International automotive technology supplier ERM Advanced Telematics, whose products are installed in more than 5 million vehicles worldwide, is expanding its activities from telematics solutions for locating and tracking vehicles, drivers and passengers, to a complimentary field of IoT (Internet of Things).
The company is introducing its IoTLink line of products, which is based on technology that was specifically developed at ERM. The new sensing solutions use sensors and gateways that enable continuous tracking of assets and monitoring their status according to pre-defined parameters. The products emit constant status signals, as well as alerts of any breach of the pre-defined parameters. In addition, the IoTLink products communicate between themselves using BLE (Bluetooth low energy) technology. The products are also equipped with an internal battery and are easily and quickly installed.
IoTLink products enable tracking, locating and monitoring of assets that are not necessarily in or on the vehicle, such as items that are being transported in crates or are in storage, in containers, in transit, in fields, etc, alongside assets such as activated machines and refrigerators for industrial or home, which use equipment that requires long-distance monitoring. This latest move by ERM, which has focused its efforts on the automotive market, is now offering solutions to new sectors such as agriculture, logistics and any field that requires this type of monitoring. ERM’s new IoT solutions will enable complete integration and interfacing of the company’s main telematics product line that is based on the StarLink technology.
As part of the new IoTLink line, ERM announced the e2Sens comprehensive sensor, that will be offered at a highly competitive price and will enable the monitoring of assets in real time. e2Sens will also enable periodic reporting based on a list of parameters – humidity, temperature, light, motion, angles, shock, falling, or opening or closing of doors. A complimentary product to e2Sens is e2Gate, which serves as a gateway to the e2Sens sensor and can also act independently as a standalone sensor. e2Gate combines a mobile tracking unit with a sophisticated sensor, and is equipped with a cellular modem, GPS, an internal battery and the capability to monitor temperature, identify an accident, angle, shock, movement and location, all in one device and in real time.
In addition to the use of e2Gate or StarLink devices as gateways, and in order to maximize flexibility in field implementation, IoTLink technology comes also as part of a special app that was designed by ERM, allowing the use of mobile phones and tablets as gateways.
The IoTLink technology focuses on continuous measurement over monitoring ranges and thresholds determined in advance by the users, and it provides alerts if these thresholds are exceeded. As long as the sensors do not detect any irregularity from the pre-determined range, the reporting will be on a periodic basis. Once a threshold is breached, the sensor will send out an event in order to permit an immediate satisfactory handling of the asset.
The e2Sens and e2Gate are equipped with a powerful internal battery that allows continuous emitting of data over a period of several years without a need for recharging and without any wires. Therefore, IoTLink based solutions can be deployed in any setting – mobile or stationary, and by the user without any prior experience, simply, quickly and easily.
Eitan Kirshenboim, CMO and business development manager at ERM Advanced Telematics, said: “We designed a strategy of combining the connected vehicles technology with asset monitoring, while offering a natural interface between them. The goal of this strategy is to enable our business partners to expand their reach beyond telematics and fleet management services. We will allow them to add asset management and monitoring both for clients that provide logistics services and for clients that need asset monitoring on a daily basis.”
According to Kirshenboim, “As part of the strategy, ERM’s partners will be able to monitor assets from after the completion of manufacturing, through the phases of storing, transporting to their destination and subsequent installation at the customer’s premises or at a site – and keep monitoring the assets during the maintenance phases. This is followed up by continuous tracking and monitoring of the asset or machine along the entire supply chain at any point in time throughout the asset’s lifecycle.“
Kirshenboim added: “Initially, we will focus on the IoT market through our existing telematics business partners, deployed in 68 countries. Thanks to ERM’s technology, current partners will be able to add the new functionality to their implementations, without the need to replace anything in vehicles that are already in service. It’s a great opportunity for them to add value, create new revenue streams and offer new services. In the next stage, we will market IoTLink to any organization in the IoT field that aims to expand its activities to the fleet management and automotive telematics markets.”
“We will stress our capabilities to fully track and monitor the status of assets, when mobile or stationed, using various gateways wherever they are, and continue this process after the asset has been placed at the site where it is intended to operate,” concluded Kirshenboim.