Joint development with Samea delivers compact and power-efficient IoT solution for logistics applications including individual tracking of letters and parcels
Nestwave, a global technology leader in low-power geolocation for the IoT, has worked with IoT connectivity specialist Samea Innovation to develop a super-thin, re-usable logistics tracker with multi-year battery life. Unveiled at CES 2022, ThinTrack uses Nestwave’s innovative geolocation technology to create a very compact solution that combines GPS accuracy with a low power consumption that dramatically extends battery life when compared to alternative technologies.
The new ThinTrack GPS tracker is an ultra-compact GPS solution that integrates an LTE-M/NB-IoT modem, antenna, battery, SIM, sensors and all necessary electronics into a device measuring only 82 x 35 x 3mm and weighing just 15g. This makes it ideal for tracking individual items such as packages and letters where accurate positioning would not previously have been practical. Because Nestwave GPS location is implemented in software rather than hardware, the tracker does not require a dedicated GPS chipset. This results in a small bill of materials (BoM) and a low power consumption that supports multi-year operation from a single small battery.
ThinTrack’s small form factor has been made possible thanks to Nestwave’s NestCore IP that allows operation from a miniature battery, and Samea’s expertise in integrating radio functionality into space-limited designs. NestCore adds positioning functionality to existing cellular IoT chipsets by implementing a GPS receiver as software and using the connectivity chip’s existing radio and computing capabilities. This advanced location solution enables a very short time-to-first-fix, allowing for much lower power consumption without compromising on sensitivity or accuracy. A secure NFC smartphone app is used to activate the tracker and to read the individual item’s unique identifier.
“ThinTrack demonstrates how our geolocation solutions are opening up new opportunities for the global logistics industry,” says Ambroise Popper, Nestwave’s CEO. “By dramatically reducing component count and lowering power consumption, we have created a device with a form factor that supports insertion into envelopes or the plastic pouches used for shipping documentation and makes possible accurate tracking of individual items such as packages and letters which would not previously have been practical.”
Sébastien Amiot, Samea’s CEO adds: “We have created a robust, re-usable, waterproof device with a multi-year battery life that opens up new possibilities for tracking. Beyond logistics, ThinTrack is an ideal solution for locating and preventing the theft of luggage, high value designer goods and industrial tools.”
Tancred Taylor, Research Analyst at ABI Research also noted: “Integrating positioning capabilities into IoT nodes will open up significant new opportunities for a wide variety of tracking and logistics use cases. The key to addressing these opportunities is to make geolocation implementations smaller, more power-efficient and less expensive than conventional solutions. By offering accurate location without the need for a separate GPS chipset, Nestwave’s innovative hybrid IP and cloud-based approach supports all of these requirements, as the small form factor and low power consumption of ThinTrack illustrates.”