Paul Delaney, general manager of tracking and security technology reseller, Affinity-One, predicts tracking devices will be embraced as ‘every-day’ accessories like mobile phones and personal computers within five years.
On an average day Affinity-One receives up to 15 calls from customers making enquiries about tracking devices. “Some of these enquiries can be from customers looking to track a fleet of trucks to customers wanting to track their partners because they don’t trust them – those are the ones I usually tell to go see a marriage councillor,” claimed Delaney.
Delaney said tracking products have also become timely, with the Federal Government recently announcing its consideration of using electronic wrist tags to assist with elderly patients suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s.
“Personal tracking devices can cost around $500. Resellers are typically looking to achieve around 20-35 percent as a margin. There is also ongoing revenue to be earned on higher-end products, which require servicing,” he said.
The use of wireless technologies to track mobile assets started to gain traction in the late 1990s when the cost of GPS devices began to fall, claimed Delaney. “GPS satellite navigation products were historically designed for military satellite usage and were only available for military installations. Now the products are available in any vehicle and the majority of high street stores sell products that work on the same principal as the military satellite navigation devices,” he said.
Delaney said that this has opened up a wide range of new commercial applications. “This technology has progressed to the introduction of individual tracking, such as Melbourne based technology company Tenzeng’s WorkScene service.” He also discussed WorkScene, another web-based mobile tracking service which has been quickly adopted by the transport industry to monitor drivers.
“Logistics companies are really making the most of it because once they load something into a trailer then they can track it with the technology all the way to its destination, and not have to worry,” said Delaney.
However Delaney said he would urge the Australian Government to introduce a regulation and licensing body to ensure responsible sellers of tracking products.
“One of the crucial elements of tracking is that the applications that support the devices collate personal information about the user,” he said. “It is important that this information is kept confidential and the disclosure of this information is regulated and protected by legislation, whether it is new, or the current Privacy Act.”
Delaney added that the telecommunications industry should take the first step in the process by forming an industry body that enforced a Code of Conduct.
Aussie reseller touts tracking device market
By Lilia Guan on Jun 6, 2008 2:26PM
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