Executive Briefings

Low-cost 'Alternative' to RFID Reportedly Tracks Goods Anywhere Within Range of GSM Tower

Newly founded technology company Kizy Tracking has developed what it describes as a low-cost alternative to conventional RFID or GPS solutions that is able to track goods anywhere within range of a GSM cellular radio tower. The only hardware that users need purchase is a battery-powered K-1 GSM Tracker tag, priced at $35 apiece; the only other expenses are a $1 activation charge and a daily $0.25 fee to access location data on a hosted server. The Swiss firm is selling its K-1 GSM Tracker tag for use in containers or with cargo that is shipped, in many cases, around the world.

Kizy was launched Jan. 1 to provide a tracking solution that would cost less than conventional RFID, but would also be more automated than solutions utilizing bar codes, which require manual scans. The company's name, pronounced "kee-zee," is derived from the words "tracking" and "easy." According to Ruud Riem-Vis, Kizy's CEO, the use of traditional battery-powered RFID real-time location system tags for tracking cargo loaded into vans in cartons or containers can be unrealistic, due to the need for a reader infrastructure wherever the cargo is transported. This can be particularly cumbersome, he notes, if readers—along with the cables required to connect those devices with a back-end server, and to provide the necessary power—must be installed along a supply chain route. In the case of passive RFID tags, handheld or fixed readers must be provided to users throughout the supply chain. Alternatively, Riem-Vis says, some vehicles come equipped with GPS systems that can send location data back to a server, but require a power source that may not always be available.

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Kizy was launched Jan. 1 to provide a tracking solution that would cost less than conventional RFID, but would also be more automated than solutions utilizing bar codes, which require manual scans. The company's name, pronounced "kee-zee," is derived from the words "tracking" and "easy." According to Ruud Riem-Vis, Kizy's CEO, the use of traditional battery-powered RFID real-time location system tags for tracking cargo loaded into vans in cartons or containers can be unrealistic, due to the need for a reader infrastructure wherever the cargo is transported. This can be particularly cumbersome, he notes, if readers—along with the cables required to connect those devices with a back-end server, and to provide the necessary power—must be installed along a supply chain route. In the case of passive RFID tags, handheld or fixed readers must be provided to users throughout the supply chain. Alternatively, Riem-Vis says, some vehicles come equipped with GPS systems that can send location data back to a server, but require a power source that may not always be available.

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