Samsara unveils enterprise-grade Asset Tag to track high-value equipment

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David Gal, vice president of product and engineering of Samara, introduces the new Samsara Asset Tag
David Gal, vice president of product and engineering of Samara, introduces the new Samsara Asset Tag
Pamella De Leon/CCJ

“You get an Asset Tag! You get an Asset Tag! Everyone gets an Asset Tag!” David Gal, vice president of product and engineering of Samara, said to attendees Thursday of the company’s user conference, Beyond.

Prior to the exciting Oprah-style giveaway, IoT cloud platform provider Samsara introduced several new products at the annual conference in Chicago, including a new enterprise-grade, lightweight Asset Tag.

Designed to offer real-time visibility to high-value industry assets, the new tag will help customers prevent theft or loss and recover stolen items, better manage inventory, and reduce time sharing locations to other team members and avoid service disruptions.

The Asset Tag leverages location tracking capabilities enabled by the Samsara Network. Using industrial-grade Bluetooth technology, it communicates with other devices with an IoT Samsara Gateway installed.

“About a year ago, the Asset Tag was born from a radical idea that we could use the millions of Samsara Gateways [a tool linked to the cloud collecting sensor data] we have out in the field to create a network, enabling ‘tags’ to ping off those devices,” explained Gal.

“With this, we’d unlock a level of asset tracking that was previously impossible and solve even more real-world problems for our customers,” said Gal.

From pallets to cargo, to toolboxes, and even portable restrooms, the use cases for the tags are endless. With a four-year battery life, the “tiny but tough as nails” unit is about the size of a small travel-size toothpaste tube, designed to endure the rugged, complex environments of physical operations.

“We’ve dropped steel balls on this thing. We’ve frozen it, (and) we thawed it back out. We vibrated it. We shook it. We threw it through the roof for our building on the concrete,” said Gal. The team tested the tag’s robustness using a golf club, with a successful test result. Though a bit dented, it was still fully functional.

Using the Samsara network, clients can see location history, along with timestamps. As an example, Gal showcased tracking a toolbox tagged with Asset Tag in cargo from California to Chicago.

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Going 60 miles an hour and en route with other cargo, Gal pointed out, “In a 2,000 mile road trip, this toolbox got picked up more than 1,500 times a day by more than 400 customers. That works out to about 200 pings a day [via Bluetooth], which is wild because few years ago, state of the art was two pings a day and a couple years of battery life.”

As part of the product demo, Gal showcased how the app can “listen” for the Asset Tag, with circles shrinking to show its proximity in the venue itself, eventually, finding the toolbox.

Infrastructure solutions provider Pike Corporation has been testing Samsara’s Asset Tag to help retrieve misplaced or lost tools and equipment, and accurately track safety PPE to adhere with annual OSHA testing requirements.

James Banner, senior vice president of administration at Pike Electric, noted that they have several high-value assets, such as service gloves and electrical grounds, that don’t have serial numbers but need to be tracked and managed. Previously costing up to $1 million to replace annually, Banner said, “With Samsara’s Assets Tags, we are hoping to minimize this downtime, cut costs, and digitize manual inspection processes – all while keeping our employees safe and efficient.”

Gal said, “I’m excited to see this vision become a reality. As we further connect every aspect of physical operations, we can turn massive amounts of data into valuable insights and drive real results.”

The new Samsara Asset Tag is now shipping across customers in North America and Europe.

Pamella De Leon is a senior editor of Commercial Carrier Journal. An avid reader and travel enthusiast, she likes hiking, running, and is always on the look out for a good cup of chai. Reach her at [email protected]