There are a huge variety of applications for tracking technology and devices, and they can result in some significant benefits to our lives. In this article, we’re going to look at how tracking technology has been used, and what benefits have come from it.

Keeping track of an item

Let’s start with what might be the first thing people think of when talking about tracking technology, deliveries of items that have been ordered online. The tracking technology involved here uses barcodes to log information about the location of an item. At each stage of a delivery, when the item arrives at a new destination, it is scanned. By scanning the barcode, the delivery company can relay the location to the customer by uploading the information to their website. To accompany each item and barcode, the customer will have been given a tracking number. By inputting this tracking number into the courier’s website, they have secure access to the location information of their order.

There are numerous benefits to this system. Not only does it help keep customers informed of where their parcel is at all times, but it can allow them to plan their day around a delivery. Once the item is at the final stage of delivery customers can be provided with an estimated delivery time, based on the number of other items to be delivered that day and the route which has been planned. Some delivery companies even allow people to alter the time of their delivery if the initial one they have been assigned is not convenient for them. Furthermore, if an item is lost or misplaced, the tracking data produced by scanning barcodes at each location can prove vital in helping it be located and delivered to the right person.

Managing a commercial fleet

Many businesses also use tracking technology to help improve the operational efficiency and safety of their commercial vehicles. For example, companies who deliver products ordered online can use business vehicle tracking technology. These are systems installed either permanently or temporarily in commercial vehicles. The data produced from these systems can improve crucial areas of the business. Firstly, when doing something like delivering orders, the route the driver takes is vital. If they take a route which is heavy with traffic, it will limit the number of items they can deliver each day. By using vehicle tracking technology, route planners can analyse historical data and plan routes which avoid known problem areas, therefore increasing the productivity of their drivers.

Along with improving customer service by achieving more deliveries in a day, tracking technology can also improve fuel usage and therefore the environmental impact of commercial vehicles. This is achieved in two ways. Firstly, by taking less congested routes, and reducing engine idling time by avoiding sitting in stationary traffic, less fuel is used. Secondly, there are tracking systems available which also offer direct driver feedback. These systems alert drivers, either through audio or visual alerts, to actions which are known to contribute to high fuel usage. These include engine idling, speeding and harsh acceleration. By alerting drivers to these actions, research has shown they are more likely to self-correct their driving and reduce these actions, which reduces fuel usage. Another benefit to these systems is improved driver safety, which is not only beneficial to those commercial drivers but also all road users.

Smartphone movement tracking

One of the big talking points in the news recently has been the development of a track and trace app to help control and reduce the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus). The idea behind a contract tracking app is to identify other people who may have come into contact with someone who later tests positive for the coronavirus. The benefits of getting an app like this up and running is that it would allow people to be better informed on if they need to quarantine. There have been issues with the app’s developed in the UK so far, which has led to the government announcing they will be moving their tracking operation to a model being developed by Google and Apple.

The track and trace app will rely on people carrying their smartphone with them at all times, and this leads to a broader point about phones being used as tracking devices. There are countless apps which utilise mobile phones GPS systems to provide tracking data. Some of the most popular tracking apps relate to fitness, primarily running or cycling. Being able to track your movements on a run or bike ride and then analyse them later can be really beneficial when trying to improve fitness. 

Security

The final area we’re going to look at is the benefits tracking has provided when protecting personal belongings. Small tracking devices can be purchased and attached to a range of everyday objects, and this can be vital in helping locate them should they be lost or stolen. Everything from your car to your household cat or dog can have a tracking device attached to it. Not only does connecting a GPS device help you locate something should it go missing, but for lots of people, it can reassure them that they have taken extra precautions to protect their belongings in case of something happening.

There are lots of other areas where tracking has proven extremely beneficial. Still, even by highlighting the ones we have in this article, it’s clear that the range of applications for this technology is extensive. As tracking systems continue to develop and become more advanced, there will undoubtedly be new applications which will impact our lives. While some have concerns over privacy, there are strict laws relating to the use of data produced by tracking devices, and these laws are in place to protect us all.

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