLE is different from traditional Bluetooth in the sense that energy consumption and bandwidth requirement are significantly low in this case. BLE is all about short transmissions while Bluetooth normally supports file sending and other activities. It sends signals to your smartphone, which is supposed to give consent for further communication. Once it is established, the data inside beacon is analysed and then, location tracking begins. There are wearable devices too that can function as receivers.


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DataFactZ is a professional services company that provides consulting and implementation expertise to solve the complex data issues facing many organizations in the modern business environment. As a highly specialized system and data integration company, we are uniquely focused on solving complex data issues in the data warehousing and business intelligence markets.

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